THE SUBURB TIME FORGOT

Setting off up the laneway on our morning constitutional a roller door opened and two kids on bikes spilled out.

‘Careful of the old people!’ the first one called out to his little brother, kind and terribly cruel all at once. It’s come to this.

Hairwise I do now look like Doc Brown from Back To The Future. I really need a haircut or a hat and this morning I had neither. No wonder these kids thought I looked like something from Jurassic Park.

Robinson kindly said she doesn’t mind me looking like a maniac. Or maybe she said mechanic? I said I don’t mind her looking like Pepe Le Pew. We headed off oldly, hand in hand, challenged and refreshed, to the Toxteth Estate to gawp at the spectacular houses and gardens of old Glebe.

We live in a great place and that’s why it was disappointing to discover that ours is apparently not a ‘valid suburb’ for the purpose of delivering wine. WTF? If that was true we’d move.

We don’t live in Glebe, we live in Forest Lodge. Unless you went to Sydney Uni you’ve probably never heard of it. I’d never heard of it, but then I’m not from Sydney.

Or am I? We’ve been in this old house for 23 years, fresh out of Hobart. I feel like a local. But I still say ‘It’s like Bourke Street” when I see a crowd rather than ‘It’s like Pitt Street’. That’s a Melbourne vs Sydney reference. We lived in Melbourne too.

Recently a mate from Melbourne tried to send us a box of lockdown wine in a been there/done that gesture of great kindness. It hasn’t arrived. When I tracked the non-delivery I discovered Forest Lodge was not a ‘valid suburb’.

Really? Ambrose Foss built the titular Forest Lodge in 1836 on 31 acres, 2 roods and 15 perches only a couple of blocks from our own humble cottage which was built about fifty years later.

It seems we’re in the land that time forgot.

That’s lockdown. The upstairs toilet cistern leaks but we can’t get it fixed. One of the power points in our new kitchen sparks when we turn off the toaster, but we can’t get it fixed. Nina the kitten bites the hand that feeds her but the paramedics won’t come.

We bleed and fizz and check the front verandah for wine. Nothing as far as the eye can see.

Looking for positives, we haven’t put petrol in the car since we drove back from our niece Greer’s dancing reckless wonderful wedding in Victoria back in April.

There are hardly any aeroplanes into or out of the worst airport in the world. (Sydney.) Our back yard is an oasis.

And my meadow grows. It’s attracted a pair of crested doves and a reindeer.

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