There’s no doubt about small country towns. They can be quirky places. This might be a consequence of history, circumstance, or the unique characters who live there. Or perhaps all 3. Here are 3 quirky things I love about my new town.
1. First on the list is Gerald, the cat. Gerald lives at the real estate agent’s, so we came to know him when we were searching for land and then securing a rental. Gerald has his own cat door at the back of the building. But as cats do, he gets around. He can sometimes be found promenading on the main street where passers-by greet him by name. He gets lots of pats and loves the attention.
Now he’s possibly not the only cat who has been adopted by a local business. There’s a missing cat notice in one of the shop windows, advising that it is ‘not the butcher cat’. Is Gerald actually the ‘butcher cat’ whose primary place of residence is the real estate office? Either way he is a lucky boy, because the 2 businesses are next door to each other!
2. I love that most of the shops are closed by 5pm weekdays, midday on Saturday, and all day Sunday. This is just like the ‘old days’ in the city, before the advent of Thursday night shopping, then all day Saturday shopping, Sunday trading, and extended hours weekdays. And yet we have people who still can’t get enough of shopping and want them open 24 hours a day prior to Christmas! Closing businesses for most of the weekend enables workers to enjoy the break they deserve. It forces families to design some activities to do together rather than schlepping around the shops for entertainment, with their children in tow. And it means we all need to be just that bit better organised to get the things we need done before most things close down. I wonder if it also subtly shifts the focus away from consumerism and reduces the impact of marketing? Impulse buys, feelings of dissatisfaction with what we already have, and the search for that buzz that comes with buying something new are not likely to occur if the shops are closed!
3. Finally, the Christmas activities are quirky and great fun! The Christmas street parade was of a magnitude we would not have thought possible in a place with a population of 3000. The street was crowded with spectators and most community groups and businesses had a ‘float’. The purpose of some of the farm machinery that squeezed down that main street was a mystery to us. And the old cars and tractors were a real treat.
Christmas Day brought another quirky surprise. A decorated ute, complete with Santa on the back, went up and down every street throwing out lollies for the children to pick up. Apparently the family has been doing it for years. It’s a good way to meet the neighbours!
Do you live in a country town that has some quirky characteristics that you love?