Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Novel - The Ozone Cafe - Big, Bonza Greek Wedding

Vincenzo mused over the night’s events. He watched the children at the shore’s edge, Mandy helping them to build sandcastles. ‘Was a great wedding,’ he said, slowly lifting himself up from the sand. I had to laugh at Winifred telling Con to get stuff for the café. She’s got some spunk, that young girl.’

‘They’re business people,’ said Sandra. ‘They won’t take any notice of a young girl and what she wants.’

'Ah, trouble with Satara Bay,’ said Rennie. ‘It’s seasonal. You only do business in the summer time, Christmas, school holidays. It’s a bit like the fishing. You have to reel them in while they’re biting.’

‘Hey, look!’ Mandy yelled from the edge of the water. ‘There’s the happy couple, let’s go over and say farewell.’


Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Novel -The Ozone Cafe - Big, Bonza Greek Wedding

The day had been set for the picnic. Vincenzo realized that they would be all hung-over but it didn’t matter. Under the pine trees the cooling shade was a relief not only to their foreheads but to a thirty-two degree day.

They all had their heads craned over the Sunday paper.

‘This was no ordinary wedding’, repeated Winifred, slapping out the pages of the Times. She quickly folded the social columns so that she had a fourth of a page in her hands. ‘Listen to this,’ she said.


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Novel - The Ozone Café - Greek Boys (contd)

Winifred and Vincenzo walked along the esplanade, then moved further down the beach. Winifred stationed herself beside him in the shoals, scuffing her feet so that she made short splays of water. Of course, she was quiet for most of the walk back home. Suddenly she flipped a major arc of water out to sea, 'Vin, have you ever thought of doing another mural, somewhere. You know, so that I don't bug you about the one you sold, and well...maybe you could ask the Shire. You know, get permission to do a wall. Maybe, somewhere near the swings and barbeques?' Winifred raised her voice in a shrill tone as if this was the greatest idea she had in ages. 'Yeah, that's it!'

'Another one?'


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Novel - The Ozone Café - Greek Boys (contd)

The three men rose from the cubicle, Dion moving off to serve a customer.

‘Okay, Vincenzo you helped build the café, so let’s have a look at the wall,’ said Con. ‘I think the café’s sound but I’m no builder. Maybe you can tell me what’s going on?’

Con released the bolt on the side door, the bright glare hitting their faces. Winifred followed. The courtyard buzzed indignantly. Palms crackled like rice paper. The brickpaving sprouted all manner of weeds and four green umbrellas lay on the ground, their folds waving like hands.

‘Let’s see.’ Vincenzo poked around inside the wall, his finger following a crack down the side to within inches of the mural. He sighed, then patted the seascape like you would a horse’s flank. ‘You see Winifred, the gods have been kind to us. There’s not a mark on it.’


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Novel - The Ozone Café - Greek Boys (contd)

Greek Boys (contd)

Con and Vincenzo moved on from the topic of the Aegean Sea to food, both men raising their voices and smacking their lips. 'You must come and try our Keftedes meatballs,' said Con. 'You would like them in my special homemade tomato sauce. And our Mousaka and rolled lamb, sensational. The meat just falls off the bone. You know what our parents say, "Dion loves to cook and cooks with love."

'So your parents own this place?'


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Novel - The Ozone Café - Greek Boys

Greek Boys

It was obvious to Vincenzo that Con & Dion Lazaridis had either previously owned a café or some type of restaurant. As he stepped into the white interior, he had a sense of stepping back in time. A time when he had owned the place, a time when it suited his sensibility to be a proud business owner. That's what he had been most of his life - self-employed. Now, he could look on with a critical eye, but as his head moved around, his eyeballs popped.
The frontage had been remodeled with large glass doors concertinaed to open, he guessed, as patio doors into the street for the bay's cool breezes. He noticed a small bar area to the right decorated with comfortable stools, red-plush chairs, Greek photos and paintings. He liked what he saw and smelled. Everything was FRESH! He was mildly amused when Con asked him if he liked "foreign foods." He had the appetizer sampler, and the Greek platter. The salad was fresh, crisp and perfect. The appetizer was flavoursome and well balanced. The gyro meat and chicken skewer were cooked exactly as he liked them - slightly crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. This was certainly a step up from the cafe's last cuisine and the dirty place he had known as Joe Pendlebury's. While the Greek boys' service was fast he had previously noticed that the courtyard along Memorial Drive no longer had any outdoor dining. The old gate had been bricked in.

