hello december

The first day of summer is warm – humid and still. There is weather coming. Big winds and a cold change. If we were travelling, we’d be tucked in somewhere to stay out of the way of the conditions that come with a storm warning forecast. We’re not travelling. The closest we might come is having to anchor out in the river because the boat we’ve been rafted up next to for many months might be moving.

It’s a big solid boat, and I found out recently that it was the support vessel for Dick Smith when he climbed Balls Pyramid – near my favourite place, Lord Howe Island. So now I have formed an affection for it – it’s like our own floating dock – our barrier between Bella Luna and the jetty. Makes us more inaccessible. No bad thing.

Being Tuesday morning, Small DB and I are off to work at the organic bulk food shop for a couple of hours until noon. The fact that she insists on coming with me adds to my mental load before we leave – but inevitably, after we arrive at the shop, there are many things for her to do – on this occasion she’s put in charge of decorating the Christmas tree. She is treated like a person, not like a kid, and she loves every second that she spends there – filling jars of tea, arranging stock, checking the levels in the bulk food containers, weighing empty jars and putting things in order.

M comes in halfway through our shift. He’s ebullient. Two days ago we stood at the block and looked towards the river. Our view had been rudely interrupted by a huge blue sign: ‘BIN STATION’. It could not have been in a more objectionable position, impossible to edit from any glance toward the water. Immediately I suggest we get the grinder, cut it down and move it; stealthily and at night, before belatedly realising that this is what tree vandals do. You can always find a tree vandal – the ones that have a spectacular view of some water…because they’ve created a gap in the trees themselves.

Plan B. We decide to play the long game and wait until we get building approval before making any fuss. However, fate intervenes. M is at the block looking mournfully out at the BIN STATION sign and sees Someone Who Might Help. He mentions to the Someone that our view is now BIN STATION and that Someone agrees that it’s a bit unfortunate – they will see if they can help. Someone makes a phone call, there’s a bit of back and forth, and three minutes later M gets the nod that he can move the sign. Move the sign legitimately.

When required M can be swift. He crowbars out the sign, concrete still attached to the base of both poles, and moves it to where it interrupts the view of no one. He does it in the quickest possible time, ensuring that if anyone changes their mind or retracts permission, it will be too late. HUZZAH!

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