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Different Planets

Page 4

Alison Knight

Life in Corbyn was very different. Clean air, fragrant with the scent of eucalypt; birdsong instead of the constant hum of traffic; a vast bush block rather than a tiny manicured suburban yard. And most of all, I had Bridie. We rarely ventured into the township. It was just the two of us, cocooned in our own little nest.

Bridie led a disciplined, almost monastic, life. She spurned personal comforts, had few possessions, and expressed astonishment at the number of boxes I’d had sent up from Melbourne. She rose at dawn to complete a vigorous workout before attending to her freelance work as a mechanical engineer. She’d then spend hours in her greenhouses, researching the effects of different environments on the growth and quality of her hydroponic crops. Meanwhile, I continued with my copy-editing—when the unreliable internet allowed. I had plenty of time for reading and daydreaming.

In Corbyn I grew to appreciate the simple pleasures: just Bridie and me sitting on the deck as dark fell around us, gazing into the firmament. She taught me how to read the night sky, sketched out the constellations, told me the names of the stars, showed me the planets.

One night at sunset, she pointed to a dull red dot. ‘There’s Mars.’

‘Amazing to think of that little Rover sending us pictures from so far away,’ I laughed. ‘Do you think people will ever go to Mars?’

Bridie smiled. ‘Someday.’

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