Blog  |  Gallery of Inspiration  |  The Bindery  |  About

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Day 28


Today marks four weeks since the start of Canberra’s lockdown with yet another week still ahead of us, though a further extension certainly isn’t off the cards. With the lifting of some restrictions last Friday, be them only minor, there is already a sense of normality starting to loom in and around Canberra City, with a surge of cars on the street, a hype of activity on the footpaths and the echoing sounds of grinding and hammering in the air. After nearly a month of peacefulness this construction noise has certainly become quite noticeable and seems to dominate the soundscape. I gather this is accentuated by the juxtaposition of peace and quiet (with the odd chirps and tunes of songbirds) to the burst of activity in just a week. Also that in any normal circumstances my attention would otherwise be focused on everyday tasks and I would be spending less time at home, nor would I be walking about the city during the day. Furthermore, like the cars that pass by our apartment complex, these noises usually hover in our peripheral attention and in time will recede back to simple white noise. Reflecting on all this while walking around town earlier today - with the constant banging, sawing, beeping, clunking, voices calling, all echoing around me - I was reminded of a passage I recently read on the construction of the Molonglo Settlement, which once sat on the land occupied by the light industrial area of Fyshwick today. Built between February and April 1919 by little over a thousand men, it was erected in ‘secret’ as the Molonglo Internment Camp. One of about ten places of internment built in Australia during WWI to hold over five and a half thousand so-called enemy aliens. Though just how secret is debatable, because the noise of hammering is said to have run out across the paddocks and sounded something like machine gun-fire.