Something happened at the new escalator…


'blind woman with a strange man'

How many of us know how to react to help a blind person – who may be training the sighted human race – one by one – in how to get along,  for just 3 minutes at a time ?

Central Station in Sydney is the large railway terminus for country trains to the city.  It’s grand design dates back to the last century and its connective power is great with 24 platforms linking country and city trains and people. Over the past year at least, so the flower seller tells, the Devonshire St. Tunnel entrance from the east side has been renewed, and of course today was the first day that the new escalator linking the street down to the tunnel had started operating.  I had seen the inspectors inspecting early that morning, and this afternoon, was the first chance most people had to try it all out for size.

A man’s voice  spoke in my left ear, standing at the crossing this afternoon.

“Can you take her to Central please ?”

I looked over – hating to comprehend [what, which her is he talking about?] – since Central was just across the road.

I saw her white stick – his epaulette – the blind girl standing there – the taxi driver at her side.

He repeated his request, waiting for my slow comprehension to get sorted out..

I took her proffered arm, she looked around – like with beautiful blue misdirected eyes – still with expression – only one way.  Perhaps trying to reassure me – that there would not be a problem.

“Take my arm then !?”  she suggested, as buses were flying past, and the green man came on the crossing light.

We walked – she talked about not having come from this direction before – with the cane touching the pavement all over – and standing listening carefully all the time – I told her – ‘it’s all new, all of it’ == wondering what else == ‘whats your name ??’ .. she told me .. I was struggling to know how fast, how slow or what was the right way to walk, talk with a blind person.

“Well there are new stairs just here, and a new escalator over there to the right ? Do you want the stairs or the escalator ?”

“Lets go for the escalator” she said.   I must have been so stupid to ask about the stairs, but my sense of choice is stronger than my understanding of what a blind person might practically want to do, and up until today there was no escalator anyway.

We made it to the brand new escalator – down – round to the ticket gates – at one point I simply walked off – then with embarrassment realized she was standing still – confused – ‘Why had I left her standing there on the concourse ?”

I rushed back – stupid guy – then guided her over to the gates –

“No the wide gate! ” she said..

I felt so strange – no blind human had ever needed this much attention before – from me – who had not been trained of course.

We finally rounded the corner, and into the entry tunnel. I said to her – “have a happy Christmas”, after she said she would be fine from here – in the safety of the railway concourse and down toward the platform.  I left her, edging her way over to the tunnel wall, and avoiding people with the cane.  It seemed a shame in some respects, that we could not try the whole experience again, and I’m sure I could have done much better a second time.  But life is often that way.  You just get one try, not a second try, so

make sure to switch brain in gear

next time you hear a voice in your ear

your new experience about to begin

just once

take care

jump in


We finally have an evergreen Christmas tree…

Ok here is how it works for those interested…

Find a 22 ft Bay tree – yes the same kind of tree that you get bay leaves from.

Find a rope

  • Tie rope to tree and gradually pull it over till you have the top close enough to cut off.
  • Tie another rope just about 7ft from the top and tighten to a fence of something down at ground level.

Get a bush saw

  • Tie an old broken rake to the bush saw
  • with metal wire
  • wrap some gorilla tape around the saw handle holding the old rake handle tightly

now you have a saw that can reach up easy

  • Take care to loosen the first rope that is pulling the top of the tree over – this avoids tension on the saw.
  • Cut the top of the tree off just above the 2nd rope [about 6.5ft down from the top of the tree]

Now you have a tree top a bay tree top.

Carefully loosen ropes, put away saw, and say thanks to the bay tree —

Now for the bit that’s interesting – how to keep it green…

  • Get a 3.5 litre plastic container
  • put a towel in it
  • put bits of brick and stuff in it to pack the tree trunk into.
  • Then put the container [with the towel tree and bricks in] into another larger clay or decorative pot
  • pack stuff around the plastic container inside the decorative pot..
  • Stand up and admire the tree..

Fill up the inner plastic pot with water each day.. the bay tree top will continue to be green for well over a week with no noticable degradation in the leaves and no leaves falling off  – and smell fragrant as well.

On the whole – not a bad experiment in pushing the bay tree Christmas envelope.

Decorate easily

I had a long cane when I was there…

i went down into the valley

where i became trapped with a long white cane with a ball at the end

where my entrapment wore prison clothes

all dark and green like the forest dank and damp with arrows black

the fear i could feel

prisoned by people

safe from life

close to death

fear  and more

yet there in the woods

the manger stood

along with the animals

and angels with keys

and I was

with padlocks and chains and darkness of thought

the angel spoke quietly, and said do not fear,

I ran from it all and into the light with bells and sound so bright

and cymbals crashing with joy

at the birth of the boy

realising it was me

that now could see


A Kookaburra’s Corona

A Cold Corona Cervesa,

feels static in the misty heat

of insulating telegraph beats

wherupon a Kookaburra sits enthroned

shaking with laughter at the sky


In the darkening of the summer evening we walked

And came across a Christmas party for the neighbourhood

Not in a house, nor car, nor driveway

but out on the sidewalk with tables and chairs

The men and women all introduced themselves again this year

So we meet once a year under the tree and laughing and talking one by one,

And above in flight a muttering Kookaburra who  looks at the Corona below,

then lands and takes up the laughing position.

[He cannot laugh in flight]

.. he needs to be settled and adopt the kingly pose..


But the man and the woman out on the road

who cares what posture he takes.  

With a corona in hand

He laughs with his mate