Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Here I am broken hearted, paid a penny and only...........
"Let me tell you a story," I told my kids some time ago. "As you well know I grew up in Albury, and of course an excursion to the city on the bus during the school holidays was always something one dreamed of, for weeks in advance.
During the early 1940's, the New Zealand Railways bus traveled to Timaru from Fairlie, early every morning, passing through Albury about 9am. It pulled into the Timaru depot about 10am, on the corner of Sefton St and Theodosia St, at the northern end of the city.
Now being cooped up on that bus for over an hour, my sister and I would inevitably be busting for a unowhat. Unfortunately the nearest toilet facility was at the south end of the city, on George St.
Alighting from the bus, I was already hopping up and down, doing figure 8's with my legs, Mum, I want to go!
My mother gave me the look only mother's can, without physically inflicting tremendous pain. You'll have to wait she hissed out the corner of her mouth, as she grabbed my arm and set off down Stafford St, towards the south at a pace even John Walker would would have been envious.
Up George St we went, I was trying to mimic a contortionist by running with my legs crossed, while my best Sunday shorts were in jeopardy of becoming horribly wet.
Out of breath, my mother frantically searched her handbag for a penny to open the cubical door. Precious seconds rushed by as she dragged everything bar the kitchen sink out of that bag. Eventually she found the precious coin she was looking for. The sound of that penny dropping into that slot, ohhh, what a relief.