It’s shaping up to be a proper summer here in Grafton. The kind we had when I was growing up. The kind I haven’t experienced in years. Slow motion days in a dry, sunny haze. Smoke from a distant bushfire filling lungs and hanging heavy on the horizon. Still, quiet streets. Empty yards and deserted playgrounds. Long stretches of nothing. Hours spent alone on our property; locked inside my head. It always left me with a sense of foreboding and an aching emptiness. And so I filled the spaces with friends and music and swimming training and drama classes and youth group and my part time job. As long as I kept doing things, kept moving and making noise, didn’t think too hard about the acres and acres of land beyond the back fence and didn’t stare too long into the flames as I sat around a Friday night fire with my brothers, then I could keep the feeling at bay. But it was always there, especially in the summertime, ready to tie me up with terror and a deep, confusing sadness.
Not last summer but the one before, Greenhouse by Joost set up shop down by The Rocks. Remember it? A pop up restaurant housed in converted shipping containers; produce growing up the walls and on the roof, recyclable everything, gin and juice in jars and a line around the block. Bring it back for summer 2012, I say. Who’s with me?