At 7.30am my feet and knees feel uncoordinated. I lurch down the stairs, propping open the back gate with the kitchen mop, and gently step out onto the bark.
Peach tiles and geranium bushes and a blushing sky greet me every morning. The red flowers are so bright they don’t look real. They’ve flowered all winter and I wonder if they’re perennial.
Joggers join me on the path up the hill. Kids in unform, the few people who still commute to the city by bus, what feels like 100s of dog owners, and the early morning smokers. Somehow I’ve never seen the same dog owner twice.
The crest of the hill looks down on a rundown series of shops, the tops of gum trees and a stretch of hills – deep blue in the distance.