Living in Melbourne's inner west is pretty damned good. What with the park at the back, the side and the front of my home, I could be in the bush.
Rainbow lorikeets screech by, red and yellow throated wattle birds feed from my garden, as do the ubiquitous Indian mynahs, sparrows, blackbirds and thrushes. But enough of them.
A quadrillion of sulphur crested cockies wings and squawks through most days, along with rosellas, willy wagtails, mudlarks, crows and fruit bats. Magpies wake me in the morning, ducks quack me to sleep at night as they call their last goodbyes from the reeds in the creek.
Does all this avian activity stop me from writing?
No, but the dogs do sometimes. Like all dogs they can tell the time. Even though they make a morning Spaziergang before 7am with Des, they're ready for another about 10.30am when the none too dulcet tones of Lesley can be heard yelling her Parko to heel. And of course the 5pm is a ritual.
It's at this time that the littlies can bark their way in the gloaming - in winter only of course - frightened of the big black brutes that come their way. Big Jack trots along, regal tail held high, always ready to come in should real trouble brew. And who wouldn't want to be distracted by dogs? There's plenty to learn from the way they conduct themselves in company with others.