All posts tagged: small town life

Without doubt, the most beautiful road sign I’ve ever seen in Australia

I get teary every time I drive past it. Which is quite often, as it’s near the end of my street on the way out of town towards the highway. That stretch of road becomes long and narrow, without pavements or overhead lights, and cars can drive at 80kms (or faster) after leaving the slow limits of suburbia. It’s officially Winter now, so despite my tropical address, it’s dark by 5.30pm, as everyone hurries home to their families and snug houses. Except Alfred. I can’t remember exactly how long he’s been around, but it’s years. Years and years of just walking in sandals on the road’s edge, leaning more and more to one side in his spine as time passes. Who is he, my son and I used to wonder? And why is he always walking, sometimes wearing a garbage bag as a jacket, whatever the weather. Nut brown legs, stained clothes, occasionally carrying a stick with litter impaled on the end of it; always walking, no matter the weather. A couple of years ago, …

Living with teenage son No.6

Him: Mum, can my friend Elly pop over and borrow some muffin tins? She’s made the batter already, and just realised she doesn’t have any. Me: Sure [feeling smug that I’m such a domestic goddess]. But I need them back in a couple of days… ONE MONTH LATER Me: [Texting ’17’ at his Dad’s] Hey where are my muffin tins? Him: Oh yeah. Hang on… [Multiple teenage communication apps launched simultaneously] They’re at her Mum’s. But she’s at her Dad’s. Me: Well I need them back ASAP [Subtext “Before I forget for another month”] Him: Hang on… [Apps flurry & beep]… Can you get them yourself? She won’t be back till after weekend. Me: [*sigh]. Sure. What’s address? And her Mum’s name? We’ve never met. Him: [Flurry & beep] Address is ******. Me: [In Blue]   Me: Wait- so I have to let myself into her Mum’s dark house, ‘cos no one’s home? Him: Yup. Back door always open. It’s cool Mum.   30 MINUTES LATER