Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shave and haircut, two bits!

March 18th

I woke around 7:30. James had just come back slightly worse for wear after 5 hours of sleep to make the spin class with the cute girl. We shared a cuppa, and in the emerging heat of day, I rode to Sale. It was flat and uneventful. I was lost in no thoughts in particular and scolded myself for not looking around at the countryside as much. Sale's main street had lovely verandas, trees and the pleasant bustle of a country town midweek.

I got my ears lowered from a pretty girl with a strangely lopsided haircut. I am not sure if this is in fashion or not. Either way, it looked highly impractical and high maintenance in a way that contrasted with the country farm girl she claimed to be. Far be it from me to judge, as I have never worked a farm. She cut my hair slowly and carefully, which gave me the impression she was new to the barber business. But, as they say here, “No dramas.” Ears lowered and no split ends on my lustrous locks made me feel like a new man. (You bet your ass I just wrote that). I moseyed and relaxed around town for a bit before making my way to Frank and Prue Stone’s (Jonno’s parents) house around cocktail hour. I was here in Sale to make good to my promises to speak about the North Atlantic trip at Frank’s end-of-the-year rowing party at Gippsland Grammar School.

Frank and Prue are lucky enough to sit right above the flood plain that surrounds the river that runs through Sale. This means that, in a land of drought, they look over a green and verdant prairie in which cattle graze and moo freely. The gum trees smelled strong of citronella, and I was offered a bottle of beer and a pint of water. We sat on the deck and watched a neon pink sunset. Amelia (“Meals”) Stone is living at home. She is saving some money to go teach English in Vietnam. Dan Moore lives here, too. He is one of Frank’s "rent-a-roomers" that he gets one or two of each year from the old country. Usually they are young and in their gap year (between HS and UNI). Dan is 19 and carries himself much older. Frank is quite a chef, and we eat well – lots of meat. I sleep even better in the Harry Potter bed below the stairs.

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