Many moons ago I spent a few months with a fellow trainee teacher doing a prac teaching session in the small country town of Grenfell in Central NSW. I was about 20 at the time and had a class of Year One kids in my charge. I would spend my days reciting Wombat Stew, Wombat Stew, Chewy gooey, yummy chewy Wombat Stew. And I would spend my evenings pashing Farmers. Not all of the Farmers. Just the cute ones.

I immersed myself thoroughly in the local life. I loved it. I swore at the time I would end up in the country somewhere. I still love it. To visit. I liked it because people knew who you were and looked out for you. My friend and I were the shiny ladies from the big smoke and after a while, the Farmer’s Wives were indeed locking up their sons.

I made the mistake of ordering a mixed seafood sandwich at one of the local cafes one day and hours later, as I lay delerioulsly with a drip in my arm at Grenfell Hospital, it struck me why I loved the place so much.

No one was snooty.

I was in a lift today when a lady, maybe about 55, entered. I held the door open for her. Not a nod of gratitude. Much to Mr Woog’s ongoing horror, I am a bit of a lift talker so I mentioned to her “I think we are going to get a storm this afternoon!”

She turned and looked at me as if I had just emitted a curry fart and was stinking up her airspace. The doors opened, she walked passed me and it took all my strength not to throw my handbag at the back of departing head.

Snooty? Smile for fucks sake. It’s not going to kill you.