Monday, August 31, 2009

Chop Chop Casanova

The weather in Sydney at the moment is just outstanding, beautiful clear days with enough warmth in the sun to swim in the sea if one is either a) under the age of 13 or b) seriously tough; Note: I fall into neither category.

Drama Queen no.3 does swim training down at North Sydney Olympic Pool which must be one of the most amazingly scenic pools in the world, situated right on the harbour’s edge. Whilst she is pounding up and down the swim lanes I sit up in the bleachers overlooking the outdoor pool, coffee in hand gazing up at Sydney Harbour Bridge and watching the harbour afternoon traffic. There is something very soothing about watching Aussie swimmers carve their way up and down the pool. The majority of adults, and indeed children, who swim laps in the pool, cruise effortlessly up and down in an efficient and graceful freestyle. On the occasions when I do some laps, I ease myself gingerly into the ‘slow lane – breaststroke only’ corridor. I am gloomily aware that my distinctive style of breaststroke, head held high as if I have accepted a bet that I can do a lap without a drop of water disturbing the hairdo and an expression of grim determination upon my face mark me out to any watching Australian as an obvious Pom in the pool.

We have a fantastic local butchers’ shop that is always heaving with customers despite being more expensive than the supermarkets. I am on chatty terms with at least two or three of the mainly male staff as indeed are most of their customer base. One of my friends confided recently that having been into the shop, when she got home she discovered the chap who served her had written his name and number down on the butchers’ paper he’d used to wrap her meat in. As you can imagine my first reaction was absolute outrage that no butcher had ever tried to slip me his phone number and I am restraining myself from marching in and demanding what’s wrong with the older, larger and greyer versions of the female form. Close interrogation of my glamorous friend revealed however that the Casanova amongst the chops wasn’t actually one of my staff chums so honour was somewhat satisfied, but I will still be making a big effort with my appearance before I set off on the next sausage sortie.

The dog is having a ripper of a day in every sense of the word. I looked out just before it got dark and discovered all the towels that had been hanging on our rotary clothes line were on the ground. Fuelled by some kind of manic ambition to fly he leaps at the towels and hangs on with his teeth as momentum carries the clothes line round. The inevitable end to Orville Wright Dog’s test flight is that either the fabric rips or the clothes pegs give and he is propelled to the ground muffled in towel. Duvet covers also have surprising aeronautical properties so far as he is concerned and most of the household duvet covers now sport a number of interesting triangular tears. I am not sure which does more damage, Pluto’s teeth or my inept attempts at darning.

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