It’s all quiet at the Southern Highlands Front now after a couple of manic and hectic months aided and relieved by Coliseum’s take away Pizzas and Royal Hotel special pub nosh of $10.- rump Steak with chips and salad. Helvi, as always, remained a beacon of serenity, sanity and calm.
Yesterday, our first day of some time off. ‘Quality time’ as popular parlance prefers to call it. Popping into the local C&E St Jude’s church long awaited and well heralded fund raiser it gave us the first opportunity to meet and savour the locals at; I suppose one of their favourite haunts, the local church.
We sauntered, somewhat worse for wear, but with the church’s age old cypresses and huge conifers shading us, giving us respite from multiple trailers haulage of personal stuff, such as obstinate settees, thousands of spoons and hordes of as yet un-shelved milk crated books, between ex- farm, Moss-Vale and a final resting place at Bowral. (See Mount Calvary post)
There, at St Jude’s, the usual face painting, lucky dips and stalls of hopeless superfluous household goods were for all to buy and boost the congregation’s coffers. There was a 1989 computer with the keyboard welded to the screen, a handy cabinet with pull-out drawers for cassettes and many transistor radios with pull-out antennas. Even, and surprisingly for C&E terrain, a bottle opener in the shape of a lewd naked woman. Many video tapes of The Sound of Music and King and I. Lots of Jane Fonda’s girth and weight reduction tapes with coloured manuals.
In between all that, Helvi with her usual eye for another book, found Susan Kurosawa’s ‘places in the heart.’ ‘Thirty prominent Australians reveal their special corners of the world.’ All for half the cost of the barbequed sausages.
The most fascinating stall was the barbequed sausages stall. There they were, all staunch church goers, comfortably retired previous airline pilots, store managers, investment advisors and above all, a sprinkling of ex Liberal premier bureaucrats. Now all aprons and gloved. An all male sausage team.
There was stacked a decent mountain of white Tip-Top bread which one bloke was buttering with no-frills margarine, another doing the Barbequing, yet another collecting orders and the fourth man the money. As usual at those kind of affairs, chaos reigns supreme and we all know this is totally peculiar to doing things the ‘English way.’ Why would it be any different in Bowral? This is what gives fund raising and community markets its piquancy and cultural originality. If anything, Bowral is probably the place where Barbeque sausage fund raising chaos is continually honed to even higher levels than ever before.
On the table where the bread was being buttered, there were different relishes, including a green tomato, a normal sun dried tomato garnish as well as the obligatory mustard and barbeque and tomato sauce squeeze bottles. The problem was there was just one knife. Each time someone wanted a garnish from the glass container, the buttering had to be stopped in order for this single knife to put to use extracting the garnish. The tomato plastic bottle was empty. Of course, no kid worthy of any salt, age or description would buy a sausage roll without tom sauce. The paper towels had run out. No worries, a box of tissues would suffice. The tissues would be eaten as well, solidly stuck to the white bread. The whole affair was done with total bonhomie and not a single complaint. We bought two sausage rolls with the green relish and tasty tissue.
A wonderful day for everyone.