Memoir Archives - Page 2 of 3 - PacificEdge
THERE WERE MANY SHARE HOUSES in the Inner West during the 1980s, eclectic assemblages of people thrown together by chance and necessity. Offering benefits of economy with conviviality, share housing had been a popular way to live since the 1960s.
THE MELLOW, MELONCHOLY SOUND of a sax drifted over the Sussex-Goulburn intersection that afternoon. La Vie en Rose, the song popularized by Edith Piaf, was a fitting sound this fine but cold, late Autumn day in the city and it suited my mood as I looked past the player, down the road to a Korean restaurant that wasn’t there forty years ago.
Russ Grayson recalls an aerial mini-adventure of several decades ago.
TRAINING WAS MINIMAL, just brief instruction beside the strip on how to exit the aircraft with a couple practice exits while still on the ground. Then some serious sounding instruction on deploying the reserve chute – just in case – and a little practice at a parachute landing roll. Then it was “let’s go” as three of us climbed into the seatless space behind the pilot of the Cessna 182.
JUST A BED, a wardrobe, desk and chair and my portable record player. It was a pleasingly simple arrangement there in that attic with its sloping upper walls that followed the shape of the roof. There, I would spend time sitting at the desk just looking out over rooftop and hill, not focusing on anything in particular but letting my eyes wander over the folds of the city. Sitting in something of a free-flowing mental state, I again experience that sense of calmness that I had earlier known when looking into the distance from some high vantage point.
It’s a morning ritual. Pick up the surfboard not long after sunrise has paled the eastern sky and descend through the rainforest to the small beach below. It’s a good day if the Pacific’s swells are pumping and it’s a good day when the swell is only small. For many who live in this fortunate part of the country, every day is a good day, or should be.
I remember her then. Checked wool shirt of the kind favored by bushwalkers and outdoor types. Warm wool trousers, dull khaki in colour. Petite wire framed glasses balanced on a delicate nose. Blonde hair tied back I’m bunches. Chunky leather boots. Pack on back.
IN THE BRIGHT LIGHT of an early afternoon in the summer of 1970 I stood atop that long flight of stone stairs that connects the valley of Woolloomooloo to the ridge of Victoria Street. There I stopped and looked out onto a city that then seemed full of skyscrapers.
HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT for the different way that life turns out for people, even when they share much in common?