It has taken five years to orientate myself to the sun, oceans and mountains and the lines they draw on the land. I say that because on the other side of the country, night is pulled from the sky at the mountains and the sun sets fire to the ocean and clouds at dusk – just like we see here, except it is morning. It’s opposite land and it screws with your mind. It’s embarrassingly hard navigating on a wonky compass. Over there, you’ve been imprinted that long shadows in the afternoon bleed to the east, and to the west, the sea is where the sun goes to sleep. When I was a child growing up in Perth – so beautifully isolated from anywhere else – I would look up at the clouds amazed at their stamina sliding from Africa or Madagascar, or marvel at the fugitives from sub-polar Antarctica. I noticed on my elastic east-west travels how up close clouds do not care for definition.
I bought a book on clouds – a look-book of their species and apparitions – for a princely sum of two dollars at the Salvos. I became a cloud watcher – one of those people who froth at the prospect of a storm – a spry little rooster prepared to catch the falling sky. Who else might have peered up to these puffy fellows and face their corker thumps of rain, hail and sleet? Or the weirdly quiet light blue ballroom of a sky scraped clean in the Mediterranean summer? That parcel on the horizon – see it there? Smouldering sanguine red and burning your eyes with rose. Where else could you be in the world graced with an endless penniless theatre? Gold Coast is one of them.