Up until five years ago, I worked in the city. I grew bored of it ... all that commuting five days a week, uninteresting choices for lunch, and a job I had outgrown.
How times change.
I'm back in the city again - working on a part-time, three-days-a-week contract, for that very same company - but now I'm really enjoying it. A surprising amount. I mean, I'm actually enjoying going to work! (It helps somewhat that I've worked out how our trains run these days, and I now have a snuggly new tweedy coat to keep me warm on a windy platform. Or maybe I have just transformed into a zen sardine.)
Part of my enjoyment is that I'm getting my professional mojo back, after a particularly tough time of things earlier in the year. And it's also because I'm enjoying the novelty of working in a part of the city dotted with loads of interesting eateries. But another part of my enjoyment is that I get to indulge in some people watching. And watching city commuters is very fine people watching indeed!
In winter, most Melbournians don a uniform of black - coat, pants, skirts, knitwear, tights, boots - topped off with a quirky or elegant scarf. So thank heavens for those whacky individuals who manage to entertain us with Very Peculiar Clothing Choices Indeed (and I promise you that none of these descriptions include references to the dreaded thong - or flip-flop - in winter).
This week, I witnessed the following.
1. A pretty girl in a pretty red print dress over a long sleeve black top. She also wore a big black woolly scarf, black woolly gloves, black three-quarter leggings, and ballet flats. Her bare lower legs and ankles looked surprisingly cold in contrast.
2. Apparently, shiny white opaque tights are making a come-back. Be afraid. (And I write as someone who wore white pantyhose in the 1980s.)
3. The strangest sight this week was a young woman who was dressed in keeping with the weather. The only problem was that the fringes of her bright pink scarf were clinging to the crotch of her skinny jeans, making a very strange view from behind. Oh dear.