This morning I did two hours of walking at best speed. Had to stop a few times to ease the thigh-burn. The rain let up as I began but the wind blew so hard off the ocean that at one point the steady breeze across the mouth of the water bottle I was drinking from produced a perfect “A”. Fairy Bower is an upscale community that hugs the top of a steep cliff that juts eastward out to sea, directly south of Manly Beach.
Today – and almost any day – is “fly day” in Manly. Spring or Summer brings swarms of flies that would carry off small dogs were they not well tethered. They drive pedestrians to mad semaphoric wavings. The phrase “bloody flies” is the local equivalent of the American reference to inappropriate maternal affection.
After the cold wind that drove out the audience for yesterday’s last set, this morning’s calm warmth is welcome. But spring in Australia is as full of shiny promises in the morning that become afternoon disappointments. It’s not quite 6am. The same sun that is setting for the west coast of South America is now offering itself to the eastern edge of Oz as sunrise. The plaza before the main stage is empty and expectant. The street that parallels the beach is deserted. The guest house I’m now living in it just around the corner in that photo. There’s more
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This afternoon, the John Harkins Trio were the backup for Delilah, an American singer. A huge crowd stayed seated and standees filled all the space in the plaza during the entire show despite the bitterly cold wind that came in off the ocean.
The 29th Manly Jazz festival opened today. Despite a great deal of anxiety about the incomplete condition of the Corso reconstruction, everyone seemed satisfied. My son, John Harkins, was the afternoon’s attraction on the Main Stage overlooking Manly’s mile and one-half long beach. I’ve never heard John play with such fire. His runs were awesome and his improvisations full of joy and excitement. I’m sure the crowd’s response added to his enthusiasm. (Click on the “read more” links for photos)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; W. B. Yeats, poem As usual, I’m clueless about what, if anything can be done to salvage the relationship with “E.” She’s totally withdrawn. I’m in the spare bedroom (says she can’t sleep with me in the same bed). Won’t talk (“nothing to talk about”). Goes off on her own for hours (“I need to be alone.”).
My first day back visiting beloved Australia started just after dawn in Manly with a brisk walk north along the beach, from the Gazebo near the Corso, about a mile to Queenscliff and back. If the Gazebo looks familiar to Americans, it was the centerpiece in a television commercial for Old Navy clothes, shown frequently across the US in August Prime Time. Teenage dancers were romping around the Gazebo, showing off the Old Navy fashions.