Thursday, 22 April 2010

Night themes continued

We went to the Ipswich Festival.
The scouts and the belly dancers were there.

There were no elephants to sneeze or fall on their knees.

And that was the end of the festival, festi, fest, fest, fest.

But here are some photos to illustrate my fascination with night scenes. And there were bellydancers there and lots of music and good food but no poor poetry.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Night rain

It's the time of year when the days are clear and warm while the nights are gradually sliding towards winter. In the middle of the night clouds blow across the river plains and hills from the ocean and drop a little night rain. It's rarely loud. Sometimes just a patter across the roof, sometimes silent and the only hint is the slowly dripping foliage and wet ground in the morning.

BTR (Before the renovations), we never heard this light benison of moisture. Our bedroom was right in the middle of the house with doors and windows opening only onto covered verandah. When storms were loud, the whole family would pile onto the high bed and we would feel as if we were held tightly and comfortingly in the arms of the house.

Our new bedroom perches above the valley. We hear the wind and rain moving uphill towards us. Sometimes the floor shakes a little in the wind or you hear a strut groaning. One set of windows faces east and we can forecast the weather from their sighs and creaks. Two of the downpipes vital to our collection of water run outside the bedroom. If I don't hear the rain, I do hear the sound of water collecting, dropping and gurgling. It comforts in its own way.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Of photography and maps

Easter has been and gone. We travelled but not far. I spent a lot of time looking at the hills through which we journeyed. I always enjoy going away with the family because Mr Blithe drives and I get a chance to look at the scenery. He loves driving so it is part of the holiday for him. I enjoy the break from chauffeuring (or is that chaufferage? No -- that sounds potentially odd/too interesting.)

Sometimes I try to photograph the scenery streaming past the windows. I have not yet mastered the art of the moving photograph. Everything is still so green. It looks pretty but I have been here long enough now to think a little anxiously of fire season. Here's an attempt where you can see the hills but also the grass blurring along the front of the image.

Back at work, one of my colleagues sent me a map that he had found of Ipswich in the 1840s. I'm helping to put together a presentation to help launch a new research project and we've been looking at images of how Ipswich has changed over time. I loved this map. The d'Aguilar Range marked on it is the range that marches across the horizon of my daily perspective. Limestone Street is still one of the main thoroughfares of town.

In many ways Ipswich is still the contained town shown and in other ways it has changed completely through administrative acquisition of vast tracts of new housing developments. The mayor has been in the news, spruiking the fact that Ipswich is the fastest growing area in Queensland. I admit to perhaps-false-idyllic small town nostalgia.