The crowd is bouncing up and down, arms waving, singing along. The band can’t quite believe they’re playing live in front of a crowd, and we can’t believe it either.
It’s delicious being up and out after so many months of Covid, exhilarating, like when you’ve been really sick and then one day, you feel well. We’re being normal. We’re dancing!
|Maldon gets its boogie on!|
I’m in the main street of Maldon, set out with tables and chairs, for the annual Maldon street dinner. Around 600 people have worked their way through the picnic boxes and run the bar dry, and now ‘The Best 80s Band’ is cutting loose. I didn’t know I knew these songs, but my body does. We’re deep into Whitney Houston, 1987: ‘I want to dance with somebody, wanna feel the heat with somebody, ooo ooooo, wanna dance with somebody.'
So here’s the thing—the town organises this night themselves. They organise the tables and chairs, and the liquor licence, the picnic boxes, and the covid safe check in. They talk to the local constabulary, but they don’t ask the Shire for permission. They just take over the street, and about a third of the town’s population show up.
Nice work Maldon!
We have our Farmers Market, and the Lions playground, but I did wonder whether we’re too cautious
and suburban to take possession of our own town.
Earlier that same Saturday, I was
standing in the Main Drain, Murnong Creek, the concrete culvert between the
Mechanics Institute and the playground. We were on a Saturday walk
around the town thinking about traffic and the centre of Riddell, and we
finished our walk here, in the Creek.
|L to R: Narelle McGellin, her daughter, Jenny Ground, Julie Macdonald|
It was quiet down there in the creek. You can’t see cars driving past, in fact, it’s the only place in the centre of Riddell where you can’t see cars. And it suddenly struck me: how amazing would this be as a place to hang out? There we are standing with Narelle, who has made the Lions playground happen because she thought it was needed, and it would be a cool thing to do.
What if the back end of the Mechanics Institute opened onto the creek, and you could sit in the northern sun? How much work would it take to put a few levels into the slope, with paths back into the pedestrian network? Planting that suited the creek. A place to dance on a summer night.
Moonee Ponds creek is being
redesigned for flood control and biodiversity and recreational
space. Bendigo Creek is opening to the city, not being kept shut away from it. Perth is turning drains and stormwater retention basins into wetlands and parks.
Why not our creek?
Riddells Creek Landcare