Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Holidays Commence (with a Potato Gun Hold-Up)

While my Melbourne friends are shivering through a glum, wet winter that is unenlivened by snowfalls, I am racking my brain for ways to keep cool. The sun is beginning to bake the city, and I've already got a patchwork of lobster-red bits from where I've forgotten to put on sunscreen. (Having a quintessentially English/Irish complexion doesn't usually bother me, but there's a limit: we delicate white-skinned types were not made for blazing summers in steppe regions). There's a lull in berry production right now, too. I'm given to understand that the raspberries will be out shortly, but the plums are still too sour for eating. 

My recent posts are a bit dismal, aren't they? This place needs brightening up, so I would write more along jolly summer lines - but I had another frightening encounter this morning!  I went out to buy some lapyoshka (Russian flat bread) for breakfast. On the way back, I rounded a corner and was confronted by the sight of a teenage boy pointing a black handgun at another boy pressed against a fence. For half a petrified second that felt like much longer, I contemplated my options, which pretty much consisted of backing around the corner. Before I could move, he pulled the trigger, and the gun made a sound like the old potato pellet guns my brother used to have: they were playing. Big teenage boys playing with toy guns. When my heart started beating again, I walked on by with as much casualness as I could muster.

I leave that little morning snapshot with you. No comment.

I began watching Lord of the Rings last night. Half an hour in, I was overwhelmed with the desire to read the trilogy again - it's been a couple of years since my last foray - so my other errand this morning was to go into the school library and borrow them out. I also borrowed out the Narnia books and some Sonya Hartnett, thus regressing many years into my reading history. I imagine I shall spend the rest of the day reading compulsively. This is what being on holidays should look like - good books and movies and intermittent adventures. Now if only my friends were within walking distance!

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