May 29, 2005 | Ronda Jambe

Under the Moruya Moon (2)

As Canberra gets colder, the coast beckons. Just over 2 hours away, you can count on temperatures 4-5 C warmer. And the possibility of rain is a lure on its own. Repeatedly I am taken aback in Canberra by middle aged women who tell me of their distress at the lack of rain. A doctor’s receptionist, a woman on the bike path with a dog, another outside the shops. They need to share their concern, but I have no comfort to offer them. It is depressing, and it looks like we are in for a dry winter. It’s a relief to flee to the slightly greener coast.
With no fixed phone line to the Moruya house, we often find ourselves in the public library, which is generously supplied with Internet PCs and printers. There a flyer announced the local cinema is closing. I had taken the cinema as a sign of progress and pleasure (don’t they always go together?) But maybe my market isn’t everyone’s playground. On looks alone, the Moruya Cinema is a winner, as you can see.
cinema copy.jpg
It’s just as cute inside, and the guy who sells the tickets also sells the popcorn and runs the projector. Once we came in late, and the four of us were the only customers. We spread out over the whole small space, laughing and calling out during the schmalzy parts. It reminded me of a similarly small but fully populated cinema upstairs on 42nd St in NY. There we found ourselves the only white people, and watched the double scenes unfold – one on screen and the other in the isles, where a dude in orange suit strutted about, people sometimes turned down their music and everyone cheered the bad guys (poor Pacino was an unloved cop in that one).
Moruya’s cinema is much quieter, and you emerge from the fantasy world within to overlook the glistening river and ducks, not the live setting for more crime and drama, as in New York. I thought the local film club, with special events, would suffice to keep it going, along with the locals who would be spared the trip to Bateman’s Bay. But alas, my idea of synergy and the coastal surge is clearly misguided. Moruya is to lose its cinema, surely an impoverishment. Letters appealing to the Council to assist are unlikely to win the day.
But the local Eurobodalla Shire Council does have some vision. They are gradually building a cycle path back from the south heads. A community committee is fund raising, and people can sponsor a paver for a section. If it ever gets the whole 6 k to town, it will be cause for celebration, and I will be able to bike in for groceries. Country roads are generally far too hazardous for cycling, at least for my timid type. Here’s a section of it now underway just past the bottom of our street:
bike path.jpg
The moon was full last weekend, but I need to learn a few tricks with my camera before capturing it over the gum trees. Apparently it has a manual mode, a bit rich I reckon for a digi cam. Can’t it just read my mind? Moruya’s moon is a long way from the Tuscan sun, but just as beautiful and for some, equally exotic. Europeans are often blown away (or intimidated) by the open spaces of Australia. Not to mention the fauna. Maybe our insects are different, too. This dragonfly seems like a sci-fi prop, almost robotic in its silvery metallic and cylindrical body. The patterns on the wings could have been designed for a costume. But maybe that’s getting it backwards, life replicating art.
dragonfly copy.jpg
No trip to the property is complete without the obligatory bitou search and destroy. This plant was introduced to stabilise dunes, but has become an invasive pest right down the east coast of Australia. We spent many weekends tearing it out, some patches as big as a room, before carving off 4 blocks. I am too pure (or pig headed) to consider chemicals, so we did it manually, and continue to scan the remaining 17 acres for signs of it. Even where we have had a bulldozer in to clear the undergrowth, the horrid bitou has returned, like triffids, in renewed numbers. Luckily, it is easy to pull out when small, but lots of fun when you fall backwards on the steep bits. I can spot it at 20 m by its distinctive colour against the drab scrub:
It doesn’t take long to work up a sweat when battling the bitou. Once the sun passes the ridge it cools off quickly in winter. Then it’s nice to return to the house, hang up the hat and settle into a country kitchen for some warm food. The tea tray is always ready for visitors.
kitchen scene.jpg
Then it’s evening and reading time, cosy even without the Canberra cats, the parallel pusses and the furry brothers. My son has just finished Jared Diamond’s latest book Collapse, which has a chapter on Australia. Can’t wait to read it. Lucky us, as we will be hearing him speak at the Australian National University next week. Very opportune, since the penny seems to be finally dropping that current agricultural practices are unsustainable and inappropriate. So I guess that means we’ll be making a rational decision to stop growing rice and cotton?
I close with some research on bloggers from a recent issue of the Economist: although most speak mainly to themselves, bloggers are much more likely to have advanced degrees. As one of those who is hopelessly overeducated, this makes sense. It is often a curse to be well-informed, but even worse to go quietly into the coming chaos.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 12:54 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Have you got a link to the Economist’s research?

    Comment by Graham Young — May 29, 2005 @ 9:23 pm

    It’s an article on the future of journalism.

    Comment by Ronda — May 30, 2005 @ 8:57 am

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