God, Nature is so literal. Last week it was autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and everything was just lovely. Clear skies, warm sun and cheerful birdies like this one looking down at me from the parapet of the Chatham Road bridge.


The clean-up guys were doing a stirling job, scooping rubbish out of the creek by the TAFE.


There’s so much of it. It really never ends.


Then the weekend came, and with it winter. It was like a switch being turned off. Or on. The temperature dropped by ten degrees and the rain came tumbling down. The creek was full so I had to find alternative walks for Jambo. One that we tend to do when it’s really wet is to do a circuit of the TAFE college, around the football oval and back to the creek by Maitland Road. The Styx was full and dark and oily and very, very unwelcoming.


On the way back home it started it belting down. And what else would happen on a freezing cold first-day-of-winter’s night with the rain coming down like stair-rods? Of course, a coal train lumbers along just as I get to the lights. And then STOPS!


That was the longest seven and a half minutes of my life. I’m still drying out.

LDI crew


The coal train lumbered through Clyde Street lights and then, as they often do, juddered to a halt while points were fettled and the late afternoon commuter trains ran through Hamilton Station. I was on the eastern bank of the creek and so I didn’t seem them at first; in fact, it was the hiss of the aerosols that I heard. The two white dots by the wagon are T-shirts. They were in – LDI a couple of times – and then they were gone.

Coal train being tagged

But they hadn’t gone far. The section of creek bank under the railway bridge is a favourite painting site. It’s easily accessible via the Chin Chen Street bridge and the concrete’s drier than that by the TAFE. There’s also a much better chance of doing a runner if  [street talk warning] “The Man” should be after “yo ass”.

LDI crew