30 December 2010

Time Travel

I not infrequently displace my characters in time.  Not, as a rule, sending them back, but bringing someone forward, so that they have to deal with a home that has become not-home, recognisable and yet wrong.

Going to Townsville for Christmas took me into vaguely similar territory - it has become not-home, recognisable but strange.  Whole new suburbs have appeared, the mall is being restructured, and the saplings in the middle of the big roundabouts are now large trees - but recognisably Townsville with the cascara flowering, and tamarinds littering the ground.  Familiar stores have different names, but the bones of home are still there. 

The worst change was speed bumps on "Sonja's Hill" (known by non-Hosths as "The Cutting", I believe).  This was a terrific street for driving really fast up and making yourself seem to fly when you crested the top.  Speed bumps take all the fun away.

The Townsville of my childhood was rarely anything but brown-gold - El Nino held sway and the hills were dry.  It was more than disconcerting to see everything so green, and that's not even counting the floods.

The 1000% humidity was also an excellent reminder of why I don't live there any more.

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