We have just had the Great Ocean Road Marathon in town. And you know when the race starts, you begin sprinting even though you have told yourself over and over, that this is not a race, well I think that’s what I’ve done with my blog. I’m standing with my hand on my side wondering what on earth I have let myself in for and I begin talking my legs through it. I need to settle into an easy pace, one foot in front of the other, that’s all it is. So tonight I decide to call either Snooky Baronne Patron Byrom who is a dog or Sally Cannon who isn’t. Sally answers the call, Snooky is so hard to catch.
Not very long ago, when I had just aired my idea, Sally was sitting in her apron in the Apollo Bay Bakery bakery (she owns both) with friends and she called me over. ‘Ring me when I need a rest and can’t be bothered’ she said.
I thought that was such a nice thing to say.
‘You know, when you can’t face calling another person from the past, call me.’
‘Oh, my blog’ I said and knew immediately that she would be a good one to set the pace.
She is laughing as she answers the phone and feels that she has done so well, coming in at 4/365. I thank her for offering her services so early and don’t tell her that there is no rhyme or reason as to who I call or when I call them, however, I’m happy for her to be my fourth favourite person in the world (Adrian must be a bit shocked).
She asks if I have a list of set questions. I would have if I was Sally. She is a radio broadcaster when she isn’t keeping her cool in one of Victoria’s best and busiest bakeries. I ask her ‘Why are we on Facebook together when we see each other every day?’ and try to make it sound like I am reading from a sheet of paper.
She answers ‘I’m not one of those Facebook people who grows a pumpkin, says “look at my pumpkin” and then demonstrates five ways to cook it.’ She says she finds the public people private and the private people public. I don’t know what category I fall into. She loves it that she can connect to those she went to school with, but she doesn’t feel that she has to catch up with them, so my decision to do this blog is a bit weird (I added the last bit).
I remind her that we met after her daughter had left her security blanket, which we’ll call Bebe (because that’s its name) in the café where I was writing a chapter of The Nurse in a Purse . I had picked it up, knowing how important these things are to small children and I said to the waitress that I would find its owner. Six months later I took the mouldy Bebe out of my lap top case, my breath quickened, I popped it in an envelope, did a bit of detective work and gave it to Sally’s friend.
Sally contacted me to say how kind I had been return it, and happily Sophie had a new Bebe now, thank you very much.
I started to talk about my offspring having blankets that had personalities and were referred to as ‘he’ and ‘she’ and that got us onto the subject of pets. Sally related the sorry story of friends coming to blows over a dead pet rat and I tell her that I never found Herbie, my hamster who got away. She asks what we had for dinner that night and suddenly I’m so glad that Facebook didn’t exist in 1975 or that my Mum had a sick sense of humour.
She told me that her family had been intrigued one day to find three dimensional splatterings in the kitchen. It turned out that her Mum had stepped on her goldfish that had previously jumped out of the bowl and it’s guts had shot across the room and up the wall. I wondered whether I could use that as a metaphor for this blog but no. Facebook doesn’t use walls anymore and I wouldn’t like my writing to be described as koi carp entrails.
Sally said that she really liked hearing me on the phone because I sound just like I do in real life and to me we feel like kids whose parents are in another room, sneaking onto the phone.
I said that I like the way that home phones let someone into our homes via your ear holes and she suggests that next year I might write a letter to each of my friends every day, 365. ‘Oh yes’ I laugh.
‘See you tomorrow’ she says and we hang up. I realise that I have been inadvertently taking notes on my ‘Notification of failure to renew dog/cat registration’ letter from the council and I think that Sally would never do a thing like that, but Snooky Barrone Patron Byrom definitely would.