Due to a sloppy head cold, nasty wet weather with a chilly wind playing off the snowfields and an upsurge in customers, last week was a tough one for yours truly. I’ve had to break out my woolly vests for the first time in 3 years.
The increased visitors were the result of the school holidays, but there were also a large number of extra customers who had lost their gruntle due to buses at the nearby stop. Trams are slow but buses in city traffic are slooooow.
“Very poor service!” snapped one entitled young woman in crisp, upper-class tones. “I’m going to miss my country train because of you.”
Her posh accent (Melbourne Grammar at least) made my hackles rise but I resisted temptation and refrained from pointing out that she’d cut her connection too fine if it was that important. That never goes anywhere good.
But the toughest thing about last week was seeing M and C who once again find themselves homeless.
They showed up with a large suitcase having had to put their new-born baby into care with the Salvos. So at least he is warm and dry. Apparently they are able to visit him every day too.
Lately when M has showed up scrounging money “for milk for the baby” I’ve wondered if this unseen child actually exists, but their distress last week was palpable.
“It was awful leaving him. Little M cried and then M cried and then I couldn’t help crying,” said C.
M tells me he was in care from the time he was six. I suspect he fears for his son as well. Bad luck and small mistakes make a critical mass of difficulties that are difficult to get over. There but for the grace of God …