The tall houses stare blankly at the water. Despite their premier location, and the time of day - sunset - few people are sitting on the balconies or terraces that overlook the river. I wander along, intrigued by these dwellings worth millions of dollars.
The homes are grey, and taupe, and grey. Their walls are within an arm's breadth of the dividing fences; windows face into windows of adjacent homes a mere 3 or 4 metres apart. The buildings themselves are long, and sprawl down the length of the narrow blocks of land. The few houses that have a patch of grass sport lawns the size of a large tabletop.
I pass a schoolboy in his matchbox back yard, leaning listlessly on the low wall. He looks lonely and bored. He hunches in his school uniform. He has nowhere to run about, no trees to climb, no pet to play with. He has a very glamorous abode, but it doesn't look as though he's impressed by it.
It strikes me that as much as I love the river, as much as I love to be near the water, I wouldn't want to live in one of these skinny mansions, even if we could afford to. I actually prefer our rambling, haphazardly-decorated home in suburbia. I love that we have lots of grass, lots of trees, a vege patch and a dog. Oh, and possums, rats, mice, geckoes and cane toads. Birds, frogs, lizards. Friendly neighbours. And kids with room to play.