rcws – pop down, you’d be welcome

randomconversationswithstrangers

#randomconversationswithstrangers

I try to avoid residential areas in case it annoys the locals, but last night i parked on a street. I’d spent the evening with a friend visiting from interstate who’s staying across the road. so now I’m sitting on my busstep drinking coffee and writing #allthethoughts when the lady with the amazing garden next to me says “you must have been cold last night”. “not really, it was so hot yesterday the bus takes a while to let it go. besides, Welsh blood keeps me warm”.

We chat. I walk over to ask her about the tree with the strange fruit my friend and I had puzzled over the day before “it’s pawpaw”. I’ve not seen pawpaw growing before. She offers me some herbs, I gratefully accept – who wouldn’t?! She proudly talks me through them all, hacking off bunches of mint, garlic chives, rosemary, parsley, thyme, bay leaves and chilis (“careful, they’re way too hot”).

she walks round the corner of the house “and you can have what’s in here, might only be one or two”, pulling out three eggs for my overflowing tub. “They’re bantams. Here chookchooks!” she calls the free ranging chooks out from under the house to meet me. one, the oldest and smallest, has these fluffy, flare-like feathers coming from her little legs that make her look like the consummate disco diva “they’ll probably be hers, she’s the best layer”.

She tells me of their travels past and upcoming, the oysters they always bring back from South Australia, the northern fishing or feral pig-shooting trips where nothing is ever wasted. “you should go to bridgetown music festival, we’ll be there on the way back from our next trip. With oysters.”

she excuses herself – time to cook lunch – and asks how long I’ll be on the street “because if you’re here tonight, around 5pm, we’ll be down in the park doing a cook-up. We like to get together, burger nights, pizza, especially grilled fish if we’ve had a good catch. It’s great to teach the kids how to cook and help make sure everyone gets a good feed, you know? so if you’re in the area – tonight or any other night – pop down there, you’d be welcome”.

[first posted on instagram, (with lots of funny comments there and on facebook) August 17th 2015]

Comments highlights:

I love the stories of the people you meet on your travels. [Ruth, Canberra]

Amazing [Annie, Adelaide]

Bring on the random encounters :) [Christine, Perth]

in two words: stunningly mundane. oh, ok, one more: beautiful x [Vicki, Adelaide]

Amazing generosity of spirit and love of nature [Adam, UK/Perth]

Great story [Sarah, Adelaide]

That story fed my soul. [Sarah, Melbourne]

Honey, your life lifts my spirits like nothing else! Did you go to the cook out? [Sayraphim, Melbourne]