Vic was the best kind of taxi driver. Chatty, interesting and interested who didn't feel the need to lecture me or patronise me or tell me his political opinions.
We discussed lots of things. Smoking and giving it up. Drinking - he doesn't doesn't drink, just a glass or two of red wine with dinner. Football - he barracks for my AFL team's traditional rival. We were in Melbourne so football is the easiest topic of conversation unless you encounter a Collingwood supporter. We don't talk to Collingwood supporters. On this, Vic and I agreed.
Anyway, after we had exhausted the topics of smoking, drinking, veggie gardens and footy, Vic noticed my knitting.
What was I knitting? A sock for my husband.
"Oh!", he said, "just like my Mamma."
Vic is 67 years old and was born just outside Rome. He emigrated from Italy 40 years ago and is the youngest of six boys and the only one of his mother's sons still living. He owns his own taxi and now works only 4 days a week. His brother-in-law does the other three days.
He told me his mamma knitted socks for all her boys and her husband and also jumpers and undershirts. "Dio", he said, "how itchy those undershirts were the first time you wore them! But mamma said wear them or freeze, so we wear them."
I am so grateful to have the privilege of hearing Vic's story and tonight he is going home to his family and will tell them of his Mamma and her handknitted singlets. He has never told them before.