So a writer in search of a theme: and I have found two possibilities on this morning walk with grandson in buggy.After a writing drought the last few weeks,post Spanish walking .
I have forgotten the effect of small babies in pushers. In fact I have forgotten a lot about small babies. I do recall vividly though how their presence inhibits writing,or any activity requiring abstract thinking. I know what I’m saying will sound irrational, maybe crazy and probably harsh. But for me as a mother it seemed that as soon as I even put pen to paper ( long ago ) or opened anything other than a trashy novel, an angelic, sweetly sleeping or playing baby sprung into action needing to be held/fed/changed.I was left with bits of mangled, half chewed food, dirty nappies, small spoons and bowls containing revolting looking, smelly potions…. And an abandoned page, ideas gone. The baby closed it’s eyes and fell asleep again.
First stop for baby conversation in front of an old house in the street and chat with the new owner about his plans for making it habitable. It’s a house I have visited once upon a time.Those renters I shared wine and laughs with are long gone. I have sometimes glanced at the house as I walk past and pondered a different kind of life lived within those higgledy piggledy walls.
Second stop at a neighbours in the same street. She has lived there since 1955 and has several stories about her own home, and the one I have just passed. I store the idea of recording her stories ( I manage to put a cryptic sentence into my phone notes before Díaz starts squirming and I have to move on).
But more of that later. This would be a long term project , and certainly not compatible with baby walks.
The second idea comes to me. I can photograph and make brief notes as I push the buggy. Criteria for selection are first that the place or scene appeals to my aesthetic sense and curiosity and secondly that it has not been widely shown. I can Blog again. So here’s the first Díaz and Nan walking blog
We start to the left of the path along the edge of the football oval with the Swan River on my right. I have always liked the shape of this unused small building set on tarmac.The oval was also the training ground for the fire brigade and this building belongs to those days . There is still a well attended Country Fire Association display at Easter.
Now the Gilbert Fraser oval is used by the children from North Fremantle Primary over the road, numerous walkers with assorted dogs and of course it’s the home of the Magpies.
We continue our walk as Díaz has nodded off again. Through a gap in the hedge and we reach a spot favoured by locals for picnics, occasional weddings and performances. There is a house to die for , opening towards this green lawn which stretches to a sandy beach and a clear river . The small jetty is empty of people or dogs today. No ducks swimming around, so maybe the dogs have no reason to jump in .
No this isn’t the house , just the rondavel in the garden. Pretty.
We continue along the narrow broadwalk in the front of Pier 21. I recall the walk of forty odd years ago when the irate North Freo community walked along this way to keep a public footpath and preserve some river frontage. So now I can sit on the bench with my grandson and look at the beach at the end of the walkway, behind the water police( which we also protested about ).
Sitting still, Díaz wakes up and joins me on the bench. He likes bits of the vegan bagel I have brought along.
It’s time to head back home. Just the finale :Harvey Beach, home of generations of North Fremantle swimmers and those seeking coolness on our hot summer days. An after school swimming spot with first dives off this jetty ; an evening catch up spot for families as kids jump in, wrestle and often spot the pod of dolphins whose home this is too. The sun has gone behind cloud and the usual deep blues and sparkles are muted this late morning .
The home buggy run now.