Sunday 6 November 2011 – Baby steps

My back has finally settled down enough to try a tiny walk. Dac’s currently recovering from a very bad foot infection and couldn’t come with me, so that was another reason not to go far afield. I decided just to do a slightly extended walk around the block. The ostensible purpose was to call on one of the five neighbours we back onto. I’m currently involved in fence replacement negotiations, and I need to tell him that I’ve given up on the fence I share with him. One of the neighbours wants something no one else wants, so it’s just too complicated.

Diagram of fences

Fences affected by my fence

That’s me in red, with my five neighbours in maroon. The fence to the left of me is going to be replaced: ACT Housing owns that property, and they have spoken. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get all the fences done, but I reckoned without the house-of-cards effect of our staggered boundaries. The pink shows some of the other houses that would be affected if I changed my back fence. 😦

I set off as early as I could, given that I didn’t wake up till 8.30 this morning. (Slept like a stunned mullet, thanks to the antihistamines I’m taking for extremely late-onset hayfever.) After months of luxuriously moderate weather, 30 degrees was forecast. I fondly imagined I’d be safe if I started early, but unfortunately 10am wasn’t early enough. The heat whacked me in the face as soon as I stepped out the door.

My street is downhill on the way out (how I wish it were the other way round!) so I was fine for the first hundred yards. Then I struck out up the side of Mount Taylor: walked one block (possibly another hundred yards) before I had to stop, puffing and panting, and have a drink of water. The people in the giant house on the corner were in their front yard getting ready to go out, and must have wondered why someone was loitering in the street.

I learnt something while I stood gasping there: one of the hoonish noises I hear in the night is their car. It has a throbbing, rich, metallic engine tone and sounds as if it’s about to boil over. If that doesn’t conjure up a soundscape for you, search on YouTube for any car race.

Another block up the hill and I had to stop again, this time under the nice shady tree on the corner of Murphy and Pendred Streets. I hadn’t been along Pendred Street for ages, and was surprised to see that the house in the lower “corner” had been McMansioned and now sports three letterboxes. There were only four houses in the street in the first place. I wonder how the neighbours felt about such a large increase in urban density.

In the walkway down to Beasley Street was a cat cage exactly like ours, except that it was outside its owner’s fence, and full of broken bits of wood.

Two features of the walk:

  • the upsurge in renovated and extended houses, covered in grey or pumpkin-coloured render, with “Mediterranean” gardens, and
  • the number of unfamiliar bird calls.

I stopped to see if I could spot the birds in question, but no luck.

My neighbour’s doorbell was up a steep flight of stairs and no one came to answer it. I’d heard a shower going as I climbed the stairs. Perhaps it was too early for him/them (there were two SUVs and a car parked outside). Now I’ll have to ring up.

Didn’t pass many people, didn’t see any dogs. The Pethebridge Street choughs were rummaging around in Murphy Street. I came to another halt just before I got to my home corner and had some more water. Some people from my street drove past and stopped to ask me if I was all right. Nice of them! I explained that I was just girding my loins for the last little climb.

“Back already!” was Dac’s greeting. “It was enough!” was my reply. It’s a start. The temperature was 25 degrees at 10.30 and 26 at 11.

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2 Responses to Sunday 6 November 2011 – Baby steps

  1. Antoinette Lautenbach says:

    Unfamiliar bird song. That’s interesting.

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