Some see it that way, I admit, I do too sometimes, but for a schmick little sec, I will take off my town thrashing glasses, and replace them with some rose coloured ones to shed some light on the small little town I call home. The small little town, where I feel comfortable going to Woolies in my pj’s, and the place where I had an ace childhood with bike races, cubby houses on the trampoline and friendships that have seen me through 5th birthday parties to 21st bashes.
I love coming home from uni, I love coming back to work in the coal mines and I love what it represents sometimes. So I will drip a few drops of paint onto a canvas for you of what a typical day could be like in the town I grew up in, and the generosity that most often gets looked over, I know, how dare they for not seeing this, let’s all flip them the bird, so it never happens again.
Waking up when it’s cold, pulling on your jeans, and buttoning up your high vis shirt, means a lot in this town. Standing out on the curb you can see the headlights of mine cars all driving down the street. Every car in the neighbourhood pulling out of their driveways at the same time – a little too Stepford Wives sometimes, but anyhoo – they act like a convoy as they head up to the highway, stopping in to get a fresh brekkie at the bakery, or to pick up a plastic wrapped treat for smoko. It all sounds very poetic, and in fact, it quite is. The men, and women here heading off to work in the morning, even before the sun has risen, is an ace part of this town that would seem wacko tobacco to people from the city, where rushing to Starbucks in the morning, carrying a briefcase and catching the train are everyday normalities – yet here, that’s not quite the same.
But I like working here on the holidays, and being able to do the mine thing again, getting to work early, opening my car door and sometimes letting out a curse when it’s far too cold for my liking, but also wanting to tell my self, “Bravo, you’re up early, you get to see the sun rise, and you get to have a cup of coffee when most people are still in snooze land counting sheep”.
I enjoy seeing the workers walk outside with their socks and thongs, smiling as they carry their crib bags because they’ve finished another shift, and they get to go home, but not before stopping in at the newsagency to buy the paper. It’s humorous the banter that goes on and pretty dang generous I say, working long shifts, surviving off barely any sleep and doing hard manual labour so families can have luxuries.
I’ll admit, growing up we used to sneak down to dad’s car, raid his ash tray and steal his coins so we could buy ice-creams, it was always a joke, and still is now – of how us three girls, four including mum, milk him for every penny.
You have to love the generosity in this town, and the folk who more than often don’t lock their car doors. Thanks dad, add another thank you on top of that for all the ice-creams you paid for over the years, unknowingly of course.