The Umbrella Does Nothing

I spend a lot of time walking across this bridge these days:

Twice a day, four days a week, in fact. It’s on the path between the train station and work, and avoiding it means traversing a somewhat less pleasant bridge that qualifies as the long way around, so its really a no-brainer to take the Kurilpa Bridge even before I made my startling discovery that the bridge had secret, magical, powers of plot development. In seven of the last eight mornings where I’ve walked across the bridge, I’ve reached the other end with a new scene in my head, typically one that will fix a story I’ve been working on for a while, or advance a novel I plan on writing in a way I’m not really expecting. It’s magical and kind of awesome and usually results in my tapping frantic notes into my phone at the far end so I can email them home when I actually have writing time.

On the eighth morning I crossed the bridge it was raining, and I learned a very different lesson: you do not walk across the Kulilpa Bridge while its raining. There’s no cover and the wind encourages the rain to hit the bridge in a rather horizontal fashion, and you’ll spend the enter walk wailing “The umbrella does nothing” in your best McBain impression. And afterwards you’ll spend the day at work in wet socks and wet pants, and your toes will shrivel into raisins.

It’s distracting to try and work while your toes are shrivelling into raisins.

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Every year I forget what January is really like.

Not the sweltering heat of the month when you’re in Brisbane – that I remember all to well, and I thank god that my new dwelling isn’t an asbestos sweat-box with an interior temperature averaging ten degrees higher than usual for the city. No, what I forget is the little things that come up and eat away at one’s time. January is the month of Birthdays in my neck of the woods, full to the brim of people I know and like getting older and wishing to celebrate the fact, and it’s rivalled only by October in my yearly calendar as the month where finding time is a struggle.

Except January is worse because I always think it’ll be an opportunity to *catch up* after the chaos of the Holidays, except it never is. February is the catch-up month, January is perpetually full.

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