Hello Cruel World
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Time comes round again. January again. The Janus month that pauses, facing both forwards and back; we contemplate both hopes and regrets. If half the country is lost in happy holiday hedonism, others work overtime to make up.
Days are hot and diamond bright, sun glare blank and pitiless. Night is onyx, clear and dark, stars glowing like gardenias through warm air that rests smooth against the skin. At evening, as the globe turns its shoulder from the day, sometimes a thunderstorm crashes over the city like a breaking wave, sluicing down the day's heat in a cold shower as indignant shoppers, strollers and loungers scatter to shelter in a spray of clutched hats, towels, bags and whirling umbrellas.
In a week or two this will be gone. New York has August, Sydney has February. Its thick, damp blanket will fall on us in a clinging grey shroud of hazy heat. January hedonists will fill up air-conditioned offices or retire indoors to slump near fans and mutter at the madness of logjammed cruise liners bringing winter-chill refugees straight to apoplexy season.
But not yet. Now it's show time -Festival rules and anarchy is loose. Now fireworks outdo nighttime lightning, and the seething multicoloured city flashes & glints, a tourist-tempting opal turning and turning in a summer setting. Now crowds sprawl on the Domain grass and Town Hall floor, surge in cheerful chaos around Quay parades, samba down at Darling Harbour, sit politely in theatre seats and chatter in and out of bars all over town. Now outdoor cats watch and hide in the dark of tangled bushes' branches. Indoor cats driven from breezy stairtops play draughtcatcher on cool lino by the kitchen door or stretch themselves, languid along a shaded open windowsill.
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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.