I’m in Sydney for a day or so. It’s the morning and I’ve just been out for a coffee, walking up Great North Road which runs from Five Dock into Abbotsford. The day is still, a little overcast and a pleasing 22 degrees at the moment.
It was school drop-off time when I stepped out and parents, grandparents and tiny siblings were releasing their charges into the care of the Abbotsford Public School from the clutter of cars, prams and bikes. The lady with the stop sign asked whether I’d like to cross the road and, when I declined, wished me a happy day. I walked past older-style houses, no doubt having stood since this suburb was far more ‘outer west’ than it is now; new townhouse builds with blocky architecture and tiny front lawns; and both well-tended gardens and those struggling with the recent spring growing period.
The cafe was busy, despite customary working hours being underway. I ordered my latte and sat at the narrow band of tables along the corridor. While I drank, a toddler secured a gingerbread man, two tradies obtained morning tea with a couple of flat whites, the baristas worked like navvies, and ham and cheese croissants (toasted) were filing through the sandwich press.
I stopped at the local IGA – quite crowded, to my surprise – and the Italian fruit and veg shop where I picked up a punnet of scarlet strawberries. The checkout girl had an authentic European accent.
Jacaranda flowers, both freshly fallen and already turned to mush by yesterday’s late storm, littered the footpath – such a memory from my Perth childhood. Frangipanis were in bloom and the verges still green, summer being a new phenomenon. Perhaps, in this environment more tropical than southern South Australia, there is enough regular rain to maintain that until winter comes again?
I arrived ‘home’ and now sit at the table with the balcony door open and fresh air floating into the apartment. There are no insects to bother me. The view is predominantly of trees and a glimpse of Chicken and Egg Bay. The traffic noise is perceptible but distant. It is peaceful. I am happy.
Until next time,