Friday, December 16, 2005

Wordless - Pt Clare #6 - Brisbane Water Walk #8

Beautiful wind last night. Cool and strong. There was the spooky theme music from Midsomer Murders and the curtain floating and shivering in the wind. I sat mesmerised by it for an hour or so. Doesn't take much to amuse me.

This morning I was up at sparrow's fart. It was already slightly muggy. But they've promised us a nice storm and with any luck it'll come tonight. Brisbane Water was silvery grey again and the sun was a small white glow behind high grey clouds. Excellent atmosphere for prowling about in a cemetery.

Point Clare cemetery isn't very old. The oldest grave I found was 1912. But it's a nice graveyard, tucked away in the corner of Point Clare, just back from the ambulance station and with bush on two sides. There's a big sign in curly iron saying "Point Clare Cemetery" then a road with a chunky sandstone pillar on either side if it. The plaque on one of the pillars said they were put up in 1964. Just past them, standing by itself, there was a column with an urn on it dedicated "to the memory of the 7 employees who lost their lives in the launch 'Joyce' 15th May 1948". The urn business is listed in the Rookwood book (Sleeping City) as favoured by Scots Presbyterians and Methodists and I think it's more of a Victorian thing than mid-20th century.

Whenever I can get into a cemetery I wander about looking at the graves. The language of death is interesting. "Sleeping" and "at rest" are among the most popular in any cemetery. The headstones of babies have the least on them in the way of epitaphs. The dates tell you all you need to know. There was a group memorial to babies at the back of Point Clare with about 40 names on it and nearby a tiny headstone on a tiny grave had the baby's name and two dates 14 days apart. About halfway there was a "To our loving mother" and at the bottom something about what she "wanted us to read" and a long list of bible references. On the other side of the road was "With Christ, which is much better". That one gave me a giggle.

There were half a dozen small trees growing out of graves. I've seen plenty of rose bushes growing out of Victorian era graves and some from early last century. But these were mostly trees and there was a lovely big lavender bush on 1963 grave. It had a wrought iron fence aroung it too, looking smart in a coat of fresh white paint. Not far from that one was an unusual grave. A child's, judging by the size, no marker on it. It was covered in moss, which is not all that unusual, then it had what looked like an old child-sized wooden bed frame over it like a fence. The other unusual one was wooden too and also rotting, shaped I think to represent an open book but every word once on it worn away by weather.

After that I went into the Point Clare Estate. One of those swathes of houses done by developers. This one's off Brisbane Water Drive just near the ambulance station. There's a couple of short walls as an entrance then a tree-lined road between them. The road goes over the creek and there's a bit of a wildlife reserve happening there. The whole place is nineties with a Federation influence and judging by the uniformity and landscaping it was all built in one go as a showcase. Bottlebrushes and orange jessamine are the staples so the whole place smells great and is buzzing with bees. It's also chockers with retirees. One look at the lawns and the roses tells you that.

My op shop gardening book has various rose scents down as "myrrh", "fruity", "musk" and "tea" and this crowd waffle on about "hints of raspberry and anise ... orrisroot, nasturtium, violet and lemon ... banana, citrus, honey and clover". Tea I'd agree with, though the garden shop the other day had tea down as champagne. Presumably because champagne pays better. The rose scent I love the best is from the same black red roses Nana had in the backyard. Tall spindly bushes with not that many flowers on them but they smelt glorious.

After I'd sniffed everything that didn't have a bee in it, it was back to the bus stop. I was prickly with sweat by this time and I'd forgotten the bloody spray stuff to ward off the flies. It was sitting by the door at home where it was of no help at all. The cicadas were rivalling the peak hour traffic for volume but the bus came soon and the water was silver again out the bus window and there's a lovely strong wind again now.

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