Experiences of Epiphany – in the ‘Big Smoke’ Part 3

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West End Markets – June Perkins

Saturday Morning  10th March

The morning of the aftermath presentation arrives and my friends ask if I’d like to go to the West End Markets before my talk.  It seems like a good idea to quell the nerves.

It is something to behold though, we arrive to a mellow saxophonist sitting by the entrance.  The car park is almost to capacity but we are directed to a spot near an oval and park a short walk from the stalls.

The market itself is a sea of people.  We are moved on a wave of humanity and have almost no individual identity.  Stopping to look at stalls is a mild relief but hard when you want to hop back on the wave and move.  It’s crowd surfing on the edge for someone who now has the soul of a country girl.

My hosts are apologetic saying they usually come later and it’s not quite this fast moving sea.  They are tired out by the moving wave.  I stop to find some material made flowers, and the seller of these is a very arty looking young lady who also has an array of colourful scarves. I will place one in my hair as goodluck for the looming presentation.

I keep my wits about me, to make sure my son is not swept away by the wave.  Karen orders some pumpkin and curry puffs for a small snack.

We head off to where there is usually music, but instead there is a loud performance and a couple of people are in what appears to be a television studio on the go.  It could be pantomime, I am not sure.  We don’t stop long.  It’s not our cup of tea.

Soon we escape though and sit under a large avenue of trees and Daryl dives back into the sea to grab coffees and a hot chocolate for us.

Karen tells me that she grew up in the country too, and isn’t that keen on the state of the market today;  they like to come when it is less crowded.  She tells me about other markets in the area and their character.

Daryl tells us about the trees and how they had been roped off for a long while to recover from all the trampling on the ground near their roots andthe  disease they had.  Many trees have been lost.  The hope is that the break from people and treatment will assist them to survive.  I share a little of our lost trees in Tully and the cyclone hit areas. So many humans love trees – and associate them with memories.  I wonder what happened to the lost Kauri Pine out the back of our old place in Feluga.  It was so tall and so attractive to birds that nested there.  Now it’s just a photograph.  I wonder if the wood was put to good use.

My son chatters as well, about all the things dear to him and what he’d like to do for the rest of the trip.  He is keen to go to the movies that evening or afternoon if we can.

Soon we are away again, back to Daryl and Karen’s for a brief break before heading off to a café near the Queensland Museum.

They drop me and my son off as we are there early to prepare before the talk – and they will return later.  We are at The Café waiting for Miranda, Scott and Solua to arrive.  We seem to be first on the scene.   Whilst we are waiting we notice people hiring picnic baskets and going and sitting on the lawn to be served as if they are high class society people with butlers.

Miranda arrives with her brother Roly – and we take a table ready to have a last minute discussion before we head off to the Museum to present.  Scott and Solua are not far behind and discussions begin.

I ask my son to photo document, and he takes to his task with relish.  I realise how much he has been watching me take photographs.  He is not at all scared to take on this role.

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Break from the Wave – June Perkins

To read the account of the Aftermath Presentation at the Museum click here.  I’ve posted it at ABC Open.  But our Brisbane Adventure doesn’t end there …

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