A blog of grumpiness, stilts and skin.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Scrooge McGrumpy

I did something most un-Grumpy-like this morning.

I tipped the elderly lady that brings me my cappucino most work days.

Not only does she do this, but she lets me read her Australian and West Australian, so that I can keep you up to date with all the latest from page 17.

But why I really like her is that she calls everybody "Darl'", and has an unrelenting work ethic.

What is it with these working oldies?

I stagger into the cafe half dead about an hour after she's turned on the grinder, and she's telling everyone she meets that she hopes it's gonna be a, "real busy day".

And she doesn't even own the place.

Reminds me of my nan, actually. When I was a little kid, Nan owned a shop on a busy highway south of Sydney.

Her meat rolls used to attract swarms of people, including local royalty - rugby league luminaries like Keith Barnes and Reg Gasnier.

Day-in, day-out, she slaved over the shop's stove. Before I was born, my mum and dad made sandwiches there and worked the counter, and were canny enough to save a deposit for a house out of the experience.

Nan was the unquestioned boss though, and gave everybody the rounds of the kitchen, quite literally.

Even customers were not beyond her ire. "I DON'T CARE IF REG GASNIER HAS TO BE AT THE SCG AT 1 O'CLOCK," she'd be known to scream from kitchen to counter at my old (then young) man. "HE WAITS IN LINE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!"

But then the New South Wales government resumed the shop to widen the road that delivered all Nan's business. She moved north and opened another shop in the hinterland behind that pensioner's paradise, The Entrance.

But it wasn't the same.


Blogger hazelblackberry said...

It never is.

But even though I didn't know her then, I can say with confidence that the redoubtable Nan is still the same.

Friday, December 23, 2005


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