Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

15.12.08

As I walked out one Sunday afternoon.

Apparently it was the most rain in one day since early 2006.

Most of it ended up in the bay of course, but the downpour coincided with a new government campaign to encourage people to use less water. The campaign material shows two pictures of a dam, some years ago and now, with the recent picture showing a lower level of water. A cynical counter-campaign would show two identical photos of a empty valley entitled The Dam the Government Failed to Build. The irony is that the north-south pipeline currently being built to divert water from the Goulburn to backyard water features in Melbourne is now cutting a swathe through more wilderness than would have any dam.

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Early afternoon Sunday, the clouds drifted away to the north. Sunday is a day of rest but rest is what you want it to be. For me it means avoiding shopping malls full of frantic shoppers and taking a long walk along Merri Creek. Off I went, pushing the wakeful child (Thomas) in the three-wheel pram while the sleepy child (William) took an afternoon nap with his tired mother. We walked for miles.

The Merri Creek trail was flooded where it runs under the Newlands Road bridge near the waterfall; and to the north, at Queens Parade and Derby Street, Fawkner as it veers east across a bridge over a roaring stormwater drain. That northern section was paved recently but it still floods when there is a heavy downpour.

We walked through the plains of Fawkner, a largely treeless suburb of 1960s yellow brick houses, crossed Sydney Road near Gowrie railway station and picked up the new section of bike path that runs between the railway line and Fawkner Memorial Park. Thomas had fallen asleep. The bike path runs for a mile and then stops dead at Merlynston where its continuation is obscured and cyclists need to crane their necks to proceed. The zig-zagging continues all the way to the city, rendering the Upfield bike path useless as a commuter stream. Most cyclists take their lives in their hands on Sydney Road where cars run them off the road in their attempts to accelerate past trams. These northern suburbs have one of the highest concentrations of cyclists in the city. A proper bike path is a policy no-brainer. Except no politician seems to have had it yet. They're too busy bailing out failing car companies.

*

Home by three. Thomas woke. William was already awake. Time to think about dinner. I like Sunday afternoons. Plenty of time for thinking.

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