Well, my little dwelling is looking a lot better — arguably better than it did pre-maelstrom. My parents and I moved most of the mud and water out over a couple of draining days in which despair always lurked close by, ready to pounce, and it was a good excuse for some more downsizing.
In fact I’ve downsized to the point where my place looks almost Japanese in its simplicity. I sit on the floor now, which sounds worse than it is, as I sat on the floor at mealtimes for three and a half years in Japan and two more in Korea. It’s very…grounding.
My blue couch, an unlovely but very comfortable thing I scored for a hundred bucks or so at a local op shop (thrift store) years ago — and whose cushions I saved to soften the zone between butt and tiled floor — has now joined the piles of flood-damaged stuff lining the road on our end of the street, where there’s still a car or two standing open-doored and sodden-floored:
My parents’ losses, financially speaking, were far worse than mine, and I was actually glad for the diversion and the sense of purpose that mopping up provided. Good honest dirty toil. I just hope the smells of mud and bleach wear off in time.
Anyway, thanks for the good wishes, and here’s the final part of that little mangrove story, so crudely interrupted by the unannounced visitation from old Mother Nature…
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After I got back from my photo expedition in the mangrove forest, Alex drove us north and across to Bribie Island (4th-largest sand island, I believe) for breakfast. A hangover was settling by the time we got back, via a fruitless (ha-ha) stop at a roadside market…
..where the low prices were matched only by the quality — we left unburdened by vegetables.
I enjoyed a recuperative nap in the Breaking Bad van, and emerged reasonably healthy to return to the water’s edge just in time for sunset:
This time I went south — to the right in the picture — where the mangroves are sparser but no less charismatic. Just a short dash a few hundred metres and back, with barely a quarter-hour to make the most of the light, but here’s what I grabbed while the grabbing was good:
Back at the van, a quick shot of Alex (who’d come looking for me but abandoned the search, exhausted, after about 20 metres) and the construction site…
..before we headed indoors at the main house to join his family — Alex to cook and me to glance at his labours occasionally while sharing some of my pictures on the laptop with his parents.
It’s curious how on these escapes with Alex, which often involve an unhealthy amount of drinking (I drink very little in solitary life — or did until my recent troubles), I still get most of my day’s pictures edited before turning in each night.
Guess it’s the change of scenery, the stimulus to creativity, the invigorating energy of all-too-infrequent catch-ups with old friends. It’s rare, too, I get a chance to show finished pictures to anyone in person, so there’s a bit of impetus to offset all the excess with spurts of productivity.
We were a little more restrained that night, but still sat up till around 2:00 in the little trailer enjoying hours of music and the telling of many tales. And yes, all the while I was tinkering with the pictures you’re seeing here.
I let the mangroves sleep in next morning — best to quit while ahead. Couldn’t resist one last shot of one of the neighbours stopping by for breakfast, though:
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote