Saturday, August 19, 2006

Getting sidetracked

Well, I had planned to write something tonight. Quite what wasn't yet set in concrete. That's the great thing about blogging; it's license to write the most atrocious rubbish!

For reasons I no longer remember I did a Wikipedia[^] search on Flinders Street Station[^].

Nearly three hours, two symphonies and some David Bowie later, I surface. My god! I'd totally forgotten about long since closed railway stations called Paisley[^] and Galvin. I did remember White City[^]. Quite the walk down memory lane!

I think I've already confessed to travelling the entirety of the Melbourne Suburban Railway Network as it was was in 1970. Sunday afternoons in the winter months with a Science Fiction novel in my pocket and a weekly ticket to Flinders Street. Once there (we didn't have the zone system in those days) I'd buy a return ticket to whatever compass branch took my fancy and ride to the end.

I think I've even confessed to the occasional furtive peek up a young ladies dress, in the days of the miniskirt as a fashion statement.

But I never told you about the peanut clusters! Uh huh. There used to be vendors who'd sell peanut clusters by weight at Flinders Street. That seems to be a concept long since lost except at Myers[^], and it may even be lost there; I haven't had the chance to check for a couple of years. I'd buy half a pound of em, served in a paper bag.

So one afternoon in the winter of 1970 I boarded a train at Flinders Street Station. Safely ensconsed in my seat in the smoking section, waiting for departure, without the possibility, of a Sunday, of being glared at by a creature of habit[^] I settled in, mouth filled with peanut clusters! How embarassing then to have a railway employee about my age open the door and tell me that this train 'wasn't going'! Now that might not sound like much unless you know that when I say mouth filled I mean mouth filled. Not capable of speech. Drool running down my chin. Probably a froth of chocolate!

To make it worse, I recognised him. He'd been a schoolmate the year before.

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