The Chinese Blanket Lady. There is a tiny sparrow of a woman that I pass many mornings that I like to think of as The Chinese Blanket Lady. She wears this coat that is possibly the ugliest thing you have ever seen, made from some sort of slightly fuzzy and very acrylic looking blanket material, with a design of large stylised Chinese flowers in pastel colours. Peonies writ large. The rest of the coat is trimmed with a knit rib in the most incredible hot orange colour, almost but not quite Hazard Orange. But oh man, she looks so tiny and snug in her big ugly blanket coat that it always makes me want to go over and give her a hug or something. I don't think she'd like that somehow, at least not out of the blue.
The Toasted Sarnie. I had a long cold walk to work from the train station this morning. Eyes tearing from the cold wind and nearly getting blown over as I crossed over the Parramatta River. The light at the end of that tunnel, the gold at the end of the rainbow, was a piping hot toated cheese and tomato sandwich. The sandwich of corner milk bars, car holiday roadside service stations and childhood. White bread, cheddar cheese, thick(ish) slices of tomato, salt & pepper, and then all pressed flat and toasted until the end result is something even thinner than one slice of bread, but crisp and filled with yummy melted goo. Heaven.
Gristle Guy. I have to take a couple of trains to get to work every morning, and one of the longer train rides takes about half an hour. On that trip this morning there was a guy sitting opposite eating his breakfast from a plastic container. Except, in the half hour period he took about 3 bites and it took him the whole trip to chew them. Both cheeks full, chomp chomp chomp he went. He was kind of wiry and skinny and it did cross my mind that he probably expended more energy chewing than he was getting from whatever he was eating. But what could he be eating? What takes that much work? I was thinking beef jerky, giant balls of bubble gum, pure beef gristle, the stringy bits (only) from celery or maybe even a few floorboards.
The Strapping Lad. This is less of an observation and more of a joy really. I'm no Chicken Hawk. Ok, I know I've mentioned young guys in the past but I normally go for guys close to my own age. However, there was a boy of about 20 in the train station this morning that stopped me dead in my tracks. Tall, brunette, massive broad shoulders and yet with a lithe athletic build. All wrapped up in a form fitting cream sweater. Man, I'll bet there are a whole bunch of broken hearts/petty jealousies/distracted tutorial attendees/proto-gay boys discovering themselves on whatever university campus that beauty stalks.
The Sunflower Principle. I'm a bit of a creature of habit and tend to get on the same train carriage every day. Consequently I usually stand in the same spot on the train platform at Redfern, where I board my second train of a morning. Redfern station platforms are mostly open to the elements, so I often find myself standing in roughly the same spot on the platform with roughly the same group of people. Some are there to smoke. Some are there (like me) to get on the first, and usually fairly empty, train carriage. As the seasons have changed we've all moved along a bit. Just a month or two ago the unseasonable warm weather meant we all clustered around the shade given off by the solitary (and slightly feeble) tree in a planter on the platform. Now the cold wind and weak Winter sunshine has us all moving along out of the shade, trying to warm ourselves in the sun. Turning towards the light like sunflowers.