Start of Autumn: Cold cicada chirps

February 18th, 2012
by Jo Law

In the last part of this pentad, we travelled to Canberra for the installation and opening of Louise Curham’s and my collaborative exhibition at the Belconnent Art Centre. These recent mid-February days were hot and warm with the daily maximums hitting around the mid to high 20s. In the late afternoons and early evenings, thunderstoms slowly rolled in. Spectacular lightning bolts were followed by tremendous roars of thunder. Great rains poured and washed away the day’s heat. The apparent air temperature was brought down to the daily minimums of around the mid-teens.

We travelled to Canberra by car and spent a total of 4 days and 3 nights away from home. The length of stay, the method of travel, and the weather meant that the task of packing should have been a relatively easy affair…

Packing for a trip means being prepared for almost any eventualities. For an individual, this is no a small task; travelling with a toddler makes the holy grail of ‘travel light’ glimmer like a mirage. Does he need a warm sleeping bag with a pair of light pyjamas or a light sleeping bag with a pair of warm pyjamas? Will he get cold in the night? Will he get too hot during his nap? Is it pushing it too far for him to wear the same pyjamas for 3 nights? Questions like these hang in the air unanswered. Doing the best with limited knowledge, a configuration of clothing and items find themselves into a small-ish case, then more and more necessary things and ‘just-in-case’ things are added to the bulk, or just simply forgotten. Amongst the forgotten items that would have been useful are:

  • Redmond’s shoes, to be worn at the exhibition opening (and socks that go with the forgotten shoes);
  • Hollis’s light sleeping bag (instead of the warm one);
  • a spare pair of pyjamas for Hollis (to be worn after the first ones were dotted with porridge on the second day);
  • a thermometer and children’s panadol (for the not unlikely eventuality that Hollis would get sick, which unfortunately he did.)

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