A family goes to a popular community market in Cairns. We explore a particular event through their eyes and see their relationships.
I watch dusk descending
before a mountainous silhouette
casting shadow upon shadows-
a reprieve from summer sweat.
A city flickers on.
In tune – a deft chorus.
Homes light up. Car lights on.
Street lights up. Guide lights on.
the rust-stained sky,
glimmer into the evening
under a sea full of stars.
Or more like cane fields alit
Emanating too much heat.
Twinkling ambers into the dark-
nest-ling the now auburn sky.
But this is the wrong time of the year
in the city in the Far North.
Am feeling soo hot
Like I need water.
I am Aquarius in January
Though unable to bear
85 per cent
Another southbound traveler’s passing nod.
As if warned:
“Avoid the summers in the north”.
These are memories of a city in the Far North.
And I am fanning
temp’l and brow.
Awaiting an evening concert.
No sudden moves.
a broken met’ronome
The rhythm to a
cacophonous evening choir in the bushes.
Flying fox screaches
to-ambient mosquito hums
interject cicada cries
to cane toad drums.
A slither in the grass
sounds a curlew panic.
A flutter in the branches
Takes off into the darkness.
The soundtrack of
summer nights flickering
from my verandah.
And it is still hot.
This is the city in the Far North.
Waiting for the winds to change,
for long summers to end.
For days below 25 degrees.
For palms to bristle
in the breeze.
To cool the space
between temp’l and brow.
To give me reason to rise
from the sway of my hammock.
But for right now,
It is early evening.
It is the mid of summer
It is the city in the Far North.
-by Hans Lee
In a recent piece, I spelled out that I had grown accustomed to owning a vehicle in Cairns. Not a lot has changed. I still need a car, maybe more so now since I sold my car and live a fair way out of the CBD.
It was with a tad bit of bitterness then when I chanced upon a piece in the The Conversation written by Professor Barbara T. H. Yen reporting on her research with a team of scholars from Griffith University.
I sold my car several weeks before I headed to PNG for a gig, substituting my own apathy toward public transport for the kindness of friends, only to realise how much I needed my own legs.
Part 2/2 – How I made the patchwork princess too?
The patchwork princess from primary school days grew up without anyone telling her the right words to use. She could never really stop the boys from embarrassing her.
The primary school boys never learnt that ‘no’ meant ‘no’. That boy does not deserve girls affection after grand gesture. That there was a fine line between romance and harassment.
Primary school gossip was scandalous to say the least. Paper notes passed up and down grades, between friends – cautious of peering eyes. These were days before the DMs – I am talking about days before mobile phones and snapchat.
I’m breaking a sweat from J-walking across Grafton Street.
For the first time in a few mild months, I am reminded that this is the tropics.
The feel of humidity rising in the morning leaves a lot to be desired as I get caught in the mid-Friday-morning sun darting into Rusty’s for the ritual coffee and samosa.
Friendly nods between the frenzied buzz give way to warm murmurs interjected by the whizz-shhhhh of the coffee machine at Billy’s.
Flippy-floppy thongs slap hard against concrete followed closely by the clip and clop of a heal and a shoe.
Someone mentions in passing that it looks like ‘it’s going to be a hot one’.
But I can’t tell if they were talking about the coffee or sun.
I notice the first signs of redness beginning to show on our melanin-deficient brothers and sisters who have ventured a bit too long without sunscreen.
The morning streets will soon be a buzz with tropical professionals zipping into air-conditioned hideaways of the next cafe to avoid unsightly sweat patches.
But the weather this time of the year is temperamental.
The rains do poke through humid blue skies on the odd occasion, cooling streets and shrinking sidewalks.
It lingers long enough to make us yearn for more sheltered walkways. But it stays away long enough for us to forget we need them.
The indecisive weather is part of the lifestyle. A short walk from the Esplanade to Cairns Central would attract an unwarranted public baptism by either precipitation or perspiration.
I call on a thought to distract myself from the rising hunger as I wait in the samosa line.
How is it that our city stops short of catering to our tropical lifestyle?
Why does my daily commute to work have to involve navigating patches of sweat?
We praise the outdoor tropical lifestyle, yet accept, and think it normal to spend the better part of the week inside air-conditioned cubicles glaring through double-glazed tinted panes.
This is the disjuncture of our existence that evades the public forum, but one that concerns us all.
This may be about to change.
I bite into my tamarind sauce topped samosa to settle the hangry morning monster in my belly.
