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After a morning at the gas tanks, and a farewell coffee with my brother and sister-in-law, I walk along the waterfront where the Esplanade becomes the Promenade. I pass the swimming area with the woven fish and it's full of splash-shouting. It's not a shady walk, but it's a grey day and low tide and I love grey day photography. A tree festooned in pink flowers and large brown balls attracts my attention. At first I think its one of the pieces of public art I'm in search of, but it's a real tree, a cannon ball tree in fact, with the most exquisite flowers. As if cannon balls aren't enough, I encounter a crocodile warning, not the first, although I haven't seen the slightest hint of a crocodile.

And then I turn my attention to the pewter sea with a touch of muddy gold, luminous where it reflects the Turner clouds. A diaphanous rectangle marks the spot where rain falls. My grey walk is punctuated by startling flashes of colour: the information panels on mangrove mud and coral reefs, a huge shell, a bright orange representation of wind blown leaves, and (more in keeping with grey) silver cutouts of action figures.

As I turn back it begins to rain. No umbrella of course, but a good drenching doesn't matter. The air is warm and I'm dry by the time I catch the bus back into town.


















Windblown leaves: Roland Nancarrow