We spent a family-friendly weekend in Ballarat, mostly at Sovereign Hill, mingling with the costumed locals up and the muddy and manure-strewn Main Street.
Inevitably, the lure of coffee called out to Love Chunks and I, and Sapphire contented herself with a green tea as we sat in the New York Bakery, swatting at the half-hearted blowflies still lingering in the crisp Autumn air.
Outside was the town drunk.
Secretly, I think she enjoyed her (presumably paid) work, because she didn't have to wander around, chat to tourists or take part in a staged performance.
Life for me was also good. My neck had decided - after a night of crying and washing down panadeine caplets with several glasses of Cab Sav - to behave itself. I smiled at my favourite boy and favourite girl and noticed an old guy playing the accordian directly outside the cafe window.
He was dressed in miner's trousers and boots, a stripey long-sleeved shirt under a red vest and had a jaunty scarf knotted at his throat. His impressively bushy white-grey mutton chops were a sight to behold and his battered green Mad Hat had clearly seen a lot of wear and tear and he swayed happily in time with the music he played.
I waved at him and smiled.
He didn't wave back.
Love Chunks noticed my hurt expression and looked towards the window. "What's the matter?"
My damp index finger dabbed at my plate, seeking the last crumbs of the pecan pie. "It's nothing really. I just waved at the bloke out there on the accordian and he didn't wave back. I would have thought that he'd be a bit friendlier."
LC snorted. "Um, did it occur to you that he's using both hands to play the instrument?"
Sapphire laughed so hard the crumbs blew off my plate. "Mum you really are a bimbo, aren't you?"