I need to get out more. I don’t just mean out of the satin-lined coffin in which I spend my days for fear of melting in the daylight. I mean, get out of the house. When I moved to the Gold Coast, I was awed by the number of things to do. The words, ‘You could do something every day if you choose’ often left my lips. Then Covid happened and we were forced to spend more time at home, which became the norm. You know what it’s like – the less you do something, the less inclined you are to do it.
That’s why I went out for breakfast this morning. On my own. Laugh at my lack of adventurousness if you like, but baby steps…
Sitting outside while the leaves are falling on my table, Tamborine Mountain has never felt so inviting. I have finished my coffee already. It was good. And hot. Just what I needed on this suddenly cold day. This year there has been no gradual decay of hot summer days into golden autumn. It is just cold. I think the leaves accosting me might be confused. Normally they would have the waning warm gentle breezes to drift on, until bare branches shivered in the wintry air. Now there is only gusty wind. Chilly, gusty wind.
But still, I chose to sit outside. The umbrellas sagging under the weight of fallen leaves drew me in. I’m tired of the perfection demanded by modern life. We feel the need to dress well, gym well, eyelash well, and Hampton our homes. Sometimes you need to step away from that and relish the unexpectedness of a yellow gumtree leaf in your hollandaise sauce.
I’m glad I chose The Monkey Tree for breakfast, even though they are short of staff and signs everywhere tell me to be patient because my food will come. Eventually. Coming here feels like I have stepped into the past. I look around at the people and my soul sings a little. Gathered around the eclectic mix of tables, is an equally eclectic clientele.
A family sits across to my right. She has no makeup on, her hair in a ponytail, sensible walking shoes and cargo shorts. He looks like a lumberjack. The kids have snuggly jumpers on. They are talking and laughing together. Another family to my left has been waiting longer than I have. The dad is wearing a T-short and shorts, obviously a local, oblivious to the cold. One young boy is playing with a toy cat, until his older sister starts running and he has to chase her. They are reined in by the mum. A table close by has four young women, probably in their twenties. They chat among themselves.
All around me the sounds of conversation drift in a comfortable ebb and flow. What strikes me is that no one is on their phone. Parents are taking an interest in their children, friends in each other. Even the woman sitting alone at her table only touches her phone to take a picture of her food.