Craning out the window

It swings and stretches, lifting concrete blocks that would crush a man with ease. From out the window a crane appears, disappears as it works helping build another track on the railway line to the port.

But my gaze stretches beyond that, to the pinpoints of light in the distance. Aircraft making their descent into Sydney Airport. The muffled roar of a jet taking off towards us before curving away.

Looking out of the hotel room

We are in the Stamford Hotel, looking out towards the airport and Botany Bay beyond. We have not yet left our city, but our journey has begun.

Having packed almost everything the day before, all that is left was to clean out the fridge and throw the rubbish. The skies are miserable, grey and raining. The air is sticky with summer humidity.

I want to write some code, build a gadget before I go, focus and settle my mind, but it just doesn’t happen. I am unsettled, anxious about the trip.

Final checks done, we load the car and drive to Padstow for lunch. Thai. Then onwards to the hotel. Our luggage is heavy, too heavy, with winter gear, snow boots that may only have a day or two of use. But that may mean the difference between a miserable day and a memorably fun one.

I drop the other two off, then return towards home via Brighton and the Bay route. I stop by the beach, feel the brisk wind on my skin, watch the aircraft on descent into the airport across the bay.

Further along I stop again at Miranda, search for a book to read and to rest the mind. It has to be small enough to fit in my bag too!

At home I feed the fish one last time, say my farewells to them and to the grave of Kita Dog. I hope they will all be okay.

As I step out of the house I feel like the journey has really begun, focus on it rather than my fears.

A bus to Padstow, then the train to the Domestic Terminal, where B and Alex await having explored within. They are finished and ready to return to the hotel.

The skies have cleared now and the late afternoon light paints the concrete construction in an almost romantic setting. The dusty powder blue reminds me of Melbourne, of other journeys from long ago.

Back in the hotel room Alex and I gaze out through the window, watch the big planes rise into the air while others wait patiently lined up at the domestic terminal.

Hungry, we debate ordering food delivery, room service or walking down to McDonald’s. The latter wins out, so Alex and I set off in the evening light across the road.

I actually enjoy it more than usual, sitting in a booth gazing out. We take a meal back for B, who has remained in the hotel room. As we walk back the light is even more delicious, the low sun reflecting off the brown mirror glass of the Stamford. The partly built concrete overpass, the worn railway bridge, they are painted with stories of the day by the golden light.

Then, from high up in our room I watch the sun set behind the grey cloudbank in the distance. It is time to rest. Tomorrow we must wake well before dawn.

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