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Hello

Welcome to this blog, the story of a great big Australian adventure. It documents my travels, life in Australia, and a subject close to my heart – environmental conservation. 

The shouty people

The shouty people

You deliberate about many things when choosing where to live. A key consideration is often proximity to bus routes, train stations and ferry terminals; to shops, supermarkets, schools, sports clubs and other recreational attractions. Can you gauge what the neighbours might be like? Are there yapping dogs or squealing children; dead white goods, rusty utes, or random piles of building materials in their yard? Are their rubbish bins in evidence 24/7 or right near your dividing fence (important during a Queensland summer, believe me)? If you value peace and quiet, you wouldn't choose the bank of a river large enough to accommodate whizzing show-off jet skis or rowing teams on pre-dawn training. And look out for motorbikes and hoons' cars with parcel shelves or other sticky-out bits, coloured wheel caps and, inevitably, one or more modified exhausts.

How much greenery and open spaces are there in the area? Do commuters or school-running parents use your road for parking? Some of this research might involve numerous visits and lengthy observation periods, but it's worth the investment. When we last moved we were pleased to see a park less than a minute's walk away from the house. What we didn't do beforehand was come round on dark autumnal evenings and listen out for noises other than squabbling bats or wailing curlews.

So on a future list of requirements I would now add 'absence of shouty people'. I'm talking about footy players. That's Aussie Rules. The shouty season started a few weeks ago and unfortunately runs until the end of September. There is shouting every weekday evening between 6.30 and 9.30, and high bright floodlights detract from the city skyline beyond and beam into my living room.

It's 4 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon as I write, and the shouting has been going on since well before midday. Several games must have been played by now. The siren seems to go much more frequently than at the beginning and end of every quarter. And we won't get a break tomorrow: Sundays are not shouty-people-free.

I assume they're shouting instructions to their team mates. It's not possible to decipher most of the noise. Some shouts may be macho grunts of encouragement and confirmation of mateship, but I don't remember hearing quite so much shouting during (proper) football or rugby matches, ever. Trouble is, there seem to be at least a hundred people on the pitch in Aussie Rules. Shouting with such guttural volume must sap energy I would have thought. What I know for sure is that after several hours, every day, it is extremely intrusive and irritating for residents round and about.

And it's clearly not the large crowd making all that noise.

Vanuatu: South Pacific Island

Vanuatu: South Pacific Island

The Land Court has spoken

The Land Court has spoken