lismore and the road to the sea
Lismore, possibly named after Lismore in Scotland, possibly named after Lismore in Ireland – currently known as Lishole by the Byron youth, the same generation who call Ocean Shores, Ocean Sores.
We were there today on an errand, in an out in an hour, just enough time to wonder how such a poor town could raise such a grand cathedral. So many bricks. The Catholic foot is stamped hard here, unlike the Anglican and Presbyterian hideaways in the Eureka and Federal forests. St. Mo Chutu mac Finaill triumphant.
Keen Street is a major boulevard in this town, and the same tan coloured van that slowed by me in Mona Vale a century ago came past again – here, in the press of local traffic – and there he was in the saddle so to speak, the same Middle Eastern Boofhead watching me cross the road.
‘ Hey Chief, ‘ he called, ‘ yez interested in a new Home Entertainment System ? ‘
A block further down we stopped to watch two young girls ride past, they were laughing, and they were cantering their horses down the centre of the street.
Through the roundabout, through the town centre, away towards the river and the open fields. The clatter of shod hooves on tarmac. Their laughter.
There is a sharp right hand turn where Eureka Road becomes Federal Drive, easy to find with a distinctive yellow church on the hill. The land is cleared on all sides there and just a little way down we see man on a horse in one of the paddocks.
He is wearing a wide-brimmed white hat and his horse has its head down into the grass. Fifteen miles away the Border Ranges issue a blue vapour of eucalyptus oil into the afternoon sky.
He is taking a call on his mobile.
Another young man died on the coast today, ticketted on the Heroin Express. One way.
Rafts of cuckoo doves swing away through the still air. Heading west.
The ranges beckon.