Foot Commutes

I’ve lived in a different house every February for the past 6 years. It’s funny how life goes. You do the same walk to the train station or to work so regularly that you could do it blindfolded, then the instant you move you never need to do it again.
For nostalgia’s sake I decided I wanted a record of all my daily foot commutes in phocumentary form. Preferably before housing developments and science change the way they look too much. Chronologically that would be: Hawthorndene, Mile End, North Adelaide, Engadine, Hurstville, Homebush Bay. I’m not going to post them in that order though, for multiple reasons. Instead, first is going to be North Adelaide, a series of photos I took late in 2012.

Provost Street

My front door in 2009 and 2010.

My front door in 2009 and 2010.



The first thing I would see when leaving the world, or re-entering it.

The first thing I would see when leaving the world, or re-entering it.



This footpath looks pretty, although I was usually walking on the actual road at this point due to it being a no-through road and the footpath being roofed by overhanging branches.

This footpath looks pretty, although I was usually walking on the actual road at this point due to it being a no-through road and the footpath being roofed by overhanging branches.



One of the reasons I photographed North Adelaide first is because it’s one of the nicer daily walks I've been privileged to have.

One of the reasons I photographed North Adelaide first is because it’s one of the nicer daily walks I've been privileged to have.



There were lots of historical buildings to see each day.

There were lots of historical buildings to see each day.



I liked some more than others.

I liked some more than others.



Who says there's no exciting things to see in Adelaide?

Who says there's no exciting things to see in Adelaide?



At the intersection of MacKinnon Parade and Finniss Street I would leave the surface streets and walk the rest of the way through Adelaide’s green belt.

At the intersection of MacKinnon Parade and Finniss Street I would leave the surface streets and walk the rest of the way through Adelaide’s green belt.



I never knew what this large metal protrusion was on the top of this nondescript storage building. It always reminded me of a rocket base.

I never knew what this large metal protrusion was on the top of this nondescript storage building. It always reminded me of a rocket base.



About this point on my walk the Adelaide CBD came into view through gaps in the trees and across the North Adelaide sports fields.

About this point on my walk the Adelaide CBD came into view through gaps in the trees and across the North Adelaide sports fields.



My walk then took me past some of Adelaide’s most distinctive manmade features.

My walk then took me past some of Adelaide’s most distinctive manmade features.



As well as it’s most distinctive natural features.

As well as it’s most distinctive natural features.



Past Adelaide Oval.

Past Adelaide Oval.



And well maintained grasslands. The full-time landscapers definitely recognised me.

And well maintained grasslands. The full-time landscapers definitely recognised me.



For a brief moment I would return to the streets to cross City Bridge and catch a glimpse of the Intercontinental, which was essentially my destination.

For a brief moment I would return to the streets to cross City Bridge and catch a glimpse of the Intercontinental, which was essentially my destination.



After crossing the water it was down the stairs and under the bridge and along the Torrens the rest of the way to North Terrace.

After crossing the water it was down the stairs and under the bridge and along the Torrens the rest of the way to North Terrace.



The view on the way towards City Bridge from the office.

The view on the way towards City Bridge from the office.



Swan poop, one of the common features of my daily commute.

Swan poop, one of the common features of my daily commute.



Almost there, one final stretch through the weird tunnels and riverside architecture that probably won’t survive the oval/footbridge upgrade.

Almost there, one final stretch through the weird tunnels and riverside architecture that probably won’t survive the oval/footbridge upgrade.



Then down the path to North Terrace. For some reason the bradism.com logo has been removed from my office, no idea why.

Then down the path to North Terrace. For some reason the bradism.com logo has been removed from my office, no idea why.




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Brick

There's a basketball ring on a half-court that I walk by on the way to and from the train stop each day. I won't describe it in too much detail, because I'm sure there'll be a photo of it someday soon. In the morning it usually stands alone, the rising sun banking off the backboard and shining the dewy grass of the surrounding parklands like thousands of tiny stars. It teases me, like it's saying "Off to work Brad? Why didn't bring a ball? I'm here waiting for you all alone. You could have spent the day shooting hoops in your suit pants."

On my way home in the evenings, when the sun is in transition to the west, the court is usually occupied by Chinese dudes with long shadows. Sometimes they're shooting around, but most of the time seem to be lounging about on or next to their basketballs, chatting idly and catching their breath. It feels like I'm walking in at the arse end of a party when the music is turned down and the only people left are helping clean up.

Once every couple of months, between walks, someone will come along and snap the ring off and steal it. This bums me out because I love basketball and I hate jerks and stealing a public basketball ring is like the polar opposite of playing basketball with people who aren't jerks. It was a pretty goddamn traumatic start to Monday morning for me, seeing it there like that. Ring missing, net nowhere, an opaque cloud drifting across the sun.

Nine hours later and by habit I was looking at the basketball court as I walked through the park towards home. I saw two Chinese dudes with a basketball before the ring came into view. I was filled with optimism. Then I saw that they were shooting around like there was a ring, but there was no ring. This was a conflicting tableau. I wasn't sure whether to feel optimistic about people's ability to persevere with their plans in the face of adversity, or to feel enraged that someone's selfish act had ruined the afternoon of others. Then the two dudes stopped shooting, perhaps because a tall, white dude was staring at them intently as he walked by. They looked at me with sad, desperate expressions. I realised they must think I had some authority over the park. They wanted me to assist them, but I had nothing.

Stylus Dismount

Recorded here for posterity is the nub of the original stylus and the replacement stylus of my Galaxy Note.

image 1286 from bradism.com


I've had this phone for less than a year, so obviously the stylus tip is of poor quality, or I use it way too much. I did write most of a ~5.5K short story with it, which my screen protector didn't like too much. It also did not enjoy Scramble with Friends at all.


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Evolution

I was in the shower today, using my new, blue body puff to lather Milk and Shea Butter Body Wash across my soft, pink and sparsely haired body when I thought to myself, "This is not the body puff that I used in Adelaide."

This was definitely accurate. I bought that body puff a few weeks ago at Rhodes in New South Wales. In fact, I've gone through a few body puffs since I left Adelaide. The very idea that I might be using the same body puff to wash filth from the kinks in my squishy torso day after day for two and a half years was a bit gross.

It wasn't just the body puff that was new, though. The more I thought, the more of our possessions I came to realise had not come with me from Adelaide. The shampoo was new, so was the facial wash, and my electric shaver, the TV, the couch, the bed, the webhost, the BBQ. The spray bottle of Shower Sparkle, by some odd scientific loophole, I believe I bought in 2008. I've used it twice a week since then, so I was suddenly curious about that. I think water might be getting into it during each shower, and then I spray that water back out later when I clean.

I guess that the reason these thoughts had some importance to me is because, if I've been slowly replacing every physical aspect of my Adelaide life with Sydney objects, is it possible that at some mental or spiritual level the same thing has been happening? I know that at some point I'm going to return to Adelaide, but it's not going to be as simple as finding a house, walking into the bathroom and hanging my current body puff on a new set of taps. The same way I adjusted to Sydney will happen again, in reverse, but in slightly different context. Just like I became a slightly different person after moving to Sydney, I will once again become a slightly different person back in Adelaide. Not the exact same person I was when I left. Will I discover that while I was in Sydney I superseded Adelaide traits that I now need to recreate? Like, will I be able to adjust to not being able to go to the supermarket at 11pm on Saturday night? Or level crossings? Or other transient attitudes and mind spaces that I might not be totally aware that I've developed.

I don't know the answer, but it was interesting to dwell on.

Oh yeah, we also replaced my car! I knew I was going somewhere with this.