Hot, sultry days. Nights that can never quite cool down. This is when I love nightwalking.

At 10.30 the concrete driveways and bitumen streets are still trying to radiate heat into an atmosphere that has no capacity for it and so the air lies thick and cloying like a Victorian miasma. A car sweeps past me and creates a cool, diesel-scented draft against my bare chest.

nightwalking has always triggered in me a kind of mournful sense of time passing. It’s a feeling akin to nostalgia but without nostalgia’s element of glory days long since past, or some place that can never be revisited or some lost love that can never be retrieved.

I don’t have a route for my nightwalking. I find myself beneath the looming giants of the water towers or by the bore baths or outside Duncan’s. It doesn’t matter, it’s the movement in the darkness that counts.

Swampies toil away on roofs.

A beat up wagon with red P plates toots at me.

The sound of a couple arguing languidly in their kitchen.

A dog hurls itself against a chainlink fence.

Curtains flicker blue in the light of a gigantic TV screen.

Teenage lovers snog, oblivious, beneath the fluorescent light of a carport.

There’ll come a time, soon, when it’ll be so cold that I won’t want to leave the house even to go to the bore baths. But that’s a lifetime away right now.

Tra la la la lah, la la la lah

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, Baby Jesus was born in a manger. Baby Jesus grew up to become Man Jesus. Man Jesus started a carpentry apprenticeship but, embracing the Roman administration’s mantra that “Change is the only constant” and “You will have more than one career in your lifetime” and even “The job you have when you’re 30 has not yet been invented”, Man Jesus downed tools to develop a well respected career in public speaking. Things went wrong though, due to fake news and reasons that are too complex and boring to talk about here, and we remember these events by making fir trees out of cans of XXXX Gold.

I spotted this wonderful testament to our constantly evolving relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit in a shop window in Gulargambone. The Gul deserves its own full post, but in the meantime I must remain focused and remember to talk about Christmas lights. The Ridge has them!

Actually, no, the Ridge has bazillions of them!

I’m ¬†usually a bit of a snob when it comes to Christmas lights but, like Man Jesus, I too have changed and adapted to my new world. I really like them in the Ridge! Fantasia Street, fittingly, has the best. I had thought that Black Prince Drive might have a good display as this is where, in my limited understanding of the Ridge’s class system, posh people live. But BPD was disappointing. No, I’ll go further. It was rubbish. They didn’t even have an inflatable Santa.

Nettleton Drive had a crack. These folk even arranged for the paddy wagon to park out front to add a bit of red and blue to the sparkling array. That’s initiative. Are you listening, Black Prince Drive?

It’s very hard to take decent pictures of Christmas lights with an iPhone, but please believe me when I say that this was the best one.

It made me warm inside.

As did this uniquely Ridge-esque interpretation of a Yule Tree: a Christmas cactus!

I love you, people who did this!
(But I would not like to be the person who has to get the tinsel off.)

Happy Christmas, Ridge-ites! Have a wonderful break and a spectacular 2018.