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Sunday, March 3, 2024

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Local Author, Matt Jacobson reflects on lockdown life and the beauty of the street

“All these streets can do, is claim to know the real you”

Over 20 houses with bold doorsteps and doors. Windows open with a seeping draft making blinds blink, but some are closed blindfolding the glass of the past and pains of the present. Roof slates wake from a night under enchanting starry skies as a wobbly Sky dish continues its nighttime nightmare by pointing anywhere but the sky.

Curtains slide open as the steely light reaches day. But some are closed as many resist temptations to dive into the day as the delightful sun begins to peek through the clouds. 

Bedrooms and bay windows, drainpipes and gutters. Empty tins by wheelie bins and the national newspapers thrown next to a grim gutter are not so gutsy now.  

Cars are parked on paved, pebbled or crushed rock driveways and sat outside unused garages waiting and wanting warmth and security inside. Some are parked away from the home to avoid ruining green and gorgeous gardens.

Soaring sheds tower over the garden fence as a black and white cat is pitched perfectly on the crumbling corner of a fragmented wall, glaring with envy at a white and black comfy cat that lies peacefully on the pretty green lawn. Both cats are torn between sleeping then eating food, or eating food then sleeping.  

Local Author, Matt Jacobson reflects on lockdown life and the beauty of the street
Matt Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

As the wind whisks and whirls, the washing line elevates and spins like a skipping rope and tangles T shirts, blouses, torn jeans and trousers, inside out and upside down. Lampposts and telephone poles stand tall, monitoring movement below as a post box looks away but looks brilliantly bored.  

House proud parents chat as children are playing and laughing. Neighbours are eagerly discussing movie nights, bills to pay and finalising arrangements for a slap-up Sunday dinner; empathising with conviction over a cousin’s dietary restriction.

Odd numbered houses on that side and the even numbered houses on this side, but all of the numbers add up to ……. one street.

Matt Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

The above observations returned after a long walk and a period of reflection which triggered off this timeline of activity. Days before, I had chatted with a friend outside a historic building in the city centre and I discussed writing about this building of beauty and grace. I travelled home and planned to commence writing this piece. However, on this walk I realised we also have beauty and grace all around us and not just located with other centrepieces in the city centre. 

It might be the ‘norm’ but normal life is still poetry. 

This knockabout world is being knocked about by pretty much everything and we are now placed in and around our homes. But I feel I am observing the beauty of the street with my head up and eyes wide open. Assessing the depth of surroundings and replacing the usual fixed eyes to the concrete floor and speed of movement controlled by a train timetable. 

Matt Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

There is no scurrying but surveying; and no destination but preservation as the sweet sounds and needs of our precious and beloved animals can now be heard. As traffic noise reduces, the orchestra of cheeps, chirps and sliding whistles can be heard. This change of direction for us is a challenge and change for them too. 

But the street, at a glance, is now enhanced with style, substance, loyalty and bravery in abundance. Whether the street is crammed with people, cars, cafes and bars; or with shops, parks and landmarks – it is yours. And the pathways, walkways, alleyways are also, always yours. 

A street can home us, lead us and transport us along our very own journey and these very streets can forever remain within you. 

Play them up, don’t play them down, because the street….. loves you.

Matthew Jacobson

Author

Music Writer

Curator

READ MORE: Matt Jacobson: Could life ever be sane again?

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