Friday, March 24, 2006



Clouds drift over, moulding the flat horizon. The first specks of rain hit my window. Black swallows swoop down into a cluster of trees. They've been planted upside down, the heads, been dunked into the soil, roots up in the sky. Dim light inside my room now darkens a shade further.

Slabs of hedge have been carefully placed by private home owners to prevent public space invaders from crossing over miniature bridges into their tidy nests. They position their round white plastic balls along the barriers and pop into life when young types from the neighbouring estate angle past waving home-made stick-guns in the air, the bodies projected as silhouettes behind a thick curtain, a blip floating over the radar screen.

Garages like loading containers that have been mistakenly docked inland, stare out blankly at the newly tarred and flattened entranceways. An assortment of bush structures attempt to match up to the hedges along their sides, blooming their winter flowers.

Half a window juts out from the edge of the flats. A sharp edge of a roof meets with the horizontal drainpipe and then with the strict horizontal pattern of bricks that make up the terraced brown side wall of my outlook. This space reduced in turn by the parallelogram of a slanted rectangular bedroom window frame.

I then see me, standing, looking with squinted eyes through my binoculars at the black and white striped bird springing across the grass below me, the tail entertaining me with its delicate flickering feathers. My eyes rush to keep up, as if having stumbled upon a rare exotic find, jumping about like an electronic gadget that the Japanese could have built, on the grass, just there in front of me.

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