Regardless of any dinner table storytelling rights held by my friend Thurgate, I realised I had the best view in the house and was therefore entitled to tell it.
Here he is.
As field photographer.
*captured by Bel
He's about to leave us for Adelaide but he'll linger here for awhile with an image I'll try and deliver below. So Luke's character as backstory - He rocks the charcoal, has a fine turn of phrase, a fancy for the power ballad and a well practiced humour. He is quite simply, marvellous. And he was looking very fine in our nation's capital last weekend, roller skates in one hand - camera in the other. Always the eye for detail.
However, he happened to take his eye off things for a few seconds and then it was all Mongrel Dog and "Sorry Mate" and "Oh My God did that really happen?" Luckily for the purposes of storytelling, I had my eye on things (namely his arse at that time) and only because there was a dog connected to it. I'm pretty sure it was a cross dingo whippet thing, like a white Santa's Little Helper but mean as hell and it sprung from the tent embassy and landed on Luke in a flash. There we were skating past all shiny orange wheels and Whoohoo Xanadu and then I looked up and Santa's Tent Embassy Little Helper was right up there growling into Thurgate's bits and pieces and I stopped and tried to take it all in for future reference but of course it was all so fast. He was pretty calm about it considering it was all going on down there and we were amazed he actually stayed on those fancy roller skates despite the snarling animal attached to his thigh. And for the rest of the day, and our five hour journey home, our conversation never really strayed far from the dog and Luke's injury and the orange roller skates.
"Of all things," he said looking out the window after a bit of a silence (he talks in italics). "Of all the injuries I thought could be possible...being mauled by a camp dog outside old parliament house would have been way down there on the risk assessment after breaking my wrist or getting a blister or suffering a head injury."
We laughed at this and kept heading north away from the incident and every now and then we'd talk about our lovely trip and our adventure to the mountains outside Braidwood or the beautiful hospitality in the kooky Oaks Estate...but it would always come back eventually to that mean old dog and the three of us skating and riding and rolling past the tent embassy at old parliament house.
I wish I could draw in charcoal what I saw from behind him that afternoon.
On a big whopping gallery wall. Just for Thurgate (who will be missed).