It’s come to my attention that I am writing too much. I need to cut down, see if I can say what I need to say, but in fewer words. Because of my excessively verbose accounts of some recent events, a lot of great stuff has dropped through the net. Here are a few brief “vignettes” to get us all up to speed…
I met Chris a few weeks back. She was helping Marie do up the place for Barbara. She’d heard that we had been burgled. She wanted to ask me this: Did I have any friends who were punks? I said, I dunno, you mean, like with mohawks and stuff? No, she said, all in black with piercings and curly hair. I’m not sure, I said. Well, about the time of your break-in, I saw a young man who looked like that trying to jump over your back fence. Ah, I thought, that’d be Mickie for sure.
He doesn’t have piercings, but I can understand how Chris’ eye might have drawn em in.
On Monday, Chris and Marie were putting the finishing touches on Barbara’s flat. They’ve replaced the carpet, scrubbed, spakked, and painted the walls, overhauled the bathroom with every chemical known to man, and even painted the kitchen cupboards and table. It’s a rented flat, but the landlord has been so slow to act that they took it upon themselves. Barbara’s been living there fifteen years. She doesn’t have a clue what they are doing. When she gets home she will either be delighted or absolutely furious. Marie, it has to be said, is fitting all this in between two jobs – one fulltime day job, and one weekend night job. These women are amazing.
After visiting the bowlo last Friday, I spent some time with Eric at the Palace Pantry. We sat in the sun and he told me his grand plans to expand his corner store cafe into a larger place serving meals in the evening. All did not go smoothly with his development application. Plenty of mean-spirited objections. He feels that some of his neighbours didn’t understand that he, too, is a family man. He doesn’t want to have “yahoo-ing” going on til the wee hours of the morning. Just a place to eat quality food, fresh organic stuff, nothing cheap and nasty. Eric was bored just running a mixed business. He knows almost everyone who comes into the Pantry. He’s a “neighbourhood node” for sure.
On Friday arvo, Bruce called up. We met outside the RSL, and went for a walk, under the railway tunnel and over to the North side. We strolled around the cricket pitch at Petersham Park, stopping in the late afternoon sun. Bruce took off his shirt and shoes and sat letting the light fall on him. We admired passing dogs. Each time I stopped to take a photo, Bruce would quickly grab my shopping basket, so I could shoot with a steady hand. Heading home, someone phoned him up, outside the Commonwealth Bank on Audley Street. He whispered “see you soon Lucas!” We shook hands and gave each other big grins.
On Saturday, after doing our southern-border walk, Cakey and I needed a bottle of wine. At the liquor store, we got chatting with Pamela. She and her husband Anthony live upstairs. Anthony has grown up in that building. He’s spent every year of his life there, except for one. Pamela said it’s hard sometimes, living and working together, and sleeping above the shop. She’ll lie awake at night thinking about orders that need placing. Anthony was an un-corkable font of information. He knows the full history of Canterbury Road, and poured out story after story, including about the first Portuguese real estate agent / travel agent to set up, a few doors down. It was because of this fellow that the Portuguese immigrants found places to live in the area. Anthony was an accident prone child. He broke his wrist (?) at the RollerRink, and his leg, at age ten, carrying ten cartons of KB cans on a trolley. He was not so optimistic about the future of the RollerRink. The cinema idea, he thought, would be hard to get off the ground because of the heritage stuff. You can’t touch those balconies…