The rain shimmered off the road and leapt under the street lights but was completely outshone by the viscous lightening and cracking and thundering percussion which attended it, all right overhead. The end of a warm, humid day but it did make us wonder if we would find anyone out on the streets tonight. Add to the weather fact the hoodoo that seems to accompany a patrol when a new team member joins us. Sod’s law says we will see no one at all when a keen new graduate is out with us.We ambled down to Manly, enjoying a drive along the beach front where we watched the dancing storm stab its bolts of light into the sea. Some flickering arcs looked like they had an aversion to water and danced across the top of the clouds instead. We were not the only ones mesmerised by the display. But despite the storm moving on there were few takers for our services. Most of those out and about were clearing dinner, jumping puddles and heading home.
We turned and headed for the northern beaches. OK, so a “Manlyite” might argue they are on the northern beaches but there is a different subculture a bit further north, one partly marked by no need to shave yet, too much loose time and far too much booze. And a fiercely parochial view that they live in God’s favourite part of the earth. On the way we found Shane camped in his van beside an oval and shared a laugh and hot chocolate with him. It was quiet at Newport but at Avalon we stumbled over some kids. Thirteen or so. Close to midnight, with no intentions of going home. Two of them in bare feet, on gravel treated us to a very clever bit of rap music, vocals and beat being provided by them. No embarrassment about sharing with strangers though the Drug Arm van is no stranger to most of them up here. Hot chocolate and a choc chip cookie in exchange for a rap performance – a good deal in any one’s books. I drove off impressed. I always am. No matter who we meet and almost without exception, regardless of the circumstances the kids are positive and outgoing, polite and grateful for the contact and our being there. I love the connections with them. They are a great counter foil to all the things that crowd into our lives and which we think are important.