« If The Church Didn't Exist | Main | Bed-Side Manner »

The Scrivener: A Special Lady

...She had an outdoor weather-worn face not afraid of its wrinkles...

Brian Barratt encounters a very special lady.

A whole peeled orange, a small piece of fresh watermelon, a sliver of cantaloupe melon, and a small slice of tinned pineapple. While all that was being pulverised and the juice extracted in a surprisingly quiet machine, the young lady fed a great dollop of low fat yogurt into another container. The juice was then added and another mighty mixing engine turned it all into a Fresh Fruit Salad Yogurt Smoothie. Delicious, and healthy too. Well, that's what I tell myself.

The Food Court was very busy at lunch time so I shared a table with a lady of a certain age who wore more bracelets on both wrists, and rings on the fingers of both hands, than I've ever seen on one person. But it was her face that drew me. She had an outdoor weather-worn face not afraid of its wrinkles; a good head of unpretentious longish grey hair brushed neatly down on both sides; and very clear grey-blue eyes that spoke of an inner strength.

With no airs and graces, in her genuine Aussie bush accent she told me of her schooldays when she and her six brothers and sisters were taken each morning to a one-teacher bush school. Not in a car or even a bus, but in a horse and gig driven by her farmer father. It must have been a pretty large gig to carry that load.

I lost track of the details of her own family and extended family but did learn about her foster-son. She took him into care when he was about 15. Neglected by his mother who couldn't cope, he had been put into a boys' home but, because he had an intellectual problem, he was treated as 'backward' to the point where other boys bullied him by pressing burning cigarettes onto his skin. She rescued him and he still lives with her and one or two of her own grown-up children who are still at home. He is now about 40.

A very special lady.

Copyright Brian Barratt 2013


Brian is a writer who leads you to believe that the English language was invented specifically for his use. For more of his entertaining columns please click on

And do visit his Web site


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.