The other night after work I was walking from the bus stop to my in-laws for dinner.
They live in a quiet neighbourhood which seems to favour obese topiary balls and rose bushes with claws. Row after row of houses sit shyly on neat square blocks, almost holding hands with their neighbour, but not quite. They look out at the world through lazy half-shuttered windows and glow smugly from within.
It was a cold night and no one was about. The hum of distant traffic ebbing and flowing sounded almost like the sea while newly parked cars ticked gently. The sudden lurch of a bus on the main road silenced birds I hadn’t noticed were there.
A rich waft of sweet Daphne gave me pause outside a brown-brick Federation, renovated to within an inch of its life. A large glass and steel structure had been bolted on – no doubt sold to the Council as a tasteful addition that enhanced the classic lines of the old place. But the quaint, picketed verandah was having none of that and seemed to frown at the huge modern structure above it. I used to be enough, the old house seemed to sigh.
My footsteps tapped lightly on the footpath and the cold air slapped my face. Hurry up, the cold admonished. But I didn’t want to hurry.
I wanted to savour the moment. Just a moment. Nothing special.