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Return to sender, a moment relived

There are certain obligations that come with being the editor of Column 8. One of these is the annual announcement of hearing the first koel. Several readers have written in recently hoping to claim the honour for being the first, however, Granny went back through all the emails to see if she had missed any and found the first came from Peter Cooke of Mona Vale, way back on July 25, after he heard the familiar call of a lone koel in the wee hours of the morning as he lay awake in his hospital bed in Artarmon. At the time he asked if it was a record for the earliest, and perhaps it is. Or it may have been the drugs. Either way, one thing is clear. They’re baaack!

Maureen Casey of Breakfast Point has moved on from sorting old cards and letters (C8) and is now “recycling old postcards and resending them, sometimes to the original sender (if still around), otherwise to a lucky dip recipient. Disturbing the spiders in the letterboxes and giving our wonderful posties something worth delivering. The responses I receive are part of the joy.” What a gorgeous idea for these times! One that deserves to catch on.

The grouting on tiled floors has been a popular recipient of attention in the Most Boring Domestic Lockdown Activity Competition (C8). Janice Creenaune of Austinmer has “cleaned the grout between all my floor tiles, and I have now sealed the grout to make sure I never have to do it again”.

After cleaning the grout between her floor tiles (C8) with a toothbrush, Jane Stranger of Erskineville is “now teaching my dog to chew with her mouth closed. I have allowed two weeks to complete this task. What next?”

Judith Campbell of Drummoyne has been “testing whether all the old biros still work”. Tedious, yet strangely satisfying. A worthy addition (C8).

Reading about Fred Elderton’s flyscreen callisthenics (C8), Megan Dunnet of Toronto wondered “if anyone has crunched the numbers on increased visits to physiotherapists, chiropractors, doctors etc by very energetic ‘over-55s’ who are determined to keep fit. Do young people realise they don’t need to leave the house for fitness?”

Quentin Crisp would be proud. Being a single male, averse to housework, Mike Parton of Tamworth “leaves the surface dust (C8) till it is thick enough to roll up. Must attempt one day to see if I can turn it into felt.”

Column8@smh.com.au

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