It’s a fantastic day in Melbourne today. The one blessing of having to be a work at this ungodly hour is the floor to ceiling glass windows that allow me to take in the beauty of St Kilda Rd. It’s the dead of winter, as you know and while the past few days have given the illusion that spring is upon us, the beautiful lady (and I say beautiful, not because she is good-looking but because she delivered the most fabulous news) on the 7 o’clock news last night informed me that there is a severe weather warning for Melbourne over the next few days of gail force winds, thunderstorms and hail. I believe I even heard her say that, ‘you could be forgiven for thinking it was almost spring over the past few days but brace yourselves, mother nature is about to reinforce that it is still very much the middle of winter’. Ahhh….. my favourite time of year.
And this is why.
At the beginning of winter, the beautiful tree’s that line almost all the streets of Melbourne begin to lose their leaves. The slowly burn brown and then drift down to litter the sidewalks and the bluestone gutters. They’re everywhere and they are usually at least a foot deep. It’s beautiful. When you walk along you hear the gorgeous sound of crunching under your feet. You kick upwards and send a pile flying high into the air to see it spread out over the street. You get smacked in the face as they fall from the limbs. It’s glorious. And then we are left with the skeleton of the Elm, still dotted with a smattering of dead leaves that will last through until the new buds of spring. They form a ghostly figure against the ever grey sky. And best of all, they turn green with the rain. An almost fluorescent green. This is one of my favourite things about Melbourne.
But I also love the openness, the wide streets and the flat landscape. I love the dirty brown river that flows past (although some will argue through) the city. I love the trams and the trains. I love the network of power lines that form a ceiling over the city. I love the fact that I live 10 minutes out and it feels like suburbia. Good suburbia though. I love the feeling of Melbourne. The relaxed, creative aura of it; and I love it at night. I love the bars and the pubs and the restaurants, and the cafe’s the next morning.
And now it’s dull and grey and raining and it feels homely. Lately it feels like it’s saying to me, why, why are you leaving me? I’m magnificent.