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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My old hole in the wall

 

The year was 1985 which was my very own 'annus horribilis' as my dreams of a triumphant homecoming from my last overseas posting in Greece unravelled, and first Townsville and then Sydney turned into disasters, perhaps because I'd never liked living in a city, least of all in Domesti-City.

My old friend Noel came down from Mt Perry for a couple of weeks and loved the location right in the heart of the Blues Point Road shops and cafés and wine bars. On the opposite corner was the 'Grape Escape', a "girl meets boy" place with lots of eye candy behind the bar. Their late-night patrons would keep me awake as they fumbled with their keys and set off the alarms in their cars parked under my window.

To Noel McMahon's Point felt like a little piece of Paris while to me it was just a place to come back to after a gruelling day's work in a job which had none of the scope and perks of my last overseas posting.

I busied myself furnishing the place and tried to make friends at the local watering hole, the Blue's Point Hotel, which was then a rough pub that catered to all the flotsam and jetsam of the big city where only the bank balance separated the affluent from the homeless.

There were scores of regulars like leprechaun-sized Wolfgang who was a permanent fixture right next to the Men's Room so as not to waste too much time between drinks! Other patrons simply walked around him as though he was just a piece of furniture. What a sorry sight!

We all have hearts that hurt and cities are lonely places! I knew I couldn't allow myself to become part of this and so, a few months later, I was on my way to Canberra but the old hole-in-the-wall is still there and has just now been renovated and is for rent again.

Sitting room

Kitchen

Bedroom

Bedroom

I heard that Wolfgang died of cirrhosis of the liver, the 'Grape Escape' is no more, and the Blue's Point Hotel is now so posh you need several trailing zeros in your bank balance before they let you in, so it's no longer Sydney for me but the bush.