I do need to get out and about when I can, and particularly to resist being locked into some aspects of the daily life here at The Bates Motel, since sitting around all day talking about cats or whatever isn’t my idea of heaven. Don’t get me wrong. The Bates Motel is fine for most purposes: my room is comfortable and the view to die for:


But one does need a variety of conversation with people who are more or less normal – that and good food every few days take me in Wollongong to the clubs, of which there are many. I belong now to two – City Diggers and Steelers. I used also to belong to – and really liked – the Hellenic Club, but I am still recovering from the banishment of Sophia and the $8-10 roast, and the pasta:

Lunch at the Hellenic Club 2012

Steelers this year has become a regular weekly event, mainly with Chris T but at times with DS, Mel, DR, and others. The great attraction is the Red Dragon restaurant with its fantastic Chinese Szechuan dishes – no longer alas at two for the price of one, but still reasonable. And there have been some great conversations over those meals.

The club I most go to is City Diggers. Lately I have found a group of regulars with whom I can always find companionship and a chat. None of them was ever a teacher. (Chris T at Steelers was for a while, but has also been a forester and is currently a chef.)  They range from retired builder – as was my father and is my brother – to another chef to retired biochemist to former Lord Mayor. And occasionally retired wharf labourer and trade union activist…