When I first moved back to Melbourne, I found myself in a suburb under construction.
I moved into the 16th floor of an established apartment block, across from another one being built.
Level with my window, just four car lanes across, the cab of a tower crane stood at the corner of the building’s skeleton.
The crane lifted parts of the building – walls and windows that looked like blocks and boxes.
I noticed that children, like me, looked up from the street, or across from their balcony or window, to see the hook lowering at the end of a cable like a giant fishing line to a waiting truck.
Kids stared at the machine lifting the loads with ease and flying them up to the top to make a new home. Toddlers couldn’t be dragged away from watching the loads in reverse – the empty concrete mixer, the full rubbish bin, were let down into the street at the end of the line.
Their fascination became mine.
A mobile crane, a transmogrification of truck and crane, arrived with a new section to be fitted to the tower. The crane grew as the building grew taller – watched from the street, the balcony, the window.
It grew with the building – at first taller than, then the same height, as the blocks became floors and the boxes became homes.
When its job was done, the crane was taken down, piece by piece – and I began to write how it happened. My friend and fabulously talented book illustrator and designer Caitlin Ziegler has been with me for every syllable.