Newtown

Nicholas Quirke was enjoying his final full day in Sydney on 24th January. He was taking it slowly as the heat seemed to feel oppressive. He went into the city to try and find a a plain white linen shirt, but this proved to be an elusive quest and he eventually gave up. He made the mistake of ignoring Ollie’s directions and instead took the subway train to Central. Absolutely no air conditioning and by the time he got of the train he was dripping with sweat. He managed the walk to The White Rabbit in the arty area of Chippendale where he enjoyed, not only the art, but dumplings for lunch with a Chrysanthemum and Goji berry tea which apparently nourishes the eye. The gallery of contemporary Chinese art was fascinating and enjoyable and he was in good spirits when he left and headed to Queen street in Newtown, on a final pilgrimage. to see the house where the Thomson’s had lived and he had in fact died. It seemed a 20 minute walk from his location according to GPS so he decided, once again to ignore Ollie’s instructions and he set of on a walk. Imagine his surprise when he encountered ‘Grace Bros’ department store., he contemplated going in to Menswear but he was on a mission and ‘Finding Mrs Slocombe and her Pussy’ would have to wait for another lifetime. The walk seemed endless, the heat bore down on him, his feet were sore and he found himself, again, arguing with the GPS on his his phone. He was however amazed by some of the architecture which had a very run down feeling, though once he got into the back streets of Newtown he found the properties exquisite.  He had prepared himself for disappointment and indeed Number 12 was not there but he took a photo of 22, 5 doors up and he also paced out the houses to the spot where 12 would have been, an ivy covered wall,  and contemplated his ancestors life and death there.  When he reached the top of the road he started filming the old Victorian properties, until he realised that they were dated 1889 , almost 2 decades after the mans  death.  The bus he needed to get home was the number 370 and was clearly the most infrequent service in Sydney so he started to walk home. He stopped for tea on his way to revive himself for the cinema but by the time he got back he had walked about 8 miles and was completely exhausted and drained. He lay down and remained there till Ollie came home with Alesandro who had been her roommate for a while. They sat outside with Libby and Jan and talked for while. The dogs, finally used to him, allowed themselves to be stroked by Nicholas. He deferred as he was too too weak and tired. He was going back to Melbourne tomorrow and it was time for to pack up and get ready to leave this idyllic spot of semi communal living.

 

 

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