Kings Cross and Potts Point is like one big village. Geography plays its part, I guess. It’s a peninsula. Macleay and Victoria Streets are the only main thoroughfares. You can’t help bumping into people. It’s Australia’s most densely populated area, too. If you stand out, everyone will know you.

And two people who certainly stood out on Macleay Street when I lived nearby were a well heeled but eccentric pair of women from Vaucluse – and their dogs. They’d breakfast at an outdoor café. Ever the gentleman, that well known local Paul Keating used to offer them a crisp “Ladies!” when he walked by. It was very hard not to notice them, after all. The dogs had finely made Persian prayer rugs to lie on and their leads were by Chanel.

One of the mutts was named “Frank Sinatra”. He was short and bad tempered, you see. I can’t remember the names of the others, but they were treated like children. Maybe better. So when one of them died – I think it was Frank Sinatra – his heartbroken owners arranged a full funeral for him.

And this is where we get into village gossip. Potts Point talk said the dog women asked a human funeral director to look after their departed friend, but that he demurred. Until a Vaucluse neighbour intervened. Abe Saffron.

Peter Fray

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