Short pieces by Hazel I

I went tap dancing with my doctor (tales of Balmain)

I arrived late as usual and changed hurriedly in the anteroom. When I entered the room, there was a familiar figure holding the bar in the midst of the regulars. She had the same intense expression, the same glassses, the same jewellery, she wore in her surgery but they now accompanied stretch shorts and a pair of tap shoes. Tina was doing her best to muster the assorted talents she had in her class. She was developing a warm-up routine which hopefully we would all do in unison one day. I could see that Louise was stumbling her way through it, as any newcomer would. When I got the chance I asked Louise what had happened to her beginner's class. It wasn't going anywhere, she said. They weren't learning anything new. So she thought she would try another class and now she wondered if she'd done the right thing. I thought she was doing very well and I was relieved to have another beginner in the class which was how I thought of myself. She really was doing extremely well. I could see that she would catch up in no time.

Jill was there. Are you going to drama? she said. Yes, I said. Look of relief on Jill's face. Sue was feeling sick. She stood by the open window with her t-shirt catching the breeze. I feel sick, she said. Splash some water on your face and neck, I said. I was drinking at lunch time, she said. Sober up, you bitch, I said. That's precisely what I need to do, she said. It's good that Lousie is here tonight, I thought.

Jill and I raced upstairs through a singers' group. There was Gail and a newcomer. Four tonight. We played games. The what are you doing game and the scenejump game. Jill dried up like we all feared we would. Jill and I teamed up to read the Odd Couple together. We practised it with movements and chairs. Jill had to race for the bus. I'm glad you're in the class, she said. I should have told her how much I admired her for doing tapdance at age 62, learning drama and catching a bus from Surrey Hills to do it.


I love it when you meet someone who has the same sense of humour as you. So I knew exactly what Olympia meant when she said she wanted to be Andrew Olle's tea lady. Wanting to be attached to an institution. I belonged to Parliament House in Canberra. Roslyn worked at the Opera House. She led a walk round the House once and got lost. The walk came to a dead end and she was forced to back up past her line of visitors and find her way again. They had ended up in a dead end in the bowels somewhere quite unlike the area she was supposed to be showing them. Phillip's creationist brother geologist who got one distinction -- all the others were high distinctions. So his mother had to ask Phillip what a terminating pass was when his turn came. Everything came unstuck when his brother decided the earth was only 5000 years old.


Election days for most mothers of school-age children are lost in a flurry of cake making for the ever-present cake stand at the election booths. Cake boxes don't always fit. Raffle tickets -- 2 children recited their names and telephone numbers for me and I gave them the tickets. One's mother came marching up later and wanted to make sure the number wasn't the number for the Pizza Haven which she had given on previous occasions.


Joshua was discussing marriage and who he could marry. Anyone but Zoë. Not family. He wailed that he didn't want to marry someone he didn't know.

Last Updated 11 December 2000