I FOUND SOME notes I’d written back in February entitled ‘Things I’ve noticed here’. There’s no particular order to my thoughts. I wrote them down as they came to mind. I’ve repeated them here and then added some new ones.
Things I’ve Noticed Here
No pavements in the suburbs. Most people out walking are walking a dog. Lots of house building. Christmas decorations still up in February. Squirrels digging up lawns – looks like a battlefield. Crows, ravens. Lots of them. Rain. Lots of it. The twinkly sound from a wind chime hanging on the corner of a house. Cannot see the lines of the road in the dark and the rain. No one in Park Royal at 10 o’clock in the morning. The clouds. The mountains. Every day. Little birds. Hummingbirds. Loads of recycling. 4 way stop signs. Who got there first? Anyone paying attention? Drivers stop for pedestrians. Mostly. Paper forms. Really? Can I not do this online? Indoor tennis centre because outdoors it’s still raining. Everyone skis. Even us. In the rain. The mountains are beautiful. Misty mountains especially. Cars are big. Roads are big. Driving on the other side of the road is okay. The smell of skunk. The animal not the weed. Strong, sickly. Realtor adverts – photographed like celebrities. On benches, sides of buses, sides of bus stops, backs of cars. Utility boxes camouflaged by leaf imagery. Low older wooden houses. Huge newer modern houses. A tip. When trying to get your step count up, walking the long way round is best.
And Some New Ones
It turns out it wasn’t the squirrels digging up the lawns but raccoons. A pair of them run in front of Freya as she walks to school one morning. Fighting. Everyone says ‘Hi, how are you?’. There are photographs of BIG kittens on the pet shop storefront. The dog poo bins are wrapped in pretty flower photos. It gets hot in the summer. No one wears a helmet when they’re cycling. The US border is only an hour’s drive away. Getting a work permit is harder than you think. Fluffy seeds are drifting and dancing in the sunlight at the moment. I read how a woman fought off a grizzly bear in Montana using bear spray. I must get some. And a bear bell. Do they work? Parent appreciation ceremony is next week. I will go! It takes forty minutes to walk to the tennis centre. There are ants in the kitchen. We watch a crow and a blue jay take the peanuts that Freya leaves on the deck rail. Last year a coyote trotted passed me as I walked home. I haven’t seen a bear yet. I like the Seabus. It takes twelve minutes to cross the bay. The girls want a dog. You need a map to shop in Metropolis. It’s that big. Turning right on a red light still does not seem okay to me. I want to go to the Yukon. I feel drawn to wild rugged landscapes. I have six films to be developed from three different cameras. The sunlight makes beautiful patterns on the walls in our house. I’m certain the clouds are bigger here. Or we’re closer to them. I miss my friends. I’m making new ones. I’ve met people from all over the world. Some moved here fleeing war, segregation and fear. I met a woman who told me she started playing ice hockey at 40. 40! I wish my friends and family could live here too.
Photos © Tanya Clarke 2017 & 2018 (iPhone 6) and video © Tanya Clarke 2018 (Canon 60D)