Category Archives: random

Alice Springs

I’ve just come back (as in Saturday – it’s now Tuesday) from a week in Alice Springs, a town that is very dear to my heart, given I grew up there.  I learned some new things while I was there and was quite happy to see some positive changes to the place.

A little bit of context for those who are interested.  I was travelling with my two husbands, my girlfriend, her husband, my husband’s boyfriend and his two kids.  Nothing bad happened apart from minor frustration occasionally when I wanted space and was surrounded by people who wanted to know things about things.

So, lets start with my favourite things about Alice Springs.

  1. The weather (usually).  Generally Alice Springs, especially around the end of August and the beginning of September is fantastic weather wise.  Spring lasts for about 2 weeks before temperatures climb into what us southerners would think of as “summer weather”.  People who live in Alice Springs think southerners are wusses (and they’re probably right – though they complain about cold and damp – I remember).  This time the weather sucked somewhat.  It was wet on two days, one of which might have reached 14C, which didn’t help my plans to go and see and do and show off where I grew up.
  2. The geology.  Alice Springs is gifted with some of the most amazing gorges, gaps, chasms and “pounds” (no, I don’t know why that was used or what it means geographically and I’m not looking it up right now either).  As a child I spent a lot of time travelling to and from these places with family friends, guests, for school (we swum a lot) and to have picnics.  These places are not only beautiful but are also very special to me.  Here are some photos (more here):
    End of Standley Chasm
    Landscape from a lookout
    Rope Swing at Ellery Creek Big Hole

    Finke River through Orminston Pound/Gorge
  3. The residents are fairly relaxed about things.  Hence my extended polyamorous tribe not being a problem and the only negative reaction to two boys kissing was from someone out of state (we believe this because she flew back to Melbourne with us).

I also learnt some things/discovered some things that I was not aware of before.  I learnt that the Finke River ran through Orminston Pound and Glen Helen Gorge.  I learnt that flocks of wild budgies fly in brilliant clouds of emerald.  I discovered that cooking for 8 really wasn’t that hard.  I discovered that my old home had most of the trees I knew removed (though it’s been 22 years since we left, so they could have died).  I learnt that Alice Springs is one of the lesbian capitals of Australia.

I discovered that the indigenous population of Alice Springs appears to be much better off than when I lived in Alice Springs.  This may be, in part, that as a 13 year old (when we left) that I didn’t pay as much attention as I did this visit, or things have improved – which would be awesome.  I wouldn’t say that there are no racial problems in the town, I was shocked by the sentence of manslaughter for Kwementyaye Ryder’s killers and their alleged “good character“.  However, my memories of the indigenous population as a 13 year old (and my mother was a teacher at the Aboriginal Unit at my school – and was working to get those children into mainstream education – so I was not completely oblivious) and what I witnessed in Alice Springs were at odds with each other.  This I see as a positive step.

I will return to Alice Springs in a couple of years, in what is quickly becoming an every other year trip.  I consider staying after every trip, and sometime in the future I might make a year of it and see how I survive.

Oh and Pounds “are deep valleys that are enclosed by cliffs. They form when the soft rocks in the valley floor erode more easily than the harder rocks which form the cliffs.”  Thanks Geoscience Australia.

Related Posts:

Movement in public

I have a million blog posts in my head to write, some of them even sketched out so I have my arguments all set out so things look organised for me… but I’ve been so busy and/or tired that I haven’t found the time to blog.  Or I’ve been distracted reading other people’s blogs or feeling guilty for not reading other people’s blogs.  It’s been a bit of a mess.  But I’m going to Alice Springs next week, so hopefully that will help.

Anyway, back to the title of this blog… movement in public…  I’ve been reading quite a lot of Wheel Chair Dancer’s blog which discusses movement and it got me thinking about how I move through the world.

Crowds fascinate me.  The way they move through and with and past each other.  Every morning as I arrive at Flinders Street, I get to play the “Do not collide with anyone” game, which can be tricky with groups of school children occupying open space – socialising before they continue onto school, people running for connecting trains/trams/buses and everyone else moving through the state.  I am acutely aware of where people are, performing head-checks before effectively changing lanes and doing my best to move smoothly through the crowd in the straightest line possible.

I generally find it easy to move through crowds of people, finding the spaces and slipping through them, skipping ahead of my companions and then waiting for them to catch up.  There are times, when I’m wrapped up in a conversation or my own little world and I don’t move through crowds well.  I’ll make grand gestures with my hands and they’ll collide with someone who is about to overtake me on the footpath (that’s when my companion laughs at me).  I’ll not pay attention to where I’m going and almost collide with people or objects.

When this happens I tend to snap to attention and start paying attention again, moving carefully through crowds and the world.  I like to move silently and not leave a wake through the people I move through.  I typically want my movement to be controlled, quiet and smooth.

It often surprises me that there are people who regularly fail to pay attention to their surroundings, that have near misses with people who have trouble changing course quickly (such as those with prams, trolleys, crutches, wheelchairs) to avoid a collision.  But I suppose that everyone else isn’t like me, although some people may be.

Related Posts:

I am still alive

Yes I’m still here, this month (despite not studying) has been stupidly hectic.  There have been relationship dramas (not mine thankfully, but they’ve impacted on me), there has been the finalisation of my house-repairs and arrival of new furniture to replace that which was damaged by the Great Flood of 2010.  I’ve destroyed and rebuilt this blog 3 or 4 times this month which has been incredibly stressful as I’ve had to learn a whole lot more about WordPress than I ever thought I’d need to, to put it back together.  I’ve received my results from last semester and have submitted an application for Recognition for Prior Learning in order to get credit for the remaining two subjects of my course so that I can finally finish my degree.

I hope, now that most of the drama llamas have been sorted out that I can continue posting all the blog posts that I have blocked out or are sitting in my head.  Some, which were topical to the news at the time, are no longer, but I may or may not comment on them anyway.  I have big plans, I just need the time.

Related Posts: