Story telling from Australia
Ironing boards, step ladders, front door mats and bags of compost get stacked outside Beattie Trading on Darling Street every morning and taken in again each night. Our local hardware store is old fashioned, and all the better for it.
I have no idea of the owner’s name and I hesitate to ask, fearing to shatter the illusion. Since the day I met him three years ago, when a large white beard appeared behind a paint pot, he’s been dubbed Mr Christmas.
Guidance from Mr Christmas is freely available, and it’s not the sort of guidance you’d expect.
Alongside the home wares and gardening tools lined up along the pavement, Mr Christmas adds a blackboard. Each day a new message is chalked on it and those messages never fail to lift my spirits.
I recently started photographing them. Here are a few of my favourites:
Mr Christmas smiles when he’s not posing for photographs.