1 2 3 commuting community

1. The three year old tests boundaries aboard the morning train. Hood doubling as a leash.
Screaming crocodile tears when repositioned back onto the seat.
Each escape a step further. Some onlookers smile in sympathy whilst others remain ignorant; enthralled by their phones.

2. Repetitive journeys over days, weeks, years, decades.
Seeing familiar faces yet never greeting or acknowledging their existence.
Silently, escalating to ground, filing to the day’s employment.

3. Evening commuters bunch and fan along the platform, aiming for uninhibited boarding, and to claim a seat; politely pushing, easing through the throng, seeking advantage.

I wonder

I wonder what life holds for this little one, caught on camera during the Auntie Beeb coverage of the coronation of King Charles III.

I hope they won’t get caught up in legal wrangles over unapproved product placement of the head-ware sported in the footage.

Could this be a forgotten royal offspring, forever exiled to reside beyond the Palace’s iron fence and gates. Only on procession days are they allowed to remind the monarch of their dubious heritage.

I imagine memories of their life during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II will be based on the observations of older kith and kin.

Will they be interested enough to watch the coronation of William and Kate and when will that be?

I wonder what Spare Harry Whistledown will be up to. At the very least there may be a seldom viewed animated interactive exposé mini series about their royal childhood on Netflix.

Provenance of stuff

When my husband ran an AirBnb from home the listing mentioned our pictures and artefacts having a tale to tell.

Before I emigrated to Australia my dear Australian friend P.M.S formerly P.M.M caught up with me in the UK. We visited one of my early boyfriend’s parents, Hazel and Bill in Solihull.

As a naive 20 year old from a working class family, north of the borough, Birmingham, I knew my place as their social inferior.

My trips to see them usually involved the upmost politeness and decorum. I felt common and clumsy in their presence. I would sit in the same place on the sculpted green draylon sofa, the same spot where I was shown to sit, the first time I met them. I was introduced as a ‘friend’ of their son.

I would not dream of wandering about the hallowed halls of their abode or handling the ornaments and family pictures on the mantle piece.

I vaguely recall P. and I dining with them. I vividly remember my anxiety levels stepping up from mildly uncomfortable to extremely stressed with each step P. took around the lounge room, picking up the objet d’arts for a closer inspection and quizzing the hosts on who the silver framed smiling faces were.

P. and I had many exciting adventures together including a few trips to Liberty of London.

It was love at first sight when I saw a dark polished timber, queen sized sleigh bed with octagonal cane infill panelled head and foot boards. We agreed it was truely a piece of furniture to aspire to.

In one of the sales, I bought two table lamps, one with a very 1980’s silhouette; wide shouldered and narrow bottom in an off-white glaze flecked with apricot and green. The other, a ginger jar shape with an orange peel texture in dark apricot. Both had lift off coolie shaped narrow pleated cream silk shades, tops and bottoms trimmed with velvet; trés glam!

We still have the latter of the two lamp bases pictured above. I refinished it with acrylic paint during my gilding phase in the early 2000s. Paired with a gold foil lined black shade it anchors the French Empire themed dining tableau.

Neo hunter gatherers

Amazon purchase, pop-up food covers

Whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, swoosh.

Gaggle of package holiday makers jostling, crowding,
Scrutinising each other’s use of tongs:
Selecting from thin white, seeded, wholemeal;
Feeding into the top of the machine;
Replacing tongs; and
Uncertainly, shuffling away.

Not too far!

Whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, swoosh.

Impatiently, standing vigil, avoiding eye contact; enviously observing the takers.

Whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, swoosh.

Queuing participants noting; who’s before, who’s next.


Grab butter or Flora?
I should have decided while waiting!
Honey, jam, marmalade, Vegemite, and or peanut butter?

Whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, whirring, click, clonk, swoosh.

Those still standing by silently watch the victorious hunter gatherer strut to their table.

Today’s the day (or perhaps not)

Working from home

Thursday marked cooler Autumn weather with the addition of a tee shirt layer beneath the customary short sleeved shirt, under a waffle-look long sleeved shirt to complete the commute to Brisbane.

All day I was self conscious of how less than a millimetres’ extra fabric all around made the shirt feel tight and gaped more than usual.

I inherited the fat genes from the maternal side of my family. They are a well built, big boned, stout, jolly, portly lot.

In my early twenties, I managed to work off ‘puppy fat’ through physical work and a relatively carb free diet. This successful combination was repeated in my thirties and forties supplemented by guilt induced gym membership. Dr Moseley’s fasting diet and GP prescribed slimming pills resolved the middle age spread yo-yo during my fifties.

A sedentary job, inherent laziness, and osteoarthritis have curbed my motivation for gym training and long walks as I enter the sixties.

During Thursday night’s interrupted sleep, I had a nightmare about my ever increasing girth and the need for dieting. I find it amusing, I can cradle my belly during slumber whilst realising the action during the dream.

