Sunday shopping in the Mall

21 May

The day is grey and they are knocking the tram barn down. She has never known a time that the tram barn was used and the tram she gets off now spends its nights down at Morphetville.

There is a road, a barricade, a man with a reflective jacket and a radio. She can’t get close enough to take a photo. But because of the way the wind blows, she gets a light spray from the hose they are using to keep down the dust.

She leaves Victoria Square, walks along King William Street, and it must be the day for it.

They are knocking The Criterion down.

She is not one to huff and puff about things that aren’t the same and she tries not to say too often we all used to and isn’t it a shame? And did she mention her family’s income depends on the fact that when one building goes down another goes up in its place.

But they are grace-filled buildings, and when they get knocked down, no one even bothers to watch.

She reaches the Beehive Corner. She would be cross if Haigh’s got knocked down. She starts her shopping with a packet of dark frogs. She has earlier promised herself that she will not, but she does not berate herself for the chocolate slip. Perhaps she should have chosen peppermint today.

On Sundays in the Mall, most of the good shops are closed. She never comes in, so she hadn’t known.

She is here now, and has to make do. She buys the present first.

There is a school band, playing under the canopy. They are lucky, because the forecast was for rain. Some of them wear uniforms and some of them do not quite. Their uniform doesn’t include a tie. They make her think of her boyfriend who played a trumpet and her brother who played the trombone.

The teacher is not young. She imagines that he thinks, in February every year, can I do another year of this?

And then he thinks: but if I didn’t, what would I do?

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8 Responses to “Sunday shopping in the Mall”

  1. Pavlov's Cat May 21, 2006 at 1:42 pm #

    I was just up the hill from you, in a 19th century North Adelaide church with Art Nouveau designs on the organ pipes, listening to my de facto goddaughter singing Mozart and Vivaldi and Byrd in her Old Scholars Choir.

  2. zzymurgy May 24, 2006 at 2:54 am #

    I regret that the huge canvas Coopers banner hanging at the front of the Criterion, not to mention the numeorus blackboards vainly touting the brands of beer on tap and the function rooms available, were not stolen by me or a similarly cunning salvager at some point in the year the pub was silent before the dozers moved in this week.

  3. Drew May 26, 2006 at 2:07 pm #

    I was too late with the camera too. You can at least still get a shot of the Criterion facade. (At least, it was still there as of 3pm today… maybe it’ll go this weekend).

    I’m less saddened by the old Franklin St bus terminal going down

  4. hasarder May 27, 2006 at 3:46 am #

    Thanks for warning me. I’ll be back there soon.
    Yay for Haighs! I’m going to get three GIANT frogs and scoff the lot. Milk, peppermint and coffee.

  5. Pavlov's Cat May 27, 2006 at 4:38 am #

    Coffee frogs???

    That’s it – I’m shutting up the shop for 5 mins and scooting down the street to the Beehive Corner.

  6. ThirdCat May 27, 2006 at 5:36 am #

    From my days as a retail manager, I seem to recall there are some minimum standards about breaks and things, so I’m sure you are allowed a quick break (although who knows these days?). I’ve not seen the coffee frogs either, but will look out for them next time I visit.

  7. hasarder May 27, 2006 at 2:37 pm #

    I was SURE they had coffee frogs! The massive ones, they don’t have little coffee ones.

    Or did I just dream that? Oh well. Two frogs and a slab of coffee then.

  8. Pavlov's Cat May 28, 2006 at 2:28 am #

    3C — I am fortunate in that the woman whose shop I mind on Saturdays is a friend and fellow chocolate lover, and that her shop is literally three minutes from the Beehive Corner.

    No coffee frogs, indeed. But they do have a new and divine product out — crunchy malty chocoball thingies — which of course had to be road-tested. The result was never in doubt.

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