I set off at 6.13 this morning and entered the “car park” at 6.27, which was not bad going really. (Another example of my time exclusion theory of traffic, ie there are times it is impossible to arrive at a destination – you can leave at say 6.13 and arrive at 6.27, but if you left at 6.20 you wouldn’t arrive until 6.40 – it is impossible to arrive at 6.30.) The majority of the route is sign-posted at 100 km/h, although I think that is too fast for the road environment and the traffic level. I usually hover between 80 and 90 km/h.
The delays occur at the roundabouts, where most of the smashes occur too. Sadly, they are generally not low speed crashes, as oncoming or “interfering” traffic seems to encourage a race to the death; and inspires acts of blinding stupidity and aggression.
My appointment isn’t until “after 7 am”, when the physiotherapy department opens. If I don’t arrive by 6.30, there are no legal parking places left, certainly none under shade cloth. Shady parking spaces are a premium and necessary. The thermometer outside the kitchen window showed 24 at 5.15, which is cooler than yesterday, and today it is not as humid. Too hot for the hour if you ask me, but I know it will only get worse: we were blessed with an extended “winter” this year as it is only now heating up. In past years it is usually 45 during the day by now.
I think I have been itching to write about Exile-land, to get it off my chest, as it were. The last two poems I posted on Written in Exile were definitely linked to this urge. ‘Should I Disrobe?’ I think I answered yesterday here. I would like to say a few words about ‘Flamenco Boy’.
I expect I will write quite a bit about two non-human sorts of creatures (safer really as I am less likely to offend them): cats and peacocks. I live with two cats who own me, two street cats from Malaysia who will have a starring role in a future post no doubt. I am not a mad “cat lady”. Well, I might be, but I am not admitting to it. Let me say at this point that there are several orphaned cats who live on or near the compound.
I am not, emphatically, a “peacock person”. Before we moved here, I was dimly aware of peacocks as donors of fine feathers and having somewhat cranky natures. Now we seem to be intimates. One morning on my walk I counted 19 (nineteen) marching up the road in the opposite direction – a flock of peacocks, peahens and indeterminate juveniles. They usually wander in smaller groups of two, or three or five. They often visit the garden to hunt for peacock grub in amongst my plants. They parade along the top of the walls, or recline on my scrap of patio and sometimes they poke their heads in through the back door – if I haven’t got there fast enough to close it.
My cats do not like them. The smaller one stands her ground as if to say ‘You may be big, but you are a bird. I am a cat. This is my garden. Prepare to die!’ Not that she has ever tried to take one on. The big cat runs inside and hides under a chair.
The peacock that illustrates ‘Flamenco Boy’ was tapping on my bedroom window one day a few years ago, challenging his reflection to a duel. Afterwards I noticed there was blood on the glass where he’d hit himself. I tried to get his picture but only caught up with him in the street. I like the way the photo captures his swinging tail and his lifting feet; otherwise it is quite grainy and rough. (I do not consider myself a photographer by any means. Technology simply frustrates me.)
It is nearly time to go in.
There are cars circling looking for a parking place and people pull up beside me and glare when I shake my head to say ‘No, I’m not leaving, sorry.’