Two ginger cats in the house now. We keep trying to get them to meet and work out their differences. But whenever Drazic comes inside, Ruben hides under the bed. And on the odd occasion when Ruben ventures out into the kitchen, Drazic gracefully absents himself to the garden. This has been going on for four days.
After seven, Roberta called me up. Was I still coming over? The Petersham Bowling and Community Club had been shortlisted to host an ABC radio show with James O’Louglin. Along with the other contestants, Roberta was booked in to do a live pitch on air. James was then going to announce the winner immediately. Some club people were gathering at Roberta and John’s to drink a drop of champagne and lend support. I got out of the bath where I’d been languishing, and made my way over to Brighton Street, stopping for some hot and very salty chips from Silvas to line my stomach in preparation for the booze.
Roberta and John live right next door to the club. So it makes sense that they’re involved in the “save the bowlo” campaign. John answered the door. He was so excited he couldn’t sit still, bouncing around and organising glasses of wine and cheese for us. John said he’s never really been into blogs before, but the ‘sham has turned him into a real blog geek: “I come in from work and and turn on the computer, and I wonder: ‘what he’s been up to today?’”
I asked what he thought of the poll to find out where my blog readers live. “Oh, it’s fun isn’t it! And the ‘sham is still winning! But only just…”
A few other neighbours were there too, including Jo, who’s been working with Roberta on the campaign. We sat nervously on the back porch drinking our white wine. It was agreed that even if the pitch went nowhere – even if the radio decided not to come to the ‘sham, some interesting work had been done. Getting together the list of “local talent” had been an end in itself. Roberta and Jo had tee-d up a Portuguese singer, some old bowling club veterans, and (ahem) me. There’s a tentative arrangement to get the vintage toy store fellow to go on air, not to mention a live bowling match happening during the broadcast. Even if the radio didn’t come off, working towards it had led to some ad-hoc solidarity around the club and across the burb. And who knows where that might lead?
Shortly after eight, the phone rang. Roberta ducked into the kitchen, and I followed. She’d asked if I could be there in case she needed to hand the phone over, so I could explain my project to James. But it was unnecessary. The whole thing about “doing a live pitch on air” was a big furphy. The competition had already been decided. And the Petersham Bowling and Community Club was the winner! “Oh that’s wonderful!” Roberta cried. John and I danced around the kitchen whooping it up. We hoped ABC listeners would be able to hear our cheers on air. John popped a fresh bottle of champagne. The cork flew over the back fence and into the grounds of the bowlo.