Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday afternoon walk

I felt pleased with myself as I stepped out into the late afternoon sunshine.  I could have stayed sprawled out on that lounge, watching an old movie on TV, but instead I found myself heading out the door.  I didn't actually choose to take a walk.  Something just sparked inside me and, without a thought, I jumped up and put on crosstrainers, a hat and a backpack.

I headed for the fruit shop to get some supplies.  (We call them fruitshops but they actually sell more than just fruit - vegies, cheese, milk, bread ... lots of things.  Just like in New Zealand where they have small shops called dairies, but there's not a cow in sight.  The name doesn't really reflect what they are.)

Jap pumpkin - 69cents a kilo; Butternut pumpkin - $1.99 a kilo.  I chose a bright orange piece of the Jap, feeling proud of my economy, then bought some over-priced basil pesto that I could have made myself.

The walk to and from the fruit shop is only around 2km, so I continued on past the old Boggo Road Gaol instead of going straight home.  (I know, why didn't I spell it "jail"?  Well, "gaol" is how I learnt to spell it back in the dark ages before so many Americanisms crept into our language.)

The sign on the building says
The first two lines are centred, but the word "MEN" is offset to the right a bit.  It used to be the women's prison, so when it became an extension of the men's prison, they merely knocked the "WO" off the word "WOMEN".  In 1984, it was found that the prison did not meet the United Nations minimum requirements for imprisonment.  It continued to operate for a few more years all the same.  I remember the riots.

As I headed for home, the sun cast long shadows across the grass in the backyards - the grass and the clover, that is.  I don't know why people worry about clover.  It's a nice bright green and fixes nitrogen into the soil; and the flowers can be mown off.  The other day as my aunt and I walked through the clover in her lawn, she said "I just had it sprayed with poison."  Aaagh!

But, back to my walk.  I heard the sound of four tiny feet coming up behind me.  As she passed, I noticed her prominent teets and asked the owner if she had recently had pups.  He responded with a sound I didn't recognise as language. I guess he didn't want to discuss his dog's family life with a stranger.

The sun had dropped down behind the buildings on the hill by the time I reached home.  Some noisy miners (birds not workmen) were chasing off a white ibis that must have ventured too close to their nest.  Noisy miners are communal birds and, in a single nesting season, one female may be helped by up to 24 males to feed and protect the chicks.

I had bought musk lollies to sustain me on my walk and now the bag was almost empty.  Any ounces I might have lost from the exercise were soon back on again.  I rooted through my backpack for my front door key.  Oh, that's right, I had put it in my pocket to avoid having to do just that.

Ah, home again and back on the lounge watching TV.

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