๐ŸŒž   ๐ŸŒ›

out and about

  • A tiny girl crosses the road, in a black three-quarter jacket over colourful leggings. She looks up at her grandmother and speaks, brushing blonde hair from her eyes, but her words are lost in the wind.

  • A swallow rides the wind high above, its wings opening and closing like a blinking eye.

  • Winter fashion in Collaroy: white bob, sunglasses, black overcoat, black scarf, black shoes; baggy black trousers tight at the ankles, rippling in the wind.

  • Two older women walk past and they’re gone, leaving a snatch of conversation in their wake:

    โ€˜Anyway Kerry, unbeknownst to me โ€ฆโ€™

  • A pigeon wobbles towards me on the wind, wings extended, undercarriage locked in place.

  • An older woman crosses the road, the wind at her back and the sun in her face. She wears a baseball cap and sunglasses, and a short turquoise dress beneath a black jacket; black leggings and ankle boots. She turns, and becomes a silhouette.

  • Grandparents with a super buggy. The woman strides ahead. The man pushes behind, all stiff and serious, the baby neither shaken nor stirred.

  • In the depths of an eatery, far across the intersection, a man appears to be propped up in a high chair, knees together and feet apart. The legs aren’t his, though, not at all - they’re part of the table.

  • Traffic stops at the lights. At the front is a woman on a motor scooter: black full-face helmet, purple jacket, turquoise jeans, suede boots tip-toeing the road.

  • A tall young woman walks with her tall, grey-goateed father. They both wear puffer vests. She slips her hands into her pockets, out of the wind.

  • From the Bridge you can see the grass behind the Opera House, and a white shape like a broken shell.

  • A young woman walks with stiff formality in a yellow skirt and red-blue jumper. She has long hair braided at the sides. Her forearm presses down on top of her handbag, the thumb and forefinger poised as if to capture something from the air.

    She turns suddenly, and speaks to her escort.

  • A middle-aged woman walks past in the city. She wears glasses with heavy frames, and a knitted green beanie that covers most of her dark hair. One arm is folded across her chest, and her free hand presses a phone against her ear.

    ‘I just lost a job, as well,’ she says.

  • An angry stick man rages on a building at the bottom of Druitt Street. He has a torso, two arms bent at the elbows, and a neck. No head, though, which is enough to upset anyone.

  • Two adults and a tiny girl walk past Scots Church at Wynyard. The girl is the only one with a suitcase; itโ€™s purple and blue and as big as she is, trundling along behind her. She leads the way.

  • A woman in her 30s totters from the bottle shop, bent forward with her arms hanging down, fingertips clinging to a box that seems to pull her across the footpath. Her feet can barely keep up.

  • Two teenage boys sit together on the bus. One has his head tipped back and a bucket hat over his eyes.

    A man approaches the vacant seat in front of them, but stops.

    “Tommy your bag!” says the second boy, and the first boy jerks awake. He stares. He leaps up and reaches forward, dragging a backpack from the seat in front and onto his lap. He wraps his arms around it and drops his head on top of it.

    The man sits down.

  • Miner vs Mynah

    I’m about to sit down at the bus stop when an aerial dogfight all but smashes into my face. The pursuer breaks off at the last moment and roars back into the sky. Its quarry banks sideways with a snap and makes an emergency landing on the back of the bench. It sits there, looking shaken.

    Locals 1, Invaders 0.

  • A girl with long black hair in a single plait, a red top and black long pants is doing circuits at the Dee Why Grand, gliding down the slippery dip and climbing up again.

    The mother stands at the ladder and hoists a toddler into the air, like an offering. It’s a dangling lump half the girl’s size and twice as bulky, but she takes it on board with a grin and struggles to the head of the slippery dip. Arranging the child with care, she sits down and they disappear.

    The mother waits at the bottom.

  • One of Sydney’s tireless working pigeons is cleaning the cafe floor. The little brown dog is desperate to make its acquaintance.

  • A blonde girl leans suspiciously over the side of her high chair, wondering what her father is doing with the safety belt. She sits up again, satisfied that he can’t make it work. Then the buckle clicks in place and she howls, red-faced, in protest.

  • A man stands on the footpath with a little brown dog under his arm. He photographs the menu and sends it.

  • At the next table in the cafe is a later-middle-aged English woman with long white hair and a squeaky, young person’s voice, enthusiastically naming airlines and discussing travel and itineraries. She listens, too, but ends her companion’s sentences with ‘Ya’:

    ‘Ya … Ya … Ya … Ya … I know.’

  • A wedding-banded man in his thirties speaks to his friend who’s joined him for a cafe breakfast:

    ‘So this is my time now. This is my time to have French toast.’

  • A cafe in the depths of Warringah Mall. Two hilarious little girls share a table with their mother, while a grandmother slumps on the sidelines, exhausted or excluded, hands hanging between her knees.