Small Town Boy

I’ve been in Lismore, you recall? Well, as I arrived home from the pub last night I noticed the people next door had erected their Christmas lights. I don’t exactly know when Bev and Cec became Christmas light aficionados, but they’ve done so with a great deal of gusto. You can probably see them using Google Earth, if you ask me, and Al Gore has probably already written them a personal letter complaining about their impact on global warming.

Lismore. Even though my hometown has a population, conservatively, of about 46-thousand it’s still remarkably small. I was reminded of this when I went for that quiet beer yesterday evening at one of the local pubs. And within five minutes of settling down for a quiet moment by myself, I was greeted by a workmate from Brisbane. “Hi James, what are you doing here?”, he asked, before I reminded him that I was actually born and raised in Lismore. After a few minutes of pleasantries we ended up talking about a range of common interests, without getting too into “work mode” if you know what I mean.

And then this morning, as I was renewing my membership of the Lismore Workers Club, standing right in front of me in the queue was the teacher I travelled to Germany with as a high school student. After renewing my membership of the all-important mortality fund (they make a contribution towards your funeral), we sat down and chatted about our lives since then. She was quite an inspirational teacher, especially in the areas of languages and travel. She was also quite inspirational in giving me the courage to be totally honest. Hmmm… maybe not such a good thing in hindsight.

It seems to me Lismore hasn’t changed all that much in the last year, though it was an interesting time to be there in the lead-up to Christmas, but not actually Christmas. The tourists haven’t arrived and so most of those wandering around the shopping centres were locals. And as we walked around Lismore Shopping Square today (airconditioning relief therapy), I noticed how the town has aged somewhat.

Unfortunately, though, it was a day of queues. A queue at the shopping centre. A queue at the airport cafe. A queue at airport security. A holding pattern as we came back to Sydney. And then the steps failed to arrive (I was travelling Jet Star if you must know), so we had to queue again. And then the taxi queue was worse than ever. At which point I thought to myself, suddenly it’s 1980 and we’re all in Poland queuing up for bread. See what happens when you elect a Labor Government?

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