Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Boys with Toys

B took possession of a new car on Monday. He traded in his conservative Honda sedan for a Mercedes sports coupe. I must admit it is a thing of beauty, a sleek silver machine with all mod cons or wankeries as I call them, like satellite navigation, automatic everything. Admittedly I am not a petrol head and have never learned to drive, so cars are not something I take very seriously and I normally can’t tell the difference between one car or another.

However, for B it is the attainment of an earthly desire. He’s been lusting for an expensive sports car for years and finally selected a Mercedes, based on several factors, like anti theft protection, seating etc. I had a ride in it last night, and I must admit it was comfy.

It’s a bit late for me, in terms of the song The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, to ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair. After all, I’m way past the age of thirty-seven. But at the age of sixty I can at least ride through Melbourne, or the Paris end of Collins Street, with the warm wind in my hair. Somehow that doesn’t quite capture the desperate romance of the original song.

Back in the days of my foolish twenties, boys with sports cars had a certain charm, and I did get to ride with a few of them.

One had a little red MG with fur lined doors and I remember my brother had a Citroen . The most memorable ride was after a wedding, where a fellow wedding guest and I took off after the celebrations in his red sports car - another MG - and went on a wild drive around Melbourne University, including the underground car park which was featured as a setting in the original Mad Max movie - then through the city to St Kilda Road. We swam in a fountain (pictured above) outside the Shrine of Remembrance, swigging Cointreau, before damply collapsing back in my little room in Parkville. In those days people did drink and drive as matter of course. It’s amazing we survived, though come to think of it, some didn’t.

Other stuff, cats included…

Yesterday we had an evaporative cooling system installed to combat the extreme heat of some of Melbourne’s summer days and nights. One of the workmen brought his dog with him – a large Labrador called Douglas. This of course alarmed the cats no end. Douglas chased Willy over the road and back again, Willy eventually taking refuge elsewhere. Lizzie took one look – eek! dog! - jumped the fence to next door and refused to come back home even when the dog had gone, maintaining a stubborn vigil on a shelf on the next door neighbour’s fence. The neighbour actually built the shelf for her some time ago as he doesn’t mind visits from our cats and provides handy fence jumping aids along the party fence. Timmy, on the other hand, held his ground and spent the day under a table, hissing if Douglas came near.

The three cats are getting on well these days, though Willy still maintains a wary distance from Timmy, unless, as was the case this morning, when he is very hungry he will barge in on Timmy’s plate and push him aside fearlessly. Lizzie has no problem with Timmy and these two elderly cats sit companionably together as if they were the best of friend

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