To all the readers who still occasionally peruse the blog, looking for signs of life - I am well, thank you!
I have been up in New South Wales working and I will be here for about another six weeks. Unfortunately, the only internet connection I get is at work, and I wouldn't really want to be using the work computer to blog, if you know what I mean!
I am in Brisbane right now for the weekend visiting a good friend, Anthony, and I am tired but excited to be finally seeing this town! Now I can officially and finally say that I have been to Queensland.
The Waiting Room
I am sitting there in the waiting room, slowly examining Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (thanks k!) like a fine wine - sipping the words into my mind, swirling it about, inhaling deeply and giving a smug knowing smile as I sample his now familiar writing.
There is a little boy of one, and he looks like he stepped right out of one of those medieval religious paintings - his eyes green and shining, his cheeks red and rosy framed by the golden curls that tail around his ear.
He is an unfair child - the sort of child who evokes the immediate 'Aww...' in you, and makes grannies automatically reach out and cuddle him, and cheeks which draw your thumbs to pinch it, and a smile that would melt a heart of stone - and all this simply by being himself. He is the envy of the other kids, who are throwing tantrums and screaming to be noticed; but all the eyes are on him, and his every move.
This is his first time in the airport, you could see - he is allowed to run free on the carpets of the waiting room, and he ambulates with the unsteady waddling gait of a drunk - he is still learning to walk. It is a miracle he doesn't trip over as his little legs stagger to chase his huge cherubic head, which is leading the way.
His large head is running towards something that has caught his eye - his first sighting of an aeroplane! He runs unsteadily to the glass window, and puts up five little fingers of his left hand against the window to stop his run just in time. His tiny mouth hangs open, his eyes unblinking as he is transfixed by the sight of the large metallic birdie before him.
What a big birdie! Quick! Tell someone! his little heart yells to him, and once again his head pulls the rest of his unbalanced little body towards his father, who is sitting about ten metres away, looking tired.
"Daddy, look, a big red birdie," he meant to say. But he didn't possess the words yet, and so his excitement came out instead in a siren "Oniyoniyoniyoniyo!" he yells, his left arm extending into his index finger pointed at the airplane.
The father smiles, and does not move.
No! his little feet stamp their indignation. You HAVE to see this! Oniyoniyoniyo! His babbling rage continues.
The father looks away, and the child sirens again in impotent protest, fearing that Dad would miss out on this most amazing sight if he didn't move to the window RIGHT NOW. The bird might have flown!
The father, who knew better, just sat and shook his head, and the little boy stood there, befuddled by his father's lack of enthusiasm.
Fine, your loss then, he babbled, and threw his hands down by his side in cute disgust, waddling quickly and precariously to the window once more to gape in wonder at his secret find.
I watched as the father hoisted up the boy and walked him across the tarmac, and up the stairs, the child a quiet awestruck sacrifice as it was eaten up into the belly of that great red beast.
The quickest of stops in Sydney, as I make it just in time to board the plane, and I watched the bright immense lights of Sydney disappear beneath me like a reverse night sky, the stars glimmering beneath me, and one and a half hours later, the clouds on night shift give way to the sparse bright lights of Brisbane.
Queensland, at last.