Early on, and wanting to check the state of Joe's patchwork, he had only been able to see tufts of weeds through a tiny crack. It would be impossible now to discuss the mural, let alone find easy access to it. It also annoyed him that it was obscure to the general public, kept out of sight. His artwork sealed away!

After an hour he was served coffee and Dion the elder of the two brothers sat down opposite Vincenzo. He poured the coffee and both men sipped it back, their nostrils twitching. Their voices in pleasant moans and groans.

'Makes me want to adopt Greece as my own country,' said Vincenzo.

'If Socrates was alive today, he would enjoy this coffee. A little pita with Tsatziki, some Ouzo maybe. No hemlock cocktail for him.'

'Ha, too right. You not use that outdoor much?' said Vincenzo, gesturing his thumb backwards towards the side courtyard.

'Nah,' said Con. 'Got enough to do in here, besides it doesn't look good.'


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Novel - The Ozone Café - Up the Mountain

Up the Mountain

The cemetery, full of old burials, was an earthly hazard. Stones, brick and mortar lay scattered on their sides. Some headstones were either cracked or had fallen onto their shadows. The plots were so close together that Vincenzo had to walk over their dead bodies. ‘Sorry peoples,’ he kept muttering to himself. He toed it over several very old graves until finally, looking back at Mandy, he said, ‘I get nowhere, here!’

‘We are just getting lost the deeper we go along,’ she said. ‘I’ll go back to the car and see if I can see some sort of entrance to that cottage.’

‘I wait here. Hey, look at this, a Harley Davidson engine, must have died on the bike.’

* * *

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Novel - The Ozone Café - Boards on a Café

Boards on a Café

She might have known. That stupid Pendlebod, how could he do it? Another time it would not have bothered her if a new owner came, giving the Ozone Café a new image of itself. New paint and cane furniture in the courtyard, she liked that. But now Pendlebod had gone too far, emptying the café of all the things she held so dear. She knew it would break Vincenzo’s heart.
* * *

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Novel - The Ozone Café, Short-Lived

Short-Lived (contd)

Winifred held a deadly look on her face as if a large snake had hissed at her from one of the cubicles. As quickly as she ran out, she ran back in, facing Joe and almost spitting in his face. 'Well I never thought you'd change anything,' she said, pacing and raising her voice. 'I have never seen anything so bad in all my life!'
'And since you got it wrong, the name's Pendlebury!' he yelled after her, as she ran her bicycle through the front gate.
'There's no need for me to come back here anymore. This place is a dump!'
Joe's foot began to tingle, and his heart seemed to be screaming, tick, tick, tick. He thumped his forehead, flicking his hand out at the Princess of the Esplanade. Snotty-nosed brat, he thought. He rattled his hands hard at his side and moved slowly inside. At the bottom of the stairs, he called up to Shirley, but no answer came. The last forty eight hours had been a tiresome ordeal and now only two bookings for the evening. He had other problems that he wanted to fight off in his head, but they kept on returning. The borders. Bastards. First stealing food from his fridge, now a month behind in the rent. He stared long and hard at the Red Snapper on the sink, while the scimitar hit a deep nerve inside his chest.

* * *

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Novel - The Ozone Café, Short-Lived

Short-Lived (contd)

The two men leaned on the fender of the ute, peering into the engine cavity. Bill Sanderson began quietly enough, but soon his expertise on cars quickly emerged with a shake of the head, pursed lips, and then an informed choice of words. 'Generator's buggered, me old son. Look there, water's your problem. Easy fixed. Old Grumble Guts up at the Mobil should have one.'

'Yeah, I knew she was ready to pack it in. What else could go wrong, hey?'

'Least this will only cost you a few quid. My boat, poor love, ripped apart and ignored by the gods as my pride and joy.'

'You got insurance?'

'On the store I have, but not with the boat. Well, I hardly ever take her out. She's just been sitting there gathering bird shit.'

'Still you could always do a patch job.'

'What about your outboard?'

'Don't wanna know...'

At this point the two men were approached by a young piercing voice that would pass through a pyramid.