Thursday afternoon, and I'm once again heading into the Sydney CBD after work, to "do over" my favourite haunts for books, comics, toys and so on. This particular dash around the city shops (and last week's) felt rather odd: the Mid City Center, in the Pitt Street Mall, has been totally vacated for major renovations, and that means no more HMV Megastore, no more Hobbyco (moved to the Queen Victoria Building, I believe), no more kebab shop (I used to enjoy chatting to the woman who ran this for many years, even though my recent dieting attempts meant I did not frequent it as often), no more Oporto Portuguese-style chicken - and no more (relatively new) Krispy Kreme donut kiosk! Of course, I only went to Krispy Kreme for their takeaway coffee. Ho ho.
It was a light night all round. No Star Trek stuff (although a batch of new mail order: "Star Trek: The Next Generation" action figures arrived at the front door this morning). But Galaxy Bookshop did have a Region 4 DVD set of the "Heroes" Season One and, as I've had a curiosity about this show, which has only increased with George Takei (Star Trek's Mr Sulu) joining the cast, and recurring nasty boy Zachary Quinto being announced as the future Young Spock in JJ Abrams' new "Star Trek" movie, it's become a "must have" purchase.
I started wandering back to the train station about 7.30pm, feeling strong about resisting the urge to buy any edibles more substantial than orange-flavoured Strepsils' throat lozenges. Although the diet is going well - I'm eating very little for my last meal of the day, although I'm "maintaining the engine" regularly as the day wears on - I must confess I often miss curling up in a McDonalds' to check out my purchases while I eat. Actually, I feel like I'm saving a lot of money, too; my "top up" treats tend to be apples, or rice crackers with Vegemite, whereas years ago I'd have splurged on a giant size Mars Bar, or a Crunchie.
But I'm also missing the social act of eating a normal evening meal. Very much. In the good ol' days, especially when Brisbanites, Maria and Peter, were living in Sydney, and joined me for my weekly jaunts into the city, or before that when a group of shop assistants and customers from Comic Kingdom would head off for drinks. One could munch away and talk to friends at the same time. Sometimes my pilgrimages into the city can be quite lonely, even though I see friendly faces throughout the night.