Paddington is often described as a quiet leafy suburb - which I am sure it is - except when the builders and renovators are in action. The quiet is lost. Fortunately their hammering and sawing with machines that make much more noise than the hand held non mechanical variety, is intermittent, and I am more likely to hear bird noises, or the occasional plane (big and small) overhead. Much much quieter than the house at Wynnum West and the horrific traffic noises that used to keep me awake for hours on end in the night.
I'd only had one contact with a neighbour until yesterday. Previously Sandra had visited to borrow the possum cage - there are so many of the furry creatures that some neighbours trap them and release them in the bush some distance from here. I saw some 20 or more in the tree outside the bedroom window the other night, and could hear others doing the light fantastic on the roof so I know there are many here.
Anyway, as I said, only one neighbour had spoken to me. Now, I don't mind. I do love company but I have important things to do here - study and write - so I am not seeking visitors to come and go.
On my list of people to call if there is any help needed was "Patty" - and I have had no need to call her, however, she phoned me the other night as my host (in China) was on Skype with Patty and I was not online so Patty phoned me to tell me to turn on. Which I did and had a long chat with Lorraine in China.
I thought I'd better call and meet Patty so yesterday I phoned her, and shortly afterwards called in to meet her. When I phoned and I heard her surname, I knew I had heard of her before, but I don't think we had met.
Patty is also a writer and much more. Check out her website. We had quite a chat for about an hour over coffee - and I can see we will be meeting from time to time. We both like a glass of wine and a chat, and have quite a few things in common. She is now my new best Paddington friend.
I'm going to lunch today at Manly - Wilson's Boathouse overlooking Manly Harbour - wonderful place. I remember having lunch with former Prime Minister John Howard there some years ago.
Tomorrow I am child minding - two of my granddaughters will be here for the day. Not sure I know what to do with them, but I think we will spend some time in the antique shop. I wonder what they will make of the things there?
Meanwhile, I am reading. I've read quite a few books in the last few weks. One was Souad, Burned Alive, the story of a girl Souad, who was burned alive in the Middle East because she disgraced the family. She survived and now lives in Europe but it is a terribly scary and moving story about the terrible way women are treated by their menfolk. The other book that I am reading is called Parky, Michael Parkinson's autobiography which is a very funny story.
The famous people he met during his many years as a journalist and broadcaster provided many stories for his book. I loved the one about James Stewart (on page 212 and 213), about his absentmindedness. When his wife was pregnant he "worked out a routine of how to get her to hospital. On the day, she told him the baby was coming and he said not to panic as he was fully prepared. He drove to the hospital in record time only to find when he arrived that he had forgotten his wife. As he raced back home he passed the ambulance taking her in."
There are many hilarious stories in the book. A great read.