Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday, glorious Friday

Day of after-work-drinks for many. Day when you can look forward to coming home and knowing the workaday week is over for others. When I was little we used to open the bookshop late (well, late for the 1960s - 6.00pm!!!) and my father and I would leave my mother in charge while we went up to the Brisbane Municipal Library to change our library books. I'd be beside myself - what new books would be on display? Would I be old enough to borrow from the grown-up's section? What if someone else had borrowed The Diary of books that I was steadily working my way through? What if there was absolutely nothing I wanted to take out? What would happen then? I couldn't bear the thought.

I still can't. I approach libraries with the same anticipation now as then. It's like a more regular, more subdued, less stressful Christmas. I tend to want to go on a Friday - that must be ingrained in me!

So today, I'm rounding up all the stray library books, putting the dogs on the lead and heading up the hill.

In Belgrave, unlike the Brisbane Municipal Libary, the library is not next to a Pest Exterminator. A shame, really. The third best thing on a Friday night was to stare with fascinated horror at the snakes coiled in bottles in that window. The second best thing was meeting my mother, after the library, for our dinner in town.

We had regular haunts. Christies Cafe where they served orange and lemon granitas. The Shingle Inn which had my favourite steak and kidney pie which I ate for the pie crust and nothing else. Captain Cook's Cabin with the giant glass bouys hanging from the ceiling, an aquarium at the front and subdued blue-green lighting and a Pizza place - I can't remember the name of - but they served Tartuffos back in the day when the maraschino cherry in the middle was hot with alcohol, providing a deliciously sinful contrast between the cold chocolate icecream.

Fridays were the best days of the week then - walking between my parents up to one of the cafes we always went to - the blissful certainty of everything - that the pie crust would be perfect, the books would draw me into different worlds and the bus would deliver us home through the suburban streets to our own house where the dog waited, all happy tongue and tail.

What are your friday memories? What can these rituals - or memories - tell us about a character?

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