Irreal estate

August 25, 2008

Cycling to work this morning: a hot air balloon drifting over Albion*, three-coloured** against the cloud-powdered morning sky. I love hot air balloons – free and irreal and gloriously above the gritty world. Resolutely lo-tech, inherently nostalgic, and shot through with a faint trace of the impossible.

What else ? The clacker-clacker of the bike’s wheels on the boardwalk planks, a deeper-toned repeat over the loose bricks in front of the swish apartments. The river hard with light, a constant shattering of bright surface. An old couple in matching sweats, joggers of every shape, children on leads and dogs in prams, wall-eyed City-rats lurching to the bus, a glimmering ziggurat of blue-green glass glimpsed beyond the far end of a dull-striped suburban street, and then the other way the stuccoed and gabled spire of Our Lady of Victories up on Bowen Hill lending the impression of a Spanish mission and a Saturday morning movie when I was a kid and another world entirely…


*A Brisbane suburb. There are some fantastic suburb names here.

**Yes, those three colours. Vive la revolution. Except in this case they are also the colours of a prominent local real estate agent. Why do real estate agents advertise themsleves on hot air balloons ? I mean, yes, obviously, I know why. But at the same time it seems deeply, sort of, I don’t know… mistaken.

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