Month: January 2017

The things you read

Those who know me, know I will read anything. Even the back of plastic water bottles found while tidying up the platform. This particular one assured me it didn’t just look good, it “had ancient wisdom” as well. That made me stop and take a closer look.

Apparently this is because it is “infused with native flower essences”. “Handpicked native flower essences” no less. Apparently Northern Australian indigenous people are involved in this process. I couldn’t resist taking a quick sniff of the remaining water, but I can’t smell anything floral. Perhaps that is because it is “refreshingly non-flavoured”

But I can smell something.

Ahh! The scent of male bovine manure.
P.S. School’s back and I had my first train surfers yesterday. They even wore balaclavas as they rode on the rear coupling. Guess the summer holidays are over.

The man-kini

So was D wearing something like this on Elizabeth Street. The mind boggles


D is studiedly bogan. He shakes my hand with an iron grip, tells me he’s from Gippsland and that in his depressed country town every third street has an ice-lab. Shades of “Winters Bone”. He describes getting drunk and driving down the main drag yelling at the shards (ice addicts.) Then he tells me he’s joined the local medieval re-enactment society and how much he likes fighting with the rattan canes. (thus exploding the whole bogan persona in my eyes.)

A pleasant young man. I’m not sure why he’s in Melbourne, but I haven’t pressed him in case he’s here with the Mental Health Service or the Juvenile Detention Service both of which have flats in the area. He may just be here to go to University. What I’d really like to know is his relationship with the two different young women he took the zoo the week before Christmas both of whom he seemed to be on arms-around-waist relations with. (Watch out for your station staff. They notice things.)
Today he looks a bit rough. Apparently, he drank too much on New Year’s Eve.
“I don’t remember much but my mates say I was wandering round Elizabeth Street in a man-kini singing and playing the guitar.

“Did people tuck money into your man-kini?” I ask.
“No,” he says, “But I do remember getting smacked on the arse a lot.”

School holidays

The woman at the ticket machine seems to be putting money onto a dozen smartcards. At the same time she is batting away the 4 or 5 children who crowd around her, all poking at the touch screen, grabbing at the cards and bickering with each other. Around us the waiting room is thunderous with the sound of children and wall to wall with parents and prams. A toddler is wailing piercingly while another really, really needs a nappy change. A very tiny Jack Russell terrier is worrying my shoe laces. My ears are ringing! Three different children have asked me to admire their new stuffed toy at the same time and another one wants a hug.
OMG how do parents do this? All the time?
Outside four or five exhausted-looking parents are desperately trying to suck some energy out of cigarettes. Braving the blinding sunlight, the regulars have all fled out down the platform for the sake of their sanity.
At last the train comes. I herd people into the train, trying to help with prams and keeping an eye out for lost property. The platform clears, I give the driver the sign that there’s no more. He closes the doors. As the train pulls out, another tired family straggles into the station. While telling them they’ve got 20 minutes till the next train, and listening to their moans of dismay, I grab brush and shovel, sweep away the melted icy poles, chips and squashed strawberries and get ready to do it all again.
Its school holidays at Zoo Station so it will be like this for the next 6 weeks. At least the days pass quickly. Roll on the 6.00 gin and tonic!

Inquiring minds want to know

So on the last day of the year a little old man potters into the waiting room  – carrying a pick.  I’m so curious and just a tiny bit concerned. What sort of person carries a pick on the train? Is he a miner? A madman? An assassin?  .

The old guy looks rather sweet.   He seems to know me – we must have spoken before.

“They making you work even now,” he says sympathetically.

“I see you are too,” I say, hoping for more information.

“Oh I’m still working on that primary school. But I’m a volunteer and can stop whenever I like,” he says and potters off down the platform.


I hope the primary school is still there when the children get back from holidays.

Happy New Year to you All.