Smaller portions was the revelation from the insight into my subconscious. Plates to be no larger than fit for a dessert. It makes sense, my mind doesn’t seem to recognise my appetite as sated until about ten minutes after finishing. I eat everything served to me as instilled in childhood.

Upon waking on Friday, I was inspired to start on the fifth of May.

As the Noom app has escaped clean-up deletions on my mobile phone, I duly entered a piccolo latte followed by tuna in water with mixed veggies for breakfast and another piccolo for mid morning snack.

Whilst working from home, I received an email from my boss about my performance thus far against KPIs for the financial year ending 30 June.

I experienced symptoms of tightness in my chest and throat just by looking at the subject line in the Outlook list. It prompted a Google search resulting in a potential panic attack turning out to be indigestion. It was resolved with a slug of Gaviscon.

Lunch consisted of left over curry sauce, tuna, mixed veggies, and a piccolo latte.

A cocktail, Kalamata olives, and roasted almonds on the terrace left me with 240 kcals for homemade pizza coleslaw and wine for dinner.

We took a rain check on the pizza until this evening substituting it with home delivery nachos and quesadias.

C’est la vie, I will see how I fare today.

May Day

May Day has become Labour Day in Queensland. This is perhaps appropriate given we are in the Southern Hemisphere and not entering Summer.

It is also International Workers’ Day in recognition of union led improvements to worker’s right’s including, the eight hour day.

As with most other public holidays we will spend the day in repose. Just like yesterday, we will spend the day with Stan, enjoying the clement weather of the Sunshine State in the Lucky Country.

Getting back

Having a subconscious tie tugging me to a phantom, idealised bucolic life led me to believe this was my destiny.

Because of their scale, towns and cities have the appeal of inclusivity and freedom. In reality, more residents are squashed into a smaller area.

The increasing cost of living is so high that a weekly night out on the tiles is beyond the grasp of those with modest means.

Around a decade ago, I looked into buying a block of land in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland hinterland. It was large enough to build our own home. Unfortunately, the distance from a large urban area and requisite workplace remained too far away.

We purchase the ‘swan’ chairs on a whim in 1999 from an over the top furniture shop on the fringe of Double Bay, Sydney. They have gold finished frames, Sensuede seats and Teflon coated French silk backs. Like most things in our life they have patina. Reminding us of happy gatherings of friends and family.

Instead we opted for somewhere within one hour public transport commuting distance of Brisbane. There is an added bonus of a huge nature conservation area literally across the road.

Within our humble dwelling, a long held grandiose idea of a French Empire themed dining room has miraculously manifested in a not too shabby area of the kitchen.

The table extends to seat eight to ten people. Prior to the move it stood on end sans legs for five years on the landing of the townhouse.

While searching, one of the requirements of the new house was space enough to accommodate the dining table.


As a child and early teen, the vocabulary and pronunciation of my native tongue were expanding. We lived in a relatively posh neighbourhood. The influence of the maternal side of the family, hailing from the Black Country was limited. Sadly the memory of my grandfather speaking has faded.

According to Wikipedia the ‘Black Country dialect preserves many archaic traits of Early Modern English and even Middle English and can be very confusing for outsiders.’

A typical informal greeting would be ‘Owamya aer kid?’ (How are you?). A suitable response could be, ‘Ar ah’m owkay tar’ (Yes, I’m okay, thank you).

My accent has softened; it is frequently incorrectly identified as Scouse or northern English. This would fit with the influence of the paternal family coming from Wales.

Being a shy introvert, I relied on myself to interpret and solve the idiosyncrasies of the English language aided with a dictionary, although I did not understand phoentic spelling.

A notable example of silently self learning was the word ‘determine’. For years I read it as ‘debtor-mine’. I somehow interpreted sentences without understanding the meaning of the word.

What a revelation it was when the realisation dawned.

Hot water tank/immersion heater

The new abode’s utility/laundry room/corrider runs perpendicular to the outside area.

My architect/interior designer husband believes the plumber installed the hot water tank/immersion heater adjacent to this space for their own convenience rather than for the aesthetic of the outside area; I agree, the taupe coloured hulk is a blot.

Tomorrow, our dear friend A. judges an equestrian events in Caboolture, a town north of the new home. As A. will be dropping in after said judging, they will be the first official visitor; everything needs to be tip top Bristol fashion.

Over the last week, we have assembled racking in one of two sheds, to facilitate my husband’s clearing the area of removal boxes. Also, I have sewn pencil pleat heading tape onto outdoor curtains whilst hubby is in the process of creating a coffee table.

We are toying with moving the daybed in front of the eyesore instead of facing it. An amusing alternative would be to stand a mirror in front of it to elude the viewer.

The tin galah views the whole suggestion with the vacillation it deserves.