There’s two roads in to the little suburb where I live. The first runs past a vineyard. And the second borders the golf course. Last week I heard writer and educator John Marsden talk about what a waste of land a golf course was and how the greens and fairways would be better used as open space for kids to play in. As I’ve drove past links this week I’ve had a mental picture of children flying kites, playing footy and of picnic tables dotted around the place for tired grandparents like me. I’ve been enjoying the daydream. Enjoying the notion that children and playing are more important than old buggers in golf carts and funny pants.
But I digress. Back to the two roads into Sunbury and the entrance they reveal to welcome me home. The road that passes the vineyard was upgraded a few years back. Once a windy strip of tar, with no street lights and edges full of potholes, it is now a double lane job fit for the arrival of a visiting head of state. It’s been great for the locals. It only took about two years to revamp and for the price of a small island of the coast of France, was a real bargain.
Included in the revamp of our track into town was the adornment of the embankment just before it makes its final dip into our sleepy hollow . Now, I’ll admit here I don’t know much about the architecture used in modern road building. Like I say about art, ‘ I don’t know much about it but I know what I like,’ but I reckon the concrete monolith they’ve put on Vineyard road stinks!
I shouldn’t say that really. I guess some poor bugger spent hours on a computer designing just how the layers of cement could be arranged. Each angle and every layer was probably put together painstakingly and emerged from the mind of its creator and landed in all it’s glory on the side of the road just before Bunnings. But I have to admit the efforts of the street sculptor are wasted on me. I reckon you could have back up a concrete mixer, got a few locals out with a trowel, bought a slab of beer and got a comparable result for a lot less money.
Meanwhile back at the golf course end of town there’s another road and another embankment untouched by the hands of the arty road designers. As the bitumen plummets into town the steep grass-covered shoulders are bejeweled with Arctotis flowers.
Now like art, I don’t know much flowers but, like I said before, I know what I like. I’ve lived in this town for twelve years. In that time I’ve seen the local council do no more than mow the grass on that particular shoulder. It’s not landscaped. It’s not manicured. It wasn’t developed on a computer program. It’s just there. And It takes my breath away.
After all the rain we’ve had the grass on that bank looks amazing. It’s a deep cool green and the clumps of yellow arctotis are like splashes of sunshine. I reckon that embankment says, ‘ Welcome to Sunbury, we’re not state of the art, but we’re pretty.’ And if I had to choose which entrance to my village I showed a visitor, I’d pick the road by the golf course every time.
So come out to my town some time. See which entrance you think is grander. And maybe we’ll do a Marsden and plant flowers on the golf course ! See ya..