Local authorities have a game. They vie with each other to see who can take longest to perform a task. There are degrees of difficulty: extra points are scored for inconveniencing the greatest number of people for the longest time.
O'Hea Street is currently rubble. It has been for a while. O'Hea's Bakery is accessible behind the rubble. No worries: just climb over it to get to the front door. What's the problem? Complain, always they complain. What's the matter with you people? It's only rocks, Madam; your pram could do with some off-road work. Park up the road, Sir; there's a vacant spot somewhere north of Gaffney Street. It will do your legs the world of good.
I thought it was VicRoads. I should have known better. It's Moreland Council, from Clown Hall on Bell Street. The crowd behind 1999's great Sydney Road Six-Month Footpath Reconstruction which saw several retailers almost go under; and the Victoria Mall rebuilding project of the early 2000s, a 'project' that saw a couple of concrete benches, some bumpy paving and a bunch of gum trees earn the architects an award for excellence in public space design.
Smile as you pay your rates. And watch the kerb. There isn't one.
O'Hea's (the spelling of this name varies but that is the correct way) Bakery has been there since 1956. Now it's a deli. I go there when I need cakes, cured meats, a can of tomatoes or beans for the minestrone, some great parmesan cheese, a bouncy, chewy, sesame-encrusted Vienna loaf ... or an eat-in toasted sandwich and a nice coffee sitting in mid-autumn sunshine at one of the little tables in the window. Overlooking the rubble.