By the lawn at the Manly Croquet Club Seabreeze tournament:
It’s taken us ages to drive here, there was an horrendous accident on the parkway that held up traffic for over 30 minutes – it took us an hour and a half to get here this morning.
Yes, we were faced with a three bridge problem coming from Marrickville: the Anzac Bridge the Harbour Bridge and the Spit Bridge each with their own particular idiosyncrasies. So rather than drive to Manly every day, we decided to stay over for the week of the tournament and rented an Airbnb granny flat just on the other side of the golf course – about 20 minutes’ walk to here.
Wow, that’s a good idea!
Yes, we figured that people actually used to go to Manly for the holidays – back in the day, before they invented Tuscany…
How have you found it … Airbnb that is?
It was a great decision – we’ve called it our ‘cruise on dry land’ and it’s worked out brilliantly. The young couple who own the house have a young toddler – actually one thing that might have bugged me in the past, but that I’ve enjoyed in grandparent mode, has been the literal pitter-patter of little feet overhead.
It seems to me with all this development adding more and more people, generating ever-increasing traffic that Sydney is drowning in its own prosperity.
“Into every life a little rain must fall” as my mother often said as she counselled resilience in the face of adversity. You know, watching this very welcome spot of rain sprinkling on the dry croquet lawns, it occurs to me that it can also true in the positive alternative – that is, whatever adversity one might face, a little relieving rain will ultimately fall.
Yes, but it’s hard to see where the sprinkling of rain to ease the pain of the Sydney traffic might come from – it certainly a paradox that the more capacity and infrastructure we add, the more traffic we seem to generate.
I agree, that certainly seems the case. You know, I fully get the idea that the best solution to congestion is actually congestion, eventually it will be self-managing. But that is completely politically unsaleable, since everyone wants their particular connection problem solved, which walks us back into the problem.
A wicked problem!
Indeed! Perhaps technology will help us through better traffic management and perhaps congestion charging by location. Of course technology in the future often doesn’t get such a positive spin – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Is that so? I’ve not seen the original movie.
It’s well worth seeing – it seems to me to be quite an important work, not exactly a prediction but it looked at important and pressing issues, which are still relevant today, maybe even more than when it was first released. A bit like what Mark Twain said about the past – history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes. Maybe in the same sort of way good thinking about the future won’t predict it, but is likely to rhyme with it?
I don’t think that I’m that march in tune with modern technology – it all seems a bit much to keep up with frankly.
I don’t think that you sound as much of a techno-sceptic has the woman at my U3A drawing group. When asked if she had received the newsletter said ‘No!’ Told that it was sent as an email attachment in a PDF file, she observed with considerable vehemence that if it was not on paper she did not want it and that in any case that she did not have email. I must admit I was impressed and surprised by such a closed mind in a group that is supposedly engaged in creative practice.
Well yes, I wouldn’t count myself as such a digital refusenik – I wonder if they are digitally disenfranchised or just living with their heads in the sand?
I am reminded one point made an interesting sci-fi book I finished reading recently – by Iain M. Banks called Excision – about what he called ‘the dependency principle’. He said however smart you are (and here he was talking about hugely advanced AI Minds) you should never forget where the OFF switch is located. He makes the point that base reality remains essential – the electricity that makes computers work and the basic physiology that enables the human mind to functions. Lose that base reality and you lose everything constructed on top of it! So there is a danger in being dependent on technology …
So there’s nothing wrong with staying in touch with day-to-day reality … for a different take on what laughingly passes for reality, I just finished Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, which was a fantastical cornucopia of detailed insights and observations. To me there is a compelling comparison between this work and The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass. I don’t see it as derivative but rather a member of the same genre, whereby a preternaturally gifted child observes and influences the great tapestry of history – Saleem by virtue of his telepathic gifts and acute nose and Oscar with his glass shattering voice and insistent drumming.
Wow, interesting … I guess reading and appreciating literature is perhaps also a form of conversation, both with the author and with yourself, as well as then being material for conversation with other people. Something I’ve done in the few months since retiring has been to re-watch all seven seasons of the television series called ‘The Shield‘. Watching it in its entirety across a reasonably short time-frame, I found it quite Shakespearean in the depth of the drama of a man acting very badly while striving to fulfill good intentions of comradeship and family – perhaps even better than the legendary Breaking Bad.
Really? I don’t actually watch much television myself.
We don’t watch broadcast television much at all anymore either but I think that the long form television series, delivered by pay or DVD or streaming, is arguably the preeminent literary form the first couple of decades of the 21st century. Just like the serial works of Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy became literary icons of the 19th.
Hmmmm, maybe … anyway how is the croquet?
I’ve been making a few tournament updates on Facebook illustrating each with a photograph of a flower from the fine garden beds surrounding the lawn.
When I mentioned this to someone from the club, the response was that the gardeners who put in a lot of work would be very pleased for the acknowledgment of their efforts. I also mentioned the croquet-themed men’s room sign I employed for one update, and was quite staggered that a long-standing club member had never noticed such unique signage – same for the women’s by the way.
Interesting what people don’t see. How’s your play been?
Oh, I managed make a break with 9 hoops in a row in my last game – lost the game but that made it worthwhile.
Congratulations! Becoming one with the mallet … I’ve had a few shorter breaks, but my current specialty seems to be making my opponent play their worst game … sometimes I win, sometimes they do, but often low scoring, scrappy games. As I commented to one of my opponents, it’s like being stuck in bronze hell…
Oh well, such is life, as Ned Kelly told his gang!
Not such a wicked problem I guess. Oh, I think that’s my turn on the lawn – been good talking to you.
Likewise, good luck!