Taking advantage of JCU’s agenda on pursuing research with a tropical focus, the JCU TUD Lab will pursue important questions concerning the livability of tropical urban environments. A feat warranted by a State of the Tropics report that claims close to 50% of the worlds people will live in the tropics by the middle of this century.
After having the Cairns Regional Council’s Tropical Urbanism vision applauded at the state level, this TUD Lab would mark an important milestone for thinking about tropical planning and urban design in Cairns, if not the world.
Maybe there will be some respite from the heat soon.
- RamblingsOfAGlobalCitizen (blog)
The winds of change
bristling in the breeze,
leave all trace
of yesterdays behind them.
When cyclone winds
arrive in tandem.
– Hans Lee-
There is a lot to say about change in our part of the world, it happens when we least expect it but faster then we would have otherwise anticipated. It’s the curse of the orchestrated laissez faire lifestyle we enjoy in the Far North Queensland.
Though little doubt can now be cast upon our little city in the north that the winds of change are blowing again. Some may even argue at gale force.
There is just that much happening around Cairns that anyone who wishes for the past would be sourly disappointed that Cairns is growing up fast. Images of the once thriving fishing port are a distant memory as we continuously (re)define ourselves as an eco-tourism friendly region – or perhaps something more.
Flurry of Optimism
For all my artistically inclined friends in Cairns. The Cairns Regional Council are about to launch their Major Murals Project and are opening up an info session on Tuesday 27th June 2017 at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre.
RSVP to Simon Suckling.
Paint it up!
– Hans Lee
is the most
– by Hans Lee
Being the first officer of a plane experiencing dual engine failure is always going to be daunting and nerving experience. It must be worse when you know that you are still a subordinate to the captains orders. Knowing that the initial impact will determine whether you survive or not makes critical every effort to ease the severity of the impact.
I pose that scenario to begin my reflection on the science of an undoing of a company. I have often prayed to be exposed to failure at a grand scale and I think I am about to see it go down like the twin towers. After all, the best lessons are the ones learned through experience. I hope that the insight gained through this experience will give me exceptional foresight in the management of my future company.
So where do I begin?
Firstly, always remember that a garden must bear fruits before you can start eating from it, but if you want more from it, you must be wiling to take some of that product to the market to sell it for money. That money can either be reinvested into growing the garden or exploring other money growth opportunities. The K50 earned from the market sales should be reinvested for the future, sacrificing today’s rewards.
The basic principle is that, before something can look after you, you must look after it.
Asset rich – Cash poor brings creditors knocking at the door.
Whether you are working for yourself or working for someone else, remember that operations get harder when there is limited cash moving through the veins of the company. A company can feel and look like it is rich i.e. have a lot of property, plant and equipment, but if they aren’t making money, or the company doesn’t have cash reserves, they are in a very risky position. Imagine what would happen if you only had K5,000.00 in the operating account and the credit accounts due (your debtors) were chasing after K10,000.00 payment immediately.
Lack of vision is lack of direction
It is easy to follow blindly especially when the leader thinks what they are doing is for the best. They risk everything including killing the company to carry out a flawed plan.
Be mindful of someone you are following who has not thought out and explained a plan properly. When they cannot see where they are going, they will always get lost. When you join organisations, ask them what their plans are for the short, medium and long term, even if you do not know whether you will be there for the long haul or not, it is encouraged that you find out where the company is going and whether you could fit the carrying out of that vision.
Never get too comfortable, all can be taken away
One thing I am terrified about is being comfortable, or the though of it. I have always believed, and will always believe, that comfort breeds complacency. For me it is a fate that precedes death. Think of all the people who are forced to retire, if they chose to kick back and relax, it is the beginning of their demise to the box, but for those who remain active, for them are rewards of a life fulfilled.
Comfort can often blind us to the temporary nature of life’s pleasures like friendships and social activities but when you realise that you are not entitled to those things anyway, it makes you work harder. It can all be taken away at the shortcoming in cash flows and court notices.
Know when you are in trouble and let go
Very few people are able to admit when they are wrong or are about to fail. The saying too big to fail doesn’t apply equally across the board. Sometimes we need to stop and reassess if we are too comfortable or whether the people around us are changing or not changing.
Too few too know how to break out of the mould they have built for themselves. Knowing when you are wrong and asking for help from those around you who are smarter then you is the first step in fixing a problem.
That is about from me so far.