One of the great things to come out of the success of the book has been the people I’ve got to know, all of them with their own take or story or snippet or project that relates to Newcastle’s creeks and drains.
Steven Fleming is a lecturer in architecture at the University of Newcastle. In between pipe smoking, swishing around the cloisters in a flowing robe and whatever else it is that academics do these days, Steven and his research team have developed an amazing concept: a medium density Newcastle water/cycleway loop that takes in Throsby, Cottage and Styx creeks, linking inner city sites with affordable housing on currently unoccupied real estate. He’s off to meet with Hunter Water shortly to discuss the project in detail as they too are excited about the idea.
After a few emails back and forth we decided it was time to get together and trade ideas. The result was a leisurely Sunday afternoon cycle ride down the creek, yarning and generally gasbagging, followed by a cuppa tea and more philosophising.
For those interested in Steven’s other obsession (cycling), check out his Behooving Moving blog and you’ll get some idea of where he’s coming from (personally, if not academically!).
Next project for me after the cycle loop is a short documentary on the Styx, from its headwaters in the bush around Adamstown to its industrial confluence near Maitland Road.
What will come of all these things? Who knows; maybe nothing. But while it’s all happening I’m having a ball.