Every place has an essence. People who have never been to Darwin have an impression of this place as a verdant, tropical, jungle paradise. For those of us who have lived here it is better summed up by the hard scrabble dried brown grass growing along the side of Bagot Road as we blast towards the aircon of Casuarina Plaza. Tough country with tough inhabitants. Instead of macaws and flamingos we are better summed up by bush chooks and curlews. Defiant hardy homebuilders who strut our stuff whilst more fragile beings cling to survival. Eeking out a sense of comfort in the belly of an airfryer. We are not pretty but we are admirable. These birds and structures are the essence of that weathered pride. Dave Wickens loves that spirit. He is not ashamed of it. He celebrates us. Our dogged stamina and our battered nests.