I'm sitting on my front veranda for a change. It's nearly sunset, and the back yard is already too shadowy to see well to write, with its surrounding trees and overhanging roof.
This spot in the front is where Andrew often used to sit, but not the same chair. After he died, I had time to notice how rusted that one had become from being out in the weather. I've replaced it with a nice, solid wooden one I found in a hard rubbish collection. The wood was already weather-worn to grey when I found it, but not broken or crumbling. It's more comfortable than the old chair was.
I've been out all afternoon, and went for my evening walk after I got home, so now my feet are relaxing in my fluffy purple slippers.
The cats have come out to join me. They like lying on the front steps, with or without human company. I, too, enjoy surveying the street from on high. This is a slightly sloping block; the ones either side are flatter. Mine is the only house built up off the ground. It's like the house I grew up in, in Launceston, one storey in front, two at the back. But here it's the other way around: the high part is in front, overlooking the street. What is under it, though, is just the space under the house, where tradesmen can crawl to check phone lines and drains, and where a very shy, quiet possum lives. The house in Launceston, on a steeper block, had rooms downstairs, giving onto the huge back lawn and beyond that my father's veggie garden.
When I went down the hill just now for my walk, a kid was playing a recorder inside one of the houses, practising for homework. How many Aussie kids are doing that after school tonight, in how many suburbs all over the country? I like the sound. It takes me back to my little brother practising his, and then to my sons piping away on theirs. They had the music, my brother and my sons. It skipped me, but I still like to listen.
The crickets have started up. The mountains opposite have gone from indigo to dark grey-blue. There's a faint, thin line of pink light along their tops, barely distinguishable from the whitening sky into which it fades. A notice comes up on my iPad: I have updates for the evening edition of the Sydney Morning Herald. Time to go in.