Thursday, 5 July 2012

Orange Leaves & Cafes.

As I grow older and ‘wiser’ into my full-sized grown-up self, I appreciate winter-time more and more. Now it could just be my love of accessories talking, but doesn’t winter just seem more romantic (in that non-romancy sense of the word)?

Winter is a time of fire-places, rain on windows, and multiple-movies-in-a-sitting. It’s a time when drinks are mulled, and you can eat fish and chips in your car while you watch the surfers and secretly think ‘Suckers, better you than me’.

Summer does, of course, have its summery perks. Just a bit showy, maybe? Sunshine… exposed-skin… sitting outside… fish & chips on the sand (and the host of sand-related issues involved with that). Whatever, summer, I say – give me a car that smells like fish & chips for three weeks.

In the last year I have moved from a small seaside town, where summer meant one thing – tourists.  Personally, I enjoyed being able to complain about tourists. All Locals secretly do. (NB: I am only able to refer to myself as ‘Local’, but not ‘A Local’. Very different.) It brings us together in an annual bonding ritual known as Tourist Hate (TH). Truth be known, the only time I noticed it was in line at Ryan’s IGA… which was fine because my coveted ‘frequent customer tag’ implied my superiority at check-out.

‘Schoolies’ are a particularly enjoyable breed of tourists to complain about. These are the ones who have just finished Year 12, and are looking for some frivolity before they start pretending to be grown-ups (as we all are I am pretty sure). They are young and do silly things that Locals love to hate – from the more traditional trampling of flower-beds, to stealing my recycling bin. Which, is a gift in itself really. Because: a) it gives Locals something to justify their TH, and b) it warrants a trip to the local Council Offices –a Mecca for small-town complainers. (Apparently they use the bins to stow illicit alcohol – the scallywags.)

Winter in a beach-side town is a whole different story. There is something pride-provoking about living in a town other people pass through only on holiday and special occasions. In winter, Locals get to rejoice in the privacy, quiet and beauty of their place. A different sort of beauty that other people miss because they are busy living and working somewhere just that little bit too far away.  The incidental loveliness that is there every day when you step out of your front door.

After almost 8 months of living in this big town of Melbourne I am beginning to see the loveliness that exists here as well. Beautiful old buildings and secret parks and orange leaves and warm cafes...

But WHERE are the good fish and chip shops?

Out my front window. How can this be bad?