All the stations have an adventure

Today is All The Stations‘ “have an adventure” day, in which they’re asking people to visit a railway station that they’ve never been to before. When I first heard about it I figured I have to end up at somewhere boring like Aubin Grove but as it turns out I’m actually at Wikimania in Montreal! So it’s rather easy to find a station to which I’ve never been; in fact, with the assistance of a friend, I have today been to seven new stations.

Bonaventure:

Square-Victoria-OACI:

Place d’Armes (no photo).

Champ-de-Mars:

Berri-UQAM:

Berri-UQAM station

Jean-Drapeau:

Jean-Drapeau station

Longueuil:

Longueuil station

And also Windsor, which isn’t actually a station any more:

Windsor station

Drystone

I really shouldn’t have bothered with that last post; siting in that office, my brain confuddled with fluro lights, cake, and the ‘net, I can never think well enough to write anything. I should get that by now.

So I’ve left the place, earlier than I should’ve, walked across town towards the dam wall, and am now sittin gleaning against a long, low, drystone wall. It’s something that I never should have expected to find here &hdash; seems to have been put here quite recently and possibly as part of the design of Tuggeranong. Although, maybe not, as it’s not absolutely straight; it wobbles a bit, heading off down the hill, through the trees and towards the river. I like it.

I’m only about thirty meters from the road, and as rush-hour is building so is the noise. But I was cold, walking over here, and now I’m out of the wind and fairly comfortable, so I might stay for a bit. I can’t see much, from here, that suggests I’m not on some random grazed hillside in the bush proper; the street lights poke above the grass off to my right, but mostly it’s all the dry brown-yellow of the soil and grass, with dark-green blotches of trees all over.

But this wall is starting to feel a bit too ‘new’ (or something) for this ground &hdash; maybe it’s that its path down the hill has been all-too-obviously cut by a bulldozer: there are no trees for three or four meters either side of the thing for as far as I can see, despite there being quite thick bush all around.

Having walked on a ways…

It is so good to be out of the office! So good to sit by this smelly creek with sharp rocks and wire to sit on, the clanking of an ibis and the roar of the traffic in my ears, and this beautiful, cooling, dusk all around.

* * *

So, I scrambled down the gully; squished my way across the pitifully-small trickle that seeps out from the bottom of the dam wall; climbed up the other side (burrowing under fences just whenever I could, wishing for a more robust, and smaller, bag for my notebook and camera); and got back to the main road just as a 314 was pulling up to take me home.

Up the Hills and Far Away

I’ve come up the east hill today, just to see where it goes, what’s up here, and what I can see. I can’t believe I’ve been this way before. It’s such an obvious high point, from which I can see all of (tiny) Tuggeranong spread out along the valley, and the scrub and the hills beyond (which, thanks be, are by far the majority of the view, if discounts the usual ubiquitous drone of cars). Seeing it all like this really does give a sense of how isolated Tuggers is from the rest of Canberra — and how very dependent upon cars they all must be who live or work here (oh, right: other than the fifty of us who catch the bus).

Today, though, I’d like to just walk away from all that. Not be isolated, but be far away from everything. Walk through the little cluster of red roofs below, and on up those sparsely-tree’d hills over there, just to see what I can see, and not ‘have to get back’.

Instead, I will stomp down this hill and back to my desk.

Just WALK!!

“In industrialized countries we live as if we have no legs. Yet, we always want to go somewhere and fast. Often we don’t live near where we work and we don’t work where we live. … Transport consumes large quantities of oil; it is a major source of air and noise pollution; it creates unbearable congestion — particularly in urban areas; it puts people’s health at risk; it causes global warming and it causes the death of both humans and animals. Yet, we are totally addicted to and dependent on the transportation of goods and people. It is hard to see a practical way out of this quagmire. However, if we could resort to our wisdom and rationality, there are solutions. To begin with, we can start walking.”

— Satish Kumar, from Resurgence Issue 197

I Wheel My Wheelbarrow…

In which I bring my desk back to school to finish finishing it and then get it assessed.

What a marvellous morning! I brought my desk back to school this morning to get it assessed next Monday; I walked here with it on my wheelbarrow. It’s not a long walk — an hour or so — and an a day such as today it’s quite a pleasure. Not often do I feel like smiling at motorists (in their stinking, noisy vehicles) but when possessed by the good vibes of happy woodworking their childish “get off the road!”s touch me but little. Walking this morning prompted me to reflect on just how important it is for every stage of making — including the transporting of the finished piece — to be of right ordering.