NEIS mentor, part two

Aunty Tina picked me up from Cheltenham station for our meeting today, after an invitation to ‘prank me when you get to Highett, darls.’ I took this to mean ring her twice, which is what I did.

Careening out from the carpark (‘ooh, that was a bit of a Thelma and Louise moment, wasn’t it’? she cried, drumming her feet on the pedals), we detoured past her favourite beach outlook where she sat every morning to look for dolphins. We also talked about my ‘dreams’.

The amount of screeching and squawking (from both of us) was unbelievable. The woman is a riot. While driving, Aunty Tina kept up a stream of consciousness with every point punctuated by, ‘but that’s just me!’ We did a drive-by on some pelicans as well – ‘They’re just like dinosaurs, don’t you think?’ – before we even got to her house.

We pulled up at a huge wooden place, set high on a sloping block, with inlaid stained glass windows and a wonderful bluestone fireplace. Apparently her Mum’s original version had been burnt down by the feral hippie kid of a housesitter (‘Five generations circus, she was. Lovely woman. We don’t speak any more,’ she confided), which she faithfully restored herself. There was even a great big window seat, covered in brocade.

She lit a crackling fire, produced tea and buns in a jiffy, and set to making over my business. Aunty Tina very quickly identified the weak spots, which impressed me. She made me pretend I was cold-calling her (which always makes me squirm), then gave me a quick, fiery talking-to which certainly sent a great flaming boot up the bum.

When I showed her my business card, the reaction was stupendous. Both her feet flew into the air while she shrieked with appreciation.
Her: ‘Oh! Oh! I love it! It’s red! There’s a plane! It’s so….so…what’s that movie with Warren Beatty?’
Me: Um…Dick Tracy?
Her: YES! Can I continue?
Me: Please do.
Her: It just says so much to me….. this bit… …and that bit…!!
Me: (modestly) Well… I did have to restrain myself from putting ‘Girl Reporter’ on it.
Her: (with a wild yell) Wonderful! Let’s practice our cold-calling again! Shall I be bitchier this time?
Me: Sure….ok….Hello…my name is Rebecca….
Then she seized my card and held it up next to her head.
Her: No! Grrrr! Girl Reporter! Rebecca! Stewart! Calling!
Me: Um…(lowers voice) Rebecca..
Her (leaping to her feet, brandishing the card): GIRL! REPORTER! REBECCA!
Me: A-ha ha ha ha haaaa…

It was all good value. So today’s report is that that Aunty Tina not only talks the talk but walks the walk. And boy, does she talk.


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