Changing Cities

Nicholas Quirke was annoyed that the Sydney Bookshops he tried did not seem to sell Kenneth Slessor’s poetry. He was forced to resort to 2nd hand shops and ultimately purchased a grubby copy printed in 1966. It wasn’t the pristine present he’d hoped to present Ollie with as a thank you for her hospitality, but for now it would have to suffice. As he said farewell to Ollie, he had a message from his sister Kate and when he could, he immediately FaceTimed her to catch up and gossip. How strange that technology can keep everyone so close. If he had travelled when he was young as other friends did he would have completely lost touch with everyone. He was also annoyed that it seemed impossible to find a new plain white ‘relaxed fit’ white shirt. Everything was slim fit or became too gigantic around the upper torso when required to contain his overlarge stomach; he started to see the value in a Kaftan. He had a final breakfast at the Ground Roasted where he met and chatted with the owner and her 2 sons. It was very interesting to learn of the foundation of the restaurant. He looked for a Barbers as it was now 2 months since his last coiffure at Milos, and it was time he smartened himself up with a cut and a beard trim. He found nothing. His search for a shirt failed but he did not come away from his shopping efforts empty handed. He had a blue shirt instead of a white shirt and some shorts. Like a haircut, the desired white shirt would have to wait till Melbourne. When he got back he encountered Libby and they chatted and said goodbye, though Nicholas sincerely hoped he would be back and enjoy the company of this wonderful household again. He had finally got into the swing of using Uber and ordered one to take him to the airport. He felt strangely mournful to be uprooting himself but thee feelings were quickly dispelled when he remembered what he had waiting for in Melbourne. Nicholas arrived early at the airport and was finally able to fully enjoy the benefits of his Priority Pass card and had a lunch in the appropriate lounge. It was a slower paced day for which he was grateful and he was able to relax on his Virgin Australia flight and read. A sky bus got him to Southern Cross but his journey fell apart when he booked 2 Ubers which never turned up, till he realised he was standing in the wrong spot. He took a Taxi instead. It was a wonderful reunion with his travelling companion and Kim had prepared for his return to Melbourne with a delicious curry’. As they moved onto the balcony to talk and enjoy the cool evening air Nicholas launched into a loud wailing rendition of their inimitable pronunciation of Uluru, only to see Kim’s neighbours looking startled by hideous sound. It was a chastening moment. There followed an intense, provocative and soul searching conversation the outcome of which Nicholas promised he would take on board. It felt good to be back particularly with the exciting plans in place for the next few days.  It was with a happy heart that Nicholas took to his bed and sleep.

 

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