SASSY TOWN FOLLIES by Felicty Appleton, no. 24 July 1


It was raining. That wasn’t unusual. We were all used to it by Saturday. It hadn’t stopped bloody raining. It rained and rained and rained. It rained hard for about seven days in a row and I don’t know how many millilitres fell during the rainy week but it was more than the usual rainfall for the entire month of June, or something. I think. Dad and uncle Gordon would be really angry with me for not knowing that but I don’t obsess over the weather like they do. I try to keep smiling and be happy whatever happens. I always know what’s going to happen with the weather, and vary my wardrobe accordingly, but I don’t follow troughs developing and collect water in a gauge. That’s going too far.

I was sitting in The Wharf Hotel gazing out the window at Manly Beach and waiting for Heather to arrive. We said we’d meet for lunch and maybe go shopping afterwards but that was looking unlikely. God, it was miserable. I was warm enough though. The Driza-Bone coat I found on special in a little shop in a little arcade round the corner from work, which I think is gone now, is like a short trench coat and it doesn’t just keep you dry. It also keeps the cold out. And it looks pretty good too. There was a fire at my back, in a huge fireplace, and I had a glass of red wine in front of me. Seemed the best option to warm you up inside.

Drenched people came and went just on the other side of the window. The beach is only metres away from the pub and so you got a good view of people deciding whether to be brave and keep going or to be sensible and run inside one of the shops on The Corso. Teenaged boys crouched down, under their umbrella, sort of covering their whole bodies, not just their heads, as they waited for the lights to change. A couple arrived and she wore a kind of navy blazer with light blue piping and a grey vest underneath teamed with a crisp white shirt. Her gumboots matched her jeans and the whole outfit worked so well I wanted to get up from my seat and run outside and kiss her. But I didn’t. Because it was cold and wet out there.

There were quite a few surfers catching waves and they seemed to be having a good time. I thought of when Heather and I were growing up and we would sometimes go to the beach, just for a swim, in weather like this. Well, not quite like this. This was vile. But we were brave when we were girls. And we’re less brave now. Or maybe we’re brave about different things. We take risks with men, now. That’s become our going to the beach, I suppose.

Surfers ran up the beach and then suddenly looked a lot less happy as the rain and cold hit them, and they ran, faster, across the road.

And it just wouldn’t stop. The rain, that is.

Heather arrived, late, and we walked down the street under her fancy, frilly umbrella. Her fancy frilly umbrella was useless. And the cafe, Ernie’s, was closed, so we ran back to the pub, in the rain, and the cold, and ate there instead. We were soon sitting near the huge warm fire and eating beef and Guinness pie and drinking more red wine from the cheap bottle they use when you ask for a glass of house red. It probably costs under $30 if you buy a full a bottle. But it was fun to drink.

Two little kids, a brother and sister, sat on the piano stool (I know – a piano!), and their legs dangled, and they played “Chopsticks”. There are probably better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon, but this was good enough.

Published in: on July 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: