When we moved to Marburg, you could drive through North Ipswich into downtown along a quiet curving street. Just a few years later, there are four or five sets of lights, a new shopping centre and traffic everywhere. There are still plenty of trucks coming off the highway which makes for an interesting blend of shopping traffic and transport. The mayor is thrilled at the retail dollars flooding back into the CBD. I’m happy too, as long as they stay there and don’t start to stream westwards. Similarly, I’m happy for the Ripley Valley to develop as long as it means suburbia moving that direction. I wonder how long Marburg has as a country village. In five or ten years will we see acres of rooftops from our hillside? Will they
Driving home, I could feel my shoulders relaxing as the hills came into view. Driving along at 100kph with B-doubles and highway traffic doesn’t worry me at all. It means I’m heading home. Then you see the emu farm, pull off the highway, taking seriously the sign that suggests taking the turn at 40 and slide through a cutting into downtown Marburg. In the middle of the day, it is almost abandoned. A few people have made a start at the pub, someone has pulled up for a newspaper and some milk, a dog scratches at the side of the road. Coming over our crest, a few birds circled, dust from the road billowed and the breeze picked up our neighbour’s new flag and tossed it skywards with a flash of red and blue. Otherwise all is quiet. And that’s how I like it.