Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A sunny Anzac Day
There was a crowd of about 40 vacant-faced people outside the mall waiting for the cinema to open at 1pm - a forlorn situation. At the Lagoon, my new favourite hangout where it's possible to lose an entire day, I encountered an astonishingly pale couple from South Wales who'd just emigrated to Cairns a week ago. Their little daughter, who was about 5 years old, leapt into the water and began stomping on the bubbling fountains with expressions of delight, before crawling around pretending to be a crocodile. Her mum half-tried to restrain her "Lyddie! How are we going to get you dry? We didn't bring a change of clothes!" but seemed remarkably relaxed about the situation. We chatted about their decision to make a new life here, and it occurred to me that within a few years, little Lyddie who found the lagoon such a novelty would be a proper swimming and surfing Aussie water-baby - maybe even a surf lifesaver herself. I lent them my travel towel and wished them well, with a sudden rush of emotion at all the possibilities open before them. I feel a huge sense of excitement and opportunity when I arrive in a new place and see it with fresh eyes, and I think I picked up some of that from this couple and their joyful daughter.
Although I'm exploring more exotic locations, when I read articles like this I'm reminded how much of Europe I'd still like to explore. Here, Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi, explains his decision to send the Canadian Prime Minister a book every fortnight. What a great idea! I always got the impression that arts funding was pretty important to Canadian life - to know that in a small way Martel is keeping the campaign going is pretty inspiring.