- THREE GENTLE STORIES IN THE AGE OF TRUMP
- THE STAGE - FINALLY I AM ON IT
- THE ROAD
- THE WEIGHT OF THINGS
- RANDOM THOUGHTS AND ACHING BONES
- FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
- Vale Tommie
- A BIG WALK - Step by Step
- IN DEFENCE OF NIMBIN
- SLEEPING WITH THE ANGELS
- THE LADY BUSHRANGER
- OUT OF THE SHIRE
- THE SOUND OF RAIN
- AND SO IT BEGINS - The Great Australian Crawl.
- NO MANS LAND
- THE FROG IN THE TOILET BOWL
- LEN BENCE - THE ARTIST WARRIOR
- SWAGMAN IN SEARCH OF A CONCEPT
- THE GERMAN ABORIGINAL
- NOT LONG NOW
- LOTS OF THINGS COMING
- DAD'S COMING
- THE BEING LEFT ALONE FEELING
- YES - I STOLE THE CHOCOLATE
- THE OLD COAT
- THE PARTY
- DOG WALKING IN A CEMETERY
- MY KENNEL IS GOING UNDER THE HAMMER!
- DAD'S BACK
- THE BIG CHILL
- THINGS HAPPEN THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WILL HAPPEN
- THE NEW KENNEL
- ALFRED STIEGLITZ - THE ELOQUENT EYE
- AN IDEA FOR DINGO DAY!
- THE GARDENS OF STONE
- DON'T RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!
- MOTHER'S DAY
- THE NIGHT LINDA JAIVIN DROPPED ME
- Old Nana
- THE WUFFINGTON POST-2
- THE WUFFINGTON POST-1
- MAKE MY DAY
- A NEW YEARS DAY LIKE ANY OTHER!
- RECIPES FROM OLD SOULS
- A DOG'S CHRISTMAS
- Well this is Christmas!
- MY NEW BOOK IS COMING!
- OLD MAN - OLD GRIEF
- GOD - WHAT A FORTNIGHT WE'VE HAD
- WILLIAM-JAMES HAS ARRIVED
- CAESAR'S ISLAND
- I HAVE LOST MY EAR-ECTION
- BUSTED IN BOULIA
- YEE HAA! ITS THE HARTS RANGE RACE DAY
- TRULY ... THERE WERE ANIMALS EVERYWHERE
- Old Man Hermann
- THERE IS AN ART TO BEGGING
- ROLL UP -- ROLL UP - ITS THE TRAVELING R&R SHOW
- MOLLY & ME
- EDITING A LIFE
- BUZZ ... BABBLE ... BUBBLE ... BURRA ... BACKHOUSE
- THE MAGIC KENNEL & ROAD TRAINS WITHOUT CATTLE
- I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START
- CREATIVE DRIVES - BEAUTIFUL VOICES - MISSIONARY PLAINS.
- WHAT A WEEK WE'VE HAD
- I'VE GOT A MAN CRUSH ON BEN HALL
- GOING GOING GOING ..... GONE
- I LOVE WRITING ABOUT SNIFFING & EATING
- THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY
- ROADIES, GERMANS & A JAPANESE ADVENTURER
- THE MAD DASH
- MY NEW COAT
- DOES DAD THINK I'M STUPID?
- THE ITALIAN PENTHOUSE
- I AM POWERLESS OVER COWS
- ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
- COMING HOME
- BLOG ON BLOGGING - THREE MONTHS WRAP
- ROLLING OVER
- CONTACT & THE DINGO
- SAD BUT BEAUTIFUL
- VICTORY WITHOUT TRIUMPH IN HAY
- ALISON HUNT - SENIOR DESERT WOMAN
- I AM NOT ANGRY - JUST A LITTLE DISSAPOINTED
- HOLIDAY WITH THE CHOOKS
- EAGLE HAWK NECK
- MAX IN HAHNDORF
- WHAT ABOUT THE HANDSOME PEOPLE?
- DRUGS & RADISHES
- MY NAME is TOM AND I AM AN OVER EATER
- BOGGED AND STRANDED
- BUTT NAKED IN MORGAN
- ON THE ROAD AGAIN
- The CHEF, the ABORIGINALS, the BLOND & the BULL
- A SADHU OF THE OUTBACK
- CONDOMS & BIRD SEED
- TOMMIE, STEVE AND KIRA
- ADELAIDE AND BACK
- GUNNING READY OR NOT
- AN IDEA IS ANSWERED
CONDOMS & BIRD SEED
CONDOMS AND BIRD SEED
Tom and I pulled up briefly in the little NSW country town of Young. The stop was short & sweet like the pastry I picked up from the award-winning, and deservedly so, Young Bakery.
This is clearly not a wealthy town but nor does it suffer from obvious social disadvantage. The local IGA store on pension day wasn't exactly Toorak, more shuffling uggies than the click-clack of designer heels, but at least the shops weren't boarded up along the main street as in so many other communities.
I am coming back to explore some time. The railway quarter is impressive. There's a massive quadrangle of red brick buildings with pubs and stores. I imagine steam from the old trains merging with mist from the western plains. Easy to picture excited young men leaving wives and mothers to head into a deeper mist on the Western Front, this one mixed with explosives and mustard gas, often never to return.
Country Australia needs to be re-visited with its history in mind. But that is for a later time.
Pastry in hand I wandered up the main street with Tom on a lead. He tormented himself as I savoured each mouthful, waiting for a dropped crumb like manna from heaven. Up front was a Pet Supplies Shop. Why not put an end to his slavering mouth and get him a treat.? I entered, only vaguely registering the shop's sign. Did that say PET SUPPLIES ... ADULT MAGAZINES ... TOYS AND NOVELTIES? Surely not.
But yes .. right here in Young, the world's only adult store and pet shop. I tied Tom up outside and entered.
I looked at the thin, grey shop keeper. He looked at me. He was more sex shop owner than 101 Dalmatians. There was a kind of Mexican standoff as he assessed my intent. Unsure, I guess, whether I was after a leather collar for my dog or myself.
In the adult section a young couple flicked thru videos. I watched from the relative safety of the fish tanks and cat food. The counter was positioned between the two universes that the shop keeper bestrode like an anorexic colossus, framed by pink plastic maid outfits. Around the cash register were assorted lubricants, prophylactics and tasty dog treats.
There is nothing either erotic or adult about a sex shop. When set amongst twittering birds and flea powders there is even less.
When you think about it though this is very clever. Entry into a sex shop is usually conducted with all the grace of Gollum in dark sunglasses and a raincoat.
The alibi provided by the pet supplies allows not only for an unashamed entrance but a proud position in the main street. No reason for the pet shop to be hidden down a dimly lit alley or fear your mother is passing. Who cares if your old headmaster is inside? Just borrow a poodle and charge in. You can come out with Debbie does Dallas hidden in the fish tank pebbles. Brilliant!
I came out with a pig's ear. It is Tom's favourite. I don't respect him for it but I try not to judge.
We headed off, charged with the randomness of the road. Who would have thought? Those young soldiers leaving for the Somme sure as hell wouldn't have. The ladies of the Country Women's Association who sang them farewell wouldn't have. As a gauge of the dramatic cultural change that has descended on Australia, Young's sex and bird seed shop stands as a front runner.
Tommie loved his pig's ear more than anyone should love anything. The trotter's former hearing apparatus put up a stubborn resistance for hours, only yielding as we arrived in Blackheath.