Sunrise, sunset

Last weekend I met my mum in Sydney. I caught a plane and she caught a train. Bizarrely, she left the house before me, even though she was just coming from Newcastle and I had to fly all the way from Melbourne. 
On our first night, Mum cashed in a bunch of her Woolworths points and we spent them on wine and snacks at the Opera Bar. In the twinkling Harbour lights we drank rose and ate arancini balls. I told mum about her birthday present (climbing the Harbour Bridge). She got very excited and kept pointing at the tiny specks going up and down the arch and saying “I’m going to climbthat.”
My mum loves to climb things. When we went to Europe, we spent half our time climbing tall structures. She can’t walk past a church without wondering aloud if you can climb the spire. 

That night, I saw Conchita perform at the Opera House and it was strange but wonderful. While the old ladies beside me clapped delightedly every time Conchita bought on a guest (most of whom were more traditional drag queens), I got quietly emotional about how much Conchita’s songs mean to me. The lightening and the costumes and the soaring orchestra was spectacular. And Conchita is just. so. great. 
We spent the next day, going from one café to the other, talking over cups of tea. We had tea at the museum, at the top of Myer, in the Queen Vic Building. We wandered from place to place finding nice views and places to sit. I don’t see my mum anywhere near as often as I’d like and even though we talk on the phone a lot, it’s not the same as sitting, face to face over tea. We also looked at some art but not as much art as we planned. We decided we would come back another time when there was more art. This trip was more about tea.

On Friday night, neither of us slept much. We finally got up before 4am and made (more) tea. We caught a taxi to the Bridge Climb office in the pre-dawn darkness. They let me have a free muffin, even though I wasn’t climbing. I waved mum off and then set off into the already warming morning. While mum climbed the bridge, I walked across it. The sun rose gently from behind the Opera House and the sky was streaked with mysterious long blue stripes. I walked across in one direction as the sun was rising and back the other way as the light was breaking into shards across the water. I walked up to the hill to the rotunda that is in Dance Academy that one time and looked out across the improbably peaceful city.
For the rest of the day we were mostly too tired to properly function. So mostly we had more cups of tea. First, at the top of the MCA (the best view in Sydney when a goddamn cruise ship isn’t parked right in front of it). My friend beccamarsh happened to be in town that day, having also woken up before 4am. She came to meet us and we walked to another location, to anther cup of tea. For lunch, we had quiches on the grass near the Harbour and lay there, sleepily until it was time to go.
As soon as I’d waved mum and beccamarsh onto a train to Newcastle and turned to head toward the airport train, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I missed mum already, even though she was barely out of sight.
On the plane home I dozed. I flew with Qantas because they had a sale before Christmas and I was grateful for the extravagance when they bizarrely gave me dinner? On an hour long flight?? I ate pasta and watched the sunset through the window and wondered how many times in a life you get to see a day begin and end.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year