It’s an unexpected long weekend in Canberra – unexpected by me, anyway. It seems we’re having two long weekends in a row at this time of year from now on. This one is Family and Community Day, which used to be Union Picnic Day. For a couple of years it took place on Melbourne Cup Day, but apparently restaurants didn’t like everyone staying home, so now it’s going to be the first weekend of the school holidays – unless Labour Day falls then, in which case it’ll be the second weekend.
Normally on Fridays, I swim in the morning and have a visit from Brian in the afternoon. At the moment, however, I’m having Friday’s swim on Thursday: some UCan students are taking up three lanes of the pool on Friday mornings, causing the other lanes to become too crowded. And Brian has been relief-teaching every Friday for the past term. This Friday was the last day of term and he was finally free to come round, except that I had an appointment.
I therefore thought it would be a good idea if Dac and I had our weekend walk in Tuggeranong on the way to visit Brian. I chose the Gordon Community Walk, around Point Hut Pond.
No walk happened on Saturday, so I wandered off to a concert in Hackett: Polifemy and Pocket Score singing music by Vecchi, Victoria, Gombert, Praetorius and others. The concert started at 5pm but for no good reason I thought it was 5.30pm, so I missed most of the first half. This was a pity because it was wonderful music, and generally very nicely sung.
Dac and I agreed to walk in the morning on Sunday, as the weather was expected to be quite warm – 21° forecast. Thanks to cat dramas, we set off somewhat later than planned, and I had my usual trouble remembering the way. The purple line below shows where we came in and parked.
As we found ourselves at the second-last distance marker sign of the walk, some doubt arose as to which direction we should take – not an auspicious start. Once we set off, we soon found the start of the walk, in the middle of a District Park with much of the same equipment we’d seen at Yerrabi Pond, including a flying fox.
The difference was that this park wasn’t nearly so well-attended, except apparently by litterbugs and vandals. Floating in every nook and cranny of Point Hut Pond were clumps of PET bottles and rubbish. Quite a few of the Community Walk signs were missing, and others had been graffitied, as had fences and walls all around.
I could think of no reason for the difference. As you can see above, Gordon boasts boxes, palm trees, and even glass bird baths. There are pleasant mountain views…
I attempted to take a panorama, but couldn’t stitch the shots together when I got home, so here they are separately. Well, sort of. The picture above is made up of two photos.
This one is a single photo.
And this one is two photos again. The five of them were all in a line, but I must have left gaps.
Any house in Gordon that doesn’t have mountain views probably has water views. Some have both. The lake is currently – but perhaps not always – brown, and provides a home for assorted water birds. More reasons the denizens should be happy and not running around spray-painting, in my opinion.
(We only saw one family of swans. In the top half of this picture, you can see the parents with three of their five cygnets. The swan in the foreground was not quite black – perhaps an almost grown-up cygnet. It didn’t follow the others across the pond, but kept poking around on its own.)
Dac pointed out that mountain and water views were probably not of much interest to the disaffected youth of Gordon, who perhaps thought such things were for Old People and rather boring. I keep learning what Old People are like – the Riot Act, which I read for local news, treats them (us?) as a different species, too busy costing money, driving slowly, causing doctors to run late, and having sleep apnoea to be reading the Riot Act – so I’ve added “liking mountain and water views” to the list.
The pause to photograph swans was the first of several rests. I seem to have hurt myself quite badly when I tripped last weekend. I was having great trouble with my artificial knee, both ankles, and my right foot. All very painful and unpleasant. It’s never clear what to do in these circumstances, so I decided it must be right to keep walking as best I could.
(I was just starting to feel a bit more confident about walking, and now I’m worse than when I started. I’ll be very annoyed if it turns out to be wrong to have kept walking. How is one supposed to know?)
Here are the dogs we passed on our walk. The one on the left is woofing at the two on the right. It had a partner in crime and I thought I’d got both of them in the photo – indeed, I boasted of this to their owner, who was drawn out onto her verandah by the barking, only to find a stranger taking photos. One of these days I’m going to get arrested.
Clockwise: wood duck, moorhen, coot, cormorant (taken with extra zoom).
Continued 9 October 2010
I was very relieved to make it back to the car. The sun was blazing down – our faces were sunburnt, so we’ll have to contemplate hats in future, or much earlier starts – and, what with my physical difficulties and the neglected surrounds, I hadn’t enjoyed the walk much at all. This entry has been difficult to write, and that’s probably why.
Also because I was overtaken by a frenzy of school holiday events, of which I shall write when I get back to what I laughingly term “normal”.
Here’s the happy ending: we had a lovely brunch over at Z Brasserie at the Tuggadome, and then made our way out to Williamsdale to visit Brian and the cats and doggos.