Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Discovering the real docklands

I've moved to the Dockands, I now spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week there. It's nothing like the centre of town, getting off the tram and walking across a dank park, it feels rather bleak and depressing, large angular modern glass buildings punctuate the roads and walkways. Perhaps its the time of year, once the sun kicks in it will look better, but in all honesty it reminds me of the grotesque business parks I had the misfortune to work in when I was living in Telford. (Telford = a grim blot on the landscape of Shropshire, the Birmingham over-spill, factories and cheap houses). One saving grace is that some of the docks history and industrial traces remain, plus its by the water, which is nice of course. The restaurants are mostly empty, with ugly plastic refits and inflated prices. With the relentless construction of massive apartment blocks - its as though the ghost town is waiting for the zombies to arrive.

My run took me to the right side of the motorway under the supporting pillar.

Embracing my fate, I ended up on the best run I'd been on since arriving in Australia. With my face to the sun I ran away from the new buildings, the AFL (Ethiad Stadium) and CBD towards the industrial warehouses. I wanted to reach the motorway, the 'Telford' end of the CBD (Incidentally there is a 'Paris' end here, which seems bizarre, why would you want to promote somewhere as being 'like' somewhere else, surely the trick is to make it in its own form - unique?) . I made it right underneath and scaled a post, gazing up I could see the parallel gap of sky between the two roads, I continued believing that my path would be blocked, yet there were openings that allowed me right to the waters edge. I could see the factory workers across the water smoking, looking at me as though I was a strange object. I scaled railings, and balanced on beams, moving slowly round taking in everything around me, the other cylinder shaped pastel buildings opposite the stacked trailer compartments adjacent. Looking down I saw a star fish, it had a arm missing (assuming they have five arms not four) yet its tentacles were still moving. I had to get it back in the water quick, trying to scoop it up with a piece of nearby plastic didn't work, so I used my fingers, it was damp and slimy and now at least back in the water.

I longed for my camera, yet absorbed in the moment, the noises of the motorway, ships, factories and seagulls filled my ears and the wind massaged my face. I continued, passing a homeless man's base camp, with immaculately stacked magazines and bottles, he seemed somewhat put out by my appearance and when I asked him which direction to run, he just pointed the way I came. Ignoring I headed off towards the abandoned shed, five bunny rabbits bobbed white in front of my path, darting off in different directions. I tried to find a way into the site, but it was well secured. I looped round and saw more rabbits, and headed in the direction of the homeless man's pointed finger. More rabbits and a strange looking crane, or was it a fair ground ride, indeterminable at my angle of view framed by two more standard looking cranes. Upon closer inspection via a good leg down the brook, past an abundance of rabbits droppings and a few more bobbing shocks of white I realised this was the 'doomed' Melbourne eye. Disorientated by my numerous impulsive about turns I was lost and running hard, it was bloody fantastic.

The doomed Melbourne eye Southern Star Observation Wheel was closed due to safety concerns.

No comments: