I think Eglantine is a little girl. The house is quiet. The baby is sleeping. Eglantine's mother is outside somewhere, pegging clothes on the line or weeding the vegetable garden. They have a big sprawling backyard, a hills hoist, some chooks. It's afternoon, hot outside but inside the house is dark and cool. Eglantine has a home haircut, but it's sweet, short with blonde tufts sticking out. She's creeping through the slumbering house, up the hallway - bare feet on floorboards. Tomorrow is Eglantine's birthday. In the kitchen on the bench is a cake, with hard pink sugary icing. Eglantine is peeking through the kitchen door, she's standing stretched up on tiptoes. She wants a taste, just a bite of pink, crystally sugar...
It's autumn but as always Melbourne is having a last gasp of dry heat. I love this time of year in this city. It reminds me of being 21 (ten years ago, yikes) when I first moved here with 4 friends from Tasmania. We moved into a big double storey terraced house in North Fitzroy, with a Kiwi living in the shed out the back. I was reading Monkey Grip by Helen Garner and all the landmarks were ours - Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy pool with it's painted sign: aqua profunda. She even moved into a house on the same street we were living on.
The late afternoon light in Melbourne in Autumn is golden. It makes my heart sing. It also makes me a tiny bit sad, but I don't know why.