12 months in Alma Park ...
Patrick White said parks were the lungs of a city. Alma Park is lungs, lounge room, sunbaking spot, pickup joint, somewhere to stare into space, somewhere to talk to yourself, somewhere to share a bottle of spumante...
And that's just the people. 214 brands of dog also believe they own the park (and for them it's a new park every day).
You want joy? Wait for the moment a city dog is let off the leash and watch it run. “I'm in the park!!!”
When the light is right and there has been rain, Alma Park glows in extravagant greens. Beneath the canopy of trees is like being under water in a kelp forest. There's a clarity; a heightened sense of the three dimensions.
It was probably the Magpies who started it. Now Wattlebirds and Willie Wagtails are also swooping on dog's tails. Sport. Everywhere you look in this town, sport.
She has a business which trades in sensuous items; and two fluffy little white dogs which could be her slippers.
You'll see a fair number of people who aren't doing too well. Some live in a hostel over the fence. You'll also see media moguls and people who consult to captains of industry. Through another fence, the thesps of Red Stitch. The theatre is so small you practically sit on the stage. Their work is wonderful.
A discarded brochure about depression. Has someone chosen park over Prozac?
On this page?

12 months of things picked up.

Each has its own story; but parks don't tell you everything, so you'll have to fill in the gaps.


Let's hope the world's next 12 months is a little saner, a little more peaceful, a little kinder than the year just passed.

If the coming year saw more of the diversity and the tolerance of Alma Park, it would be a very good year.

... and here's hoping you have a bonza

, too.

PS. If you don't know Alma Park, it's on Alma Road, St Kilda, just east of Chapel Street; and runs up to Dandenong Road. And a confession: Rubbish is over-represented on this page. It's only here for effect. Alma Park is usually clean but is not, thankfully, over-neat.