Ibi

What’s the plural of ibis? It’s tempting to say ibi. There are ibi at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville, Sydney, where I’ve been spending Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’m editing a series of videos about bullying in the workplace. One of the vignettes ends in an actual punch-up. There’s lots of railing and verbal abuse and sarcasm. I’m enjoying myself immensely. I love this sort of work. As I walk through the old Defence Force huts which have been transformed into a rambling community centre – a commune, a bit of socialism in one suburb – I am presented with the sight of ibi picking over the rubbish in the big communal skips. When I get to work at Art Resistance Video Productions, Molly the grey cat comes running over to meet me. She belongs to a house neighbouring the community centre. She likes to spend time with the painter in the next hut, a Spanish-speaking man who works all day to the sound of classical music. When I come out for a break she’s often there.

Flora, fauna and meteorological reports:
It’s raining! Wow! It’s raining in Bathurst! I’ve caught Bertie looking up at the peaches. There are peach seeds all over the back yard. As predicted, he’s working his way through everything he can reach. My carefully netted peaches are still too high for him but they’re getting lower the bigger and heavier they get. The vege patch is green and fecund, mainly with lush green grass. But there are lots of green cherry tomatoes, and the cucumbers and pumpkin and capscium and eggplants have flowers. Steve’s corn plants are standing straight and tall, topped off by little mops of silky hair. One lone green tomato had gone red when I saw it on Friday, and I picked but forgot to bring it in. Soon there’ll be a glut. We have never staggered our plantings and we always end up with nothing followed by a massive unmanageable glut followed by nothing.

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