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Brumby’s, Ballina.

I visited the River Street Ballina franchise today – shopping for a half-baguette they do extremely well – and was treated to a display of impatience by one of the staff when I declined her wave-over invitation to squeeze between two aged customers settling their bill at the counter. The eldest, a white-haired old man had dropped his walking stick and was bending down as quickly as his old bones allowed in his attempt to retrieve it.

There was one customer behind me and three staff behind the counter. Another out the back. All young.

I’m 76. The impatient staff member looked to be about 20.

And that’s what I took home from Brumby’s this morning with the bread, a subtle touch of discrimination linked to the fear of contracting Covid 19.

Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back.

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