Day 3. Tuesday 7 August.
Apparently the stressful journey from Canberra to Darwin deserves a rest day – but all part of the package.
An omission from yesterday. On our Uber trip from Phil’s Pad to the airport, the driver was distracted and was within centimeters (T has developed a sense of measurement from familiarity with fabrics) of rear-ending a car in front at some speed. It was T’s ‘Oooow’ that alerted him to brake heavily and avoid the collision. Just noting that this Suzuki had very good brakes indeed.
Today was an opportunity to partly explore Darwin on foot, limited of course by our feet and the heat. But high on T’s agenda was a visit to a fabric shop. It was not possible to get across on the ferry to the Tiwi Islands on a Tuesday, so a shop on the Esplanade would have to do. But first, there was a letter needing the Post Office and on the way there, T noticed a shop sign for Cloth. D said he’d fill in time in the camping store, T crossed over to the Air Raid Arcade and found Anna Reynolds, textile artist. T was having a deja vu moment….she had previously met Anna in a shop in Hesse St, Queenscliff (about 18 months ago). It had been a Sunday morning, T had been peering through the closed shop window, Anna arrived to do something in the shop and invited T in. At that time, Anna said how she was closing down and going north. Well, here she was in Darwin, things were going really well and, with cutting shears in hand, today Anna talked non-stop about her sometimes rocky and colourful journey from artist, through deck-hand on a fishing trawler, to artist working with indigenous communities, to Batchelor College, to New York….. and she’s running late with that Masters thesis…showed T the abstract (very dense academic- speak) and there’s a dress to be finished for NT’s Indigenous Art Festival starting later this week. Exhausting! We’ll be on the Kimberley Coast by then, so will miss NT’s biggest annual event!
That was followed by coffee at the Bush Traders on the Esplanade, a terrific indigenous business that provides an outlet for high quality clothing, art work, fabric and accessories in conjunction with the cafe. Luckily, a purple frock had been snapped up by a customer just ahead of D&T – T reckons it would have been a better fit on her, but the colour wasn’t right anyway. Nice coffee, though.
A few observations of the CBD…smoking is popular and there are plenty of empty commercial premises. Perhaps the hoped-for economic boom has not happened or has been and gone? The CBD was quiet – the only incident was an apparently very drunk man being placed (actually rolled) into a Police paddy wagon.
Then a rather long walk to the Botanic Gardens, through the lovely grove above, and a short stroll around the rainforest walk.
And on our way out, we looked up to see an origami peace crane that we’d walked under and missed on our way in. It was a sort of a blessing. Our thoughts and prayers have been with and for dear friends and relatives who are grieving at this time.
Then back to the Zen, via Woolies (!!!) to buy the makings for dinner -T said we’d have prawns and pawpaw but the prawns were all from Thailand. The fresh selection was barramundi, that will be pan fried and placed on top of a Thai salad with lime juice and chilli and washed down with a crisp Rose. And there’ll be potato sides (of course).