Dear Wendy

Wendy squires01

You have moved around a bit. Just when I’d gotten used to looking out for you on a Monday, here’s a glamorous view of you on a Sunday. Will you be in the same spot next Sunday, or revert back to the following day? A whole week till I find out. Maybe Ms Lynne Segal is just a one off and you’ll resume your rightful position. You see, I am just the tiniest bit in love with you – well not exactly you, but with your words. And through them I feel I’ve come to know that part of you you allow yourself to share with the outside world. With your readers – with your fans like me. You’re up there with Flanagan and Wright, Ms Squires; you have been a salve to my disappointment that the beauteous Kate gave it away. Kate Holden that is. I had similar affection for her.

But back to our meeting last Sunday. I wonder why it didn’t work out, your ‘…most enduring relationship?’ To tell would be a step too far and I know, it is impertinent of me to inquire. After all, he did have his shed where he could ‘…hide and renew, ruminate, relax and write…’ And he had you as well, dear Wendy. What more could that man have wanted?

I feel I am almost one up on him though. I have the perfect mix. There’s your words on a Monday, or is it to be Sunday? Then there are Martin F’s and Tony W’s, as well, at various times too – plus other of your colleagues keeping the execrable Abbott and his obnoxious offsiders honest on a weekly basis. I have a beautiful woman to share my world, and yes, I too have a bolt hole. And as with your case, it is a room rather than a shed that I term my man-cave. I am not manly male enough to warrant a shed. No, dear Wendy, I don’t tinkle with muscle cars nor fashion wood nor weld nor make flies to tantalise trout nor have my private bar where my male mates can gather to be all blokey and discuss the footy or cricket. And I don’t really need to hide for my DLP (Darling Loving Partner) gives me all the space I require. It is also akin to your ‘…small spare room.’ I adore it so. In it I have the freedom to be me. I’ve never really had such a space before – mainly because my working life gave me so many other outlets. But now with it – and being somewhat like you, the more retiring type as well as retired – I treasure my good fortune.

Friend and former colleague Jan visited last week and I proudly presented my man-cave to her for the first time. ‘Why, it’s just like your classroom,’ she exclaimed. And that’s true. After being a secondary teacher, with rarely a room to call my own for most of my career, towards the end of my vocational life I started teaching upper primary. This was around the same time I discovered the joys of photography. My classroom was an array of images, plastered on every space amongst all the educational stuff. Thankfully my students were always very respectful of my attempts to brighten their lives visually – so, dear Wendy, I have used the same rule of thumb with said bolt-hole.

There are nudes in my room – exquisitely tasteful ones, or so I consider, I hasten to add – the largest drawn by my DLP’s own fair hand. Another is of Fleur who has allowed me to gaze on her vintage curvy assets for decades now. There are other art works by friends and family, a wonderful gift from DLP by a rising star of the local art scene and a cherished signed team photo of that amazing AFL team seeking a three-peat this newly minted year. And there are dozens and dozens of my own humble snaps, many featuring the world’s most photogenic granddaughter. But, dear Wendy, I do wonder what will happen when I completely run out of wall space. There’s a bed to recline, cogitate and even nanny-nap on and yes, Wendy, I am not adverse to producing ‘…the unmissable ordure of kebab.’ on occasions, within its confines, as well.

As with you, Wendy, I also ‘…like people, and most of the time I enjoy socialising.’ but I like aloneness too. My precious DLP is far more gregarious – having the ability to chat to anyone at any time. She amazes me in that and so many other regards. She tolerates my idiosyncrasies and I adore her.

Dear Wendy, it is perhaps unlikely that we will ever meet although, who knows? A couple of years ago I had the good fortune of having a chinwag with, as well as shaking the hands of, both Flanagan brothers, so… Just promise me you’ll remain on the pages of the Age and not move on to other pastures, as did the aforementioned Kate. For this luckiest of men you are one of the many icings on his cake,
Your avid fan

Wendy’s column  =

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