On the weekend I visited Dr. J in her far-flung empire in Belgrave for some pizza, zone 1+2+3 tickets, mandarins straight off the tree, Jeeves & Wooster, a nice white followed by a nice red, and a bowl of sour cream and wedges bigger than both of our heads. It is one of life’s mysteries why my chum has chosen to move there, particularly as she has stated openly for many years, ‘I shall never move off Map 58. Never.’
Despite the lengthy train ride there and back, and despite the fact that I tease ruthlessly anyone who lives in a place described as ‘family-friendly’, I thought that Belgrave was quite delightful. The air is like champagne. There is a misty haze in the air that smacks of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite. I got to use the word ‘bucolic’. We had a mighty full breakfast at the Green Bean café, and lunch and Kilkenny at the Micawber Tavern. I spotted Belgrave’s only gothic (who looked surly and freezy in her fishnet stockings). We even had a fnarr at the noticeboard in the healthfood shop, and I bought a purple woolly beanie with little ears on it.
Names spotted on the ‘main’ ‘drag’:
Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe (every word has an ‘e’ on the end!)
The Wicked Lady (dreamcatchers and more)
Cheap As (a $2 shop)
Kerry Kulken’s psychic tat (I exaggerate, but the girl was rude to us)
Queen of Tarts (reminiscent of the tight-jeaned and booted lovelies on Belgrave stn but actually a café)
I had my tarot cards read in The Wicked Lady by a lovely lady called Sally. After she told me a long story about her Abyssinian cat and her sons, I felt it necessary to pour out my entire life story, which she took very well. We talked about the ‘universe’, the ‘cosmos’, ‘different lives’ and ‘letting go of burdens’. Dr J. has lived there long enough not to snort derisively at my enthusiasms, which I thought was sweet.
After a turn about the garden in our gumboots to the calling of the kookaburras (where we found a prettyish sort of wilderness and some neighbouring sheep), I hoed for the big smoke. Lovely! Quaint! Just don’t ask me to move there.