What colour is July?

I was listening to the author of a book this morning, talking on ABC Radio’s Life Matters, about how time slows down and speeds up depending on our state of mind and physical wellbeing. She debunked that oft-repeated theory about how time seems to speed up as you get older, the one that says that a year of your life when you’re eight is one-eighth of your life, but only one eightieth when you’re eighty. Follow the link for the brainiac explanation. She also described how time and memory can be “seen” or visualised by our various senses, a condition known as synesthesia. She used examples of people “seeing” days with different colours: to her, Monday was pillar-box red and Wednesday was orange.

So I wondered: what colour is July? So far, it’s been a bright, cheerful purple.

A Wimbledon purple, perhaps, with all our veggies eaten up.

There’s a website called Synesthesia Down Under. Apparently, people who suffer from this condition/have this ability are known as synesthetes.

This broom appeared the other day, in June, so I think that June might be kind of crusty yellow.

Or maybe the kind of whitey-green of the emulsified oil leaching into the creek from the fuel depot.

The waxing moon has brought higher tides. When it gets too high and the bankings get slippery I don’t go too far downstream, usually as far as the litter boom by Islington School.

Here, a group of cormorants sit in rows on the fence, drying their wings. They look like sulky teenagers outside the headmaster’s door. The white dots in the background are hard hats, a group of students getting their crane safety card.

With a low tide I sometimes walk down as far as Maitland Road, past the wrecker’s yard. Is that any way to treat a Kingswood?

On Saturday I saw what I thought was an egret, until I got closer. It turned out to be a domestic duck, the kind you get waddling around farmyards. She looked very uncomfortable and deeply unhappy. I haven’t seen her since, which is not a good sign round these parts.

Falcons and hawks patrol the area, not as many as in summer but enough to spell trouble for a lost duck. Coming out of the gasworks on Saturday I was set back on my heels by an explosion of feathers from the long grass and lantana: a brown goshawk had been so engrossed in reducing this pigeon to feathers and bones that it had failed to notice me.

Noticing things is not Jambo’s strong point. The world throws things up that puzzle him all the time. Take these two balls, for example. Which one to chase? Which one to guard from the other dogs who aren’t actually here but may well be at any minute? It’s all deeply perplexing, no matter what colour the month.

2 Responses to What colour is July?

  1. susieq777 says:

    What a delightful blog you have here!

    I found it by this particularly circular route: I transcribe stuff for a living, typing audio into document form. One of my clients is based in NSW while I, by virtue of modern technology, sit typing here in Belgrave, Victoria.

    Anyway, the job I was typing was an interview with a guy, a fellow Newcastlian, who was talking about how he should start a blog. And then he mentioned yours – “That MacLean guy, what’s his name?” he was saying. “He writes a blog about Styx Creek,” he said, “and he has all these people following his blog.”

    So there you go. That’s how I found you 🙂

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Hi Susie

      I always enjoy these odd stories of accidental discovery, it’s how I choose to make my way through life!


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