rock wall

August 15, 2012

sent the below letter to council on 23rd july.  have recieved no response yet.  i’m thinking they just haven’t gotten around to it yet (being intimately familiar with how long things can take at govts.)  hopefully i will find time, inclination and good weather in the coming week/s to complete said wall.  wonder what will happen then…  neighbour gave me dagger stares yesterday when i smiled at her.


I refer to your letters dated 18 June 2012 and 26 June 2012 requesting the removal of rock from the road reserve fronting my property at ….

In particular I refer to paragraph two of the 26 June letter and request that Council reconsider the dimensions of the dry stack wall.  My reason for asking this is that I believe a line of rocks measuring not greater than 300mm by 300mm will pose a more significant hazard than a completed wall of approximately 600mm by 600mm.  I am assuming the reason for the rocks being requested to be removed was a perceived hazard, though at no time has the actual hazard ever been explained to me.

A line of rocks being 300mm by 300mm will quickly become obscured by overgrown vegetation.  This will possibly result in a trip or fall should someone walk against a rock.  Why someone would be walking against a rock when it is placed parallel to the roadway and some two or more metres away from the carriageway, thereby leaving substantial space for pedestrians, I do not understand.

A completed wall of approximately 600mm by 600mm will remain visible should long grass grow in front of the wall.  A wall of this size would also provide far more assurance of stopping a vehicle should one mount the kerb and drive towards my front yard, where my young children are often playing.

I would further note that all of the rock on site came from the site, much of it located even closer to the carriageway and in a far more haphazard arrangement.  It has not been imported from elsewhere.  The garden and road reserve in front of No… was considerably overgrown and dangerous when we purchased the property.  We have been labouring, at much time and expense to ourselves, to clear the weed species and make the site safe.  We don’t expect re-imbursement for tidying and maintaining someone else land (Council’s) but we would appreciate not being harassed on the vexatious and spurious complaints from another resident in the street.

Yours sincerely,



August 14, 2012

a couple of thursdays ago i was driving up to the seymour centre to join my lovely friend emma in listening to a town planning talk.  (i still love town planning, parts of it… i’d do paid work in the field if the circumstances were right…)

having agreed to try to meet at 6pm, i’m cruising up the highway sniggering at all the opposing rush hour traffic when i get a telephone call.  caller id lets me know it’s paul.  i almost sigh and think to myself; it’s two kids paul, they’re already fed and mostly tidied up after all, all you have to do is bathe them and put them to bed.  what can you need me for?  nevertheless i answer and paul in a panicked voice, without any “hello’s” tells me i must come home; tally has run away!


i’m getting set to question him but he hangs up.  shit! shit! shit! shit! shit!  and a few other choice expletives.  i’m driving thru rockdale at this point.  that series of traffic lights that seems to go on for ever… you know the ones?  so i change lanes, turn into a side street, screech around a ’round-about and join that rush hour traffic i was smirking at just two minutes ago.

creeping along my deranged mind turns to all sorts of horrid things that i’m sure every parent’s brain would do.  where is he?  is he hurt? cold? lost? trapped? is he in company?  good or bad? has someone taken him?  is he frightened? is he crying? screaming? bleeding? broken? …dead?  hard to see the traffic now.  (so much for a nice face of make-up.)

i ring emma.  sorry hun, going to disappoint you.  heading home to find my missing son.  of course she fully understands and says not to worry about her.

more creeping along.  i once read if you are driving in traffic there are two options to getting ahead.  either stick with the lane you’re in and persist; you’ll be surprised that you get where you want to faster than if you chop and change lanes a few times.  or, change lanes constantly, always pushing for that little bit of gain, squeezing in, angling ahead.  i think it’s safe to say i took the second option.  it feels more proactive.  but, honestly, i don’t remember much of that trip home.

nearing home i finally dialled 000, was about to press ‘call’ when paul rang again to say he’d found him.  aahhh, breathe…

what had happened?  i dashed out the door as paul walked in at 5:15.  pretty sure i locked the handle but tally can now open that.  i didn’t close the gate and the deadlock on the door didn’t get done.  shortly afterwards tally took off up the driveway with a dvd in hand.  he apparently said to the young woman that paul found him walking with nearly two blocks away that he wanted his mamma to put the movie on.  he said to me later that he was running after me and pappa was running after him! no shit!

poor paul.  no tally in the house, not in the front yard, not on the street outside the house.  he ran thru our forested back yard yelling for him.  not there.  out to the  road again.  dash around to blanka and leo’s and mez and colin’s houses (20 seconds away when you really run) not there.  colin grabbed a torch to come out and help look.  paul’s back on the street when a guy walking his dog says to him “are you looking for a little boy?”  was it the wild desparation on him that gave that away? “yes!”, “he’s down there with a young woman” pointing yet further away from our home.  paul sprints down the hill, there’s tally.  oh my god, what a truly awful 15 minutes.