It is always slightly amusing when you predict or hope for an ironic point in your day and you get one.

I subscribe to’s Word of the Day and it is usually a disappointing addition to my Bloglines roll when I find it isn’t a friend bequeathing their life to my insterested scrutiny.

Todays word was,
alfresco – outdoors; outdoor

I was quite reluctant to walk my dog this evening. I am used to winter and the unknown daylight savings. It should not be light enough to undertake this often not so enjoyable task, as it quickly becomes chore when I am constantly reminded.

But daylight savings it is, and it was comfortably warm for walking and uncomfortably so for having my wrists heat up on a keyboard like they are doing now.

At the top of the street I turn down regularly I decided to take off my thongs. I don’t like walking great distances in thongs after the shaddow callouses of last summer have long disappeared. I already walked too far in them yesterday.

Barefoot. I haven’t done it in a long time – or at least since camp, where I left my shoes with Tracey to gain the surer footing you have without shoes, to climb around on the rocks under the waterfall at Lorne. My feet nearly froze then. But not like this.

It was warm. The concrete footpath was warm without being too hot. I reached street two and changed my reluctance, I’d walk the longer way around. This is the road that I run – if you can call a slow, occasionally increasing jog that.

There is the slap slap metronome of my feet. It was surprising and satisfying. My feet have been too long coddled in the socks and shoes of winter. I haven’t, I felt done this since leaving the Solomons, but that doesn’t make sense, not many of the roads are tarmack there.

I like splayed out feet. I’ve spent a good part of my life barefoot or my feet accomodating Chinese shop thongs that would get lost and left and confused with the mountain of shoes left at the screen doors of friends houses. Ugly feet are the kind that have spent eternity in shoes. Narrow at the top, pale and soft along the heel.

I missed going barefoot much the last few weeks over there. I stood on a tac maybe two weeks before Christmas. Over our SITAG youth camp the tac ran evidence against the humidity and became a 20cent boil on my heel. I spent the entire time sorely dissapointed with my half involvement in all the running around, and facing the shame of having to wake Heather Mellow in the middle of the night when the pain traced lines up my leg, expressed itself down my face and denied me sleep. Mum came the next morning and the pus shot facinatingly up the syringe before she could pull the stopper back.

I had a shower when I got home and noticed my feet were still delightfully black even after cleaning them. This is how it used to be. No one has clean heels over there unless you spend an afternoon snorkelling at Bonegi or the Bishop’s Beach or maybe a soft-drink purchased swim at the Honiara Hotel pool.

I was thinking about the Solomons, but not in the usual way. I wasn’t sad, and I am not right now.

It is December the first. I should be frantically disturbed at the fact that we aren’t putting up the Christmas tree tonight. I held graspingly to tradition last year. It is different now.

You know, Australia has a smell. You don’t notice it unless you’ve come from overseas. I can remember several trips from Brisbane airport, at night and during the day and the first week you spend back. It smells decidedly different. You are faced with a difference again when you meet the coolness of Melbourne and winding roads of the Dandenongs. Wondeful smells.

We played a game, whenever we drove our then present van (of which there were multiple versions, all toyotas) from Sydney, or Canberra or Brisbane or some other place to Melbourne. The last half hour, full of excited chatter of being ‘nearly there’. My grandparents neighbours used to keep a caravan in close approximation to the top of their drive. It was the first to see it… no one ever won anything, the glory perhaps. It was always somehow lost in the turning down of the drive I used to fly a trike down, greeting the only people and place I ever sometimes missed about Australia . The caravan is gone now, just like the Australia smell.

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