I continued north up the long slope of Miller Street and passed more locations from my past.
On one side of Miller was the Rydges North Sydney, where one year I’d attended a work function and another year stayed one night for a NaNoWriMo event the next day at the Stanton Library on the other side of Miller Street.
Like many memories, my visits to both those places seemed like they’d happened yesterday yet also hundreds of years ago.
Shortly after that, I reached the summit of Miller Street and continued past North Sydney Oval until I came to St. Leonards Park, where I took a turn north-east.
About 10 minutes later, I crossed the overpass above the Warringah Freeway and entered Neutral Bay.
I’d last walked through Neutral Bay during my walk home from Taronga Zoo in early July last year. It was still very much how I remembered it – noisy thanks to the never-ending traffic along Military Road, but cozy and pleasant to walk through.
I continued along Military Road as it curved up into Cremorne, and soon I smiled as a welcome sight came into view – the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, one of my all-time favourite cinemas.
Across the street from the Orpheum is the Minskys Hotel, where I had briefly stopped during last year’s walk and thought about trying to return a recruiter’s ‘phone call, but didn’t because of the noise.
Today, however, I planned to stay at Minskys for a while, so I bought a glass of diet cola, grabbed a table and sat down to relax.
It was approaching 3:30pm. Barely half an hour had passed since I'd left Had To Happen Mexican Restaurant (WARNING! Make sure your sound is not too loud).
I didn’t have to be somewhere else for at least another hour and a half.
So relax I did.
There was one small task I had to attend to, though.
Just before noon, not long after my train had left Town Hall station, I had gotten a ‘phone call from a recruiter.
She asked if I would be interested in a possible opportunity based in Parramatta, way out in the western suburbs. Although a job in Parramatta would mean long commuting (ugh), I said yes.
The recruiter sent me an email containing more information about this opportunity, and now at Minksys I was reading the email on my iPad.
Again, the prospect of perhaps working at Parramatta wasn’t all that inspiring…but several weeks had gone by with deafening silence from several other jobs I had applied for.
I replied to the recruiter that I was still interested.
Time passed very pleasantly.
As 5pm approached, I thought about remaining at Minksys for dinner as they had an appealing menu.
But I also thought about the other option I’d been considering during the afternoon, and ultimately I decided on that.
So at 5pm I left Minksys, crossed Military Road and walked past some of the many restaurants that Cremorne has on offer until I came to the place whose food I’d had a growing craving for during the afternoon.
I could have stayed at Minksys and enjoyed a ‘real’ burger, but I rarely eat at McDonald’s anymore and the idea of a couple of Big Macs seemed appealing and exotic.
They weren’t bad.
At around 5:50pm, I left McDonald’s and headed back up Military Road to the Orpheum.
Just after 6pm, I found myself sitting in one of the Orpheum’s charming Art Deco cinemas.
The week before, I had won a double-pass to a ‘secret screening’ preview of an upcoming film.
I heard several people around me wondering aloud which film it would be.
And soon after, the screening’s host appeared and announced that we would be seeing the film I had been hoping for – Eye In The Sky.
As many others cheered, I grinned.
So far, my day had gone very well.
And fortunately, Eye In The Sky turned out to be quite engrossing and thought-provoking.
Shortly after 8pm, I stepped outside the Orpheum to find that it had been raining.
There was a bus stop right across Military Road – but despite the weather, the idea of getting a bus all or part of the way home wasn’t very appealing.
I had always planned to walk home tonight.
And if it did start raining heavily before I reached North Sydney station about half an hour away, it shouldn’t be difficult to get a bus.
I took my compact umbrella out of my backpack and tucked it into one of my travel-vest’s pockets.
Then I crossed Military Road and began walking south-west back towards Neutral Bay.
TO BE CONTINUED