Here’s to summer


One of the nice things about living in Melbourne is that you actually get to experience four distinct seasons. I think I’d find it disconcerting now to live somewhere where things don’t change much, or maybe the changes are more obvious (wet season / dry season) or more invisible. Four seasons works well for me! I was listening to a meteorologist on the radio yesterday proclaiming the start of summer as Dec 21, the longest day. But I’d always thought of it as December 1. Wouldn’t the longest day be in the middle of summer?

I saw a great diagram a few years ago of Aboriginal conceptions of ‘seasons’ and how different they look. And this Herring Island website, argues for a six season kind of division in Melbourne. I don’t know. The four seasons has such resonance for those of us with European background (all those Keats poems…) and it may not really work for Australia or even Melbourne, but I kind of like it. Anyway, here’s to summer.  A nice feeling to be on holidays and setting up some writing.

It’s probably also a perfect time to thank everyone who’s been reading and responding to this blog over the last year. Just when you think no-one is listening, you find someone is. Best wishes to you all for whatever season you find  yourself in right now.


Top picture from a 1948 Little Golden Book. ‘Six seasons of Melbourne’ below from Herring Island site quoted above.


And, he says, thinking of returning to work tomorrow after a month or so off on summer vacation, I did finish several poems this break, which was a good thing to have done!

The Best of Betjeman

A hot day and, weirdly, reading ‘The Best of Betjeman’ on the beach between last swims for the summer maybe. I was surprised how much of it I liked too, esp. the lost things kind of ideas that have always fascinated me, the sense of change in them and the passing of one kind of life. And the industralization and change that is blotting his landscape is a bit like the suburban margins stuff I’ve been thinking about. I enjoyed some of the poems about those ordinary moments too; a child going to a party, bullies, seaside excursions, the death of ordinary people like the secretary of the golf club.

John Betjeman Home Page

The rhythm of work

Odd how after a month’s holiday where there wasn’t much surf around and there was some time to write, it’s only when I get back into the rhythm of work and being busy again that the poems start to come and I get up before 6.00 on a Sunday morning when I should be sleeping, to write the ideas down that have come back again.