As the wheels clicketty-clack down the iron track, the child in us all is freed. Our legs, no longer rooted to the here-and-now, swing freely in mid-air. Our head, lolling out the window, breathes in the cinders and the gush of passing air. We permit our mind to indulge in whimsy. A shy grin spreads across our face, until our face muscles ache with joy, and we shrug our shoulders in childish embarrassment. We have released our better self to the imagination of the past.
This week is History Week – a chance for me to indulge a passion that is obvious to you, dear reader. The theme for 2010 is ‘Faces in the Street’ (note there is only one ‘e’). This is borrowed from the eponymous Henry Lawson poem which starts
|They lie, the men who tell us for reasons of their own|
That want is here a stranger, and misery’s unknown,
For where the nearest suburb and the city properly meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street –
It is not a light-hearted poem, but is indicative of Lawson’s bitter-sweet life and his socialist leanings. State Records of NSW has produced a reading of the poem on YouTube, read (poorly in my opinion) to the back-drop of images of Sydney’s back-lanes and Alley-ways. The photographs are engrossing.
The steam train day down to the Thirlmere Railway Museum, was courtesy of Historic Houses Trust where our busload of oldies was hosted by some of the most gracious volunteers it has ever been my pleasure to have met! We were dined (and wined) and chatted to. Helped downstairs and over rails, and finally piled into carriages with hordes of young families for a trip down the memory lane of childhood.
A member of the ABC Wednesday community.