My Relationship With Ducks
Back in the Mile End house there was a milestone along my walk to work each day that I coined "the Mile End Moat". Having moved to the area mid spring it had for more than six months been a long ditch that ran along railway terrace. It served to separate the redeveloped estate with little townhouses and nice cars in the driveway on one side of the street from the trust housing and their toppled over clotheslines and porches littered with empty Coopers stubbies. I'm sure the moat had seemed like a genius idea to the urban planner who devised it sometime in July years before, but until ANZAC Day and its torrential rains the moat remained a subject of mirth each morning.
On my Monday walk after the ANZAC weekend it became apparent to me just how effective the moat was at collecting run off. Around 40mls of rain in two days had filled it in places over four feet deep and although it evaporated at a rate of ten inches a day it became a point of interest each walk to work after any rainy night.
The thing about the moat was that it was much more impressive in some places than others, that is, some shallow parts would dry out in a day whereas other pools would survive a week after a rain albeit with deteriorating water levels. After one particularly heavy rain a couple of months ago the most resilient section of moat filled about five feet high and as I plotted a damp journey past it that morning I noticed two ducks had made it their home. It was cute at the time, and when I passed by on my way home I noticed that despite lowering water the ducks were still there.
It was poignant at the time as I was beginning to stress about finding a place for Vanessa and I to move into before my lease ended in the End. So early Tuesday morning when the winter sun was barely out and I walked past two ducks sleeping next to each other in what was becoming a large puddle I was filled with some hope that if ducks could find a home so easily maybe so could I. A few weeks later I ended up in North Adelaide.
One of the best things about my new house is that it's a few metres from the parklands and the ovals are bordered by a 2.2 kilometre jogging track with markers every 200 metres. I've used it a few times and around the one kilometre mark one dark night there was a pair of ducks. Now I'm not saying they're the same ducks, maybe they are and maybe they're not, but as I did each laps they stayed there. The next morning I walked past that point and there they remained, smiling at me and rubbing their beaks in the mud.
This made me realise that ducks are appearing a lot in my life: on my way to work; when I exercise; I even wash myself with one in the shower. All these thoughts ran through my mind last night as I sat down for Thai with Vanessa at Café Michael 2 and read the menu. I ordered the duck.