That One Time We Were Ramsay Street

My street isn’t anything like those on TV – we don’t get together every other week to do a BBQ. We don’t share a perpetually connected backyard where anyone could waltz in and have a cuppa. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even know who my neighbors are, and I’ve lived on this street for almost a decade.

The thing is, we’re not the other end of the spectrum either. Apart from some unpleasantness a few months back concerning some idiots down the street, a carton of eggs and my front porch, we all leave each other well alone. If we pass each other, we would nod, or pretend it didn’t happen. I suppose, of course, that everyone had the same thoughts I did: What will it take for the street to get together?

Then, one morning a couple weeks back, there were sirens. I crawled out of bed, in time to see billowing smoke rising from the roof of a house three doors down. A quick glance around, and sure enough, the entire street population was also billowing from their houses, rubbernecking at the site of what could very well turn out to be a massive tragedy. Some of us (myself included), started patting our hair consciously, in case TV crews turned up.

Fortunately, I guess, no one turned up but two fire trucks and a couple of police cars. Turns out (and this is just whispers passed from one lips to another) that the tenants had left something on in the kitchen, and it in turn burned half the house down. The people were all out, thankfully, so all the only hurt was on the wallet.

So, several weeks on, the chicken wire fencing is still up, and the workmen have been doing their job to fix up this house. But even as they clear away the burnt out wall, I realized that the wall between neighbors still hasn’t come down. We’d all stood there, gaping at the smoke, mutually coughing at the fumes, and acting like this was a blow on us all, but no one had asked for each other’s name. We recognize the model and make of the cars, but if we had to connect a face to those, much less a name, we’d be at a loss.

Is it even possible to be as neighborly as the houses on Ramsay Street? Is there even a point? Surely, people know when something is wrong, and will do something, right?

Except no one would notice if an elderly couple hadn’t surfaced for a few days. No one would see bruises covering someone’s arms when they go out. Aren’t these the things that neighbors should watch out for?



I could not get the permission from the builders to walk inside the location (beyond the chicken fence), and I definitely didn’t want to do something illegal like sneak in after hours.

The QR code will work perfectly with a decent scanner. I used the Barcode scanner Android app, but you Apple people out there should be able to find one just as good.

Celeb Count 2

Today was the last day of Term 2! Wow, I still remember my posting about “the first day of the last” and now we’re halfway through. Time goes like a Zyrtec.

Celeb Count 2, okay.

After school, Carmaine, Julia and I went to Melbourne Central for Carmaine to do some shopping. For reference purposes, she didn’t buy anything.

They went into this store, apologies for not knowing the name, and Ly and I stayed outside in the “husband chairs”. Then Julia came rushing out, “Ruyi, you watch Neighbours right?”

“Sure,” I said. There’s no need to be embarrassed about it with Julia.

“I think the woman who plays Paul Robinson’s girlfriend is in there.”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” so we got up and in the most UNSUBTLE way possible, walked into the store so I could have a chance to short-sightedly stare at the lady.

And yep, she has a shorter haircut but it was definitely “Rebecca Napier”, or Jane Hall as her actual name is.

So…2 celebs so far. No, we didn’t go say hi, because she was on the phone, but it was quite interesting to see a celebrity walking around shopping.