Friday, November 30, 2007


As summer creeps upon us and the silly season warms up, our predictable routines tend to go out the window from the first week in November to well into the New Year. In a city with distinct seasons (even if the song is true and we can have all 4 of them in one day) the Spring Racing Carnival ends the winter hibernation and shouts at one and all to wake up and get out into the world once more. Even for those of us who couldn’t give a toss about horse racing, we are plunged into a three month helter skelter ride of food, wine, friends and family.

This month has seen me use up a small forest in wasted carbon – flying across the ditch and to Queensland. Visitors have appeared out of nowhere and long lost friends have reconnected across the ether. There is a gravitational pull on any free, sunny afternoon to head the two short blocks to my local hotel to grab a table on the pavement and sip a chilled glass of sauv blanc or rose. Maybe stay awhile and eat as well. Neighbours out walking their dog or placating their children stop for a drink. It is a very sociable spot.

There have been half a dozen exhibition openings and other gallery visits for the ones we’ve missed. How many times have I said it will be an alcohol free night only to not resist a free glass while viewing art? A midweek lecture with a bevy of friends to listen to Germaine Greer required a snack and drink before as well as a later supper and deconstruction after. With both a landmark birthday for a friend who flew in from out of town and a landslide election on the same weekend, one month in I must admit to feeling a little shabby.

Yesterday's market trip was atonement. It was to be a day of healing food, until I had to assist the Not Boyfriend feed his hangover with a burger (me tofu, him beef) and heavenly chips at Grill’d. At least the evening meal got us back on track – a simple stock made from flathead bones, then flavoured with chilli, ginger and fish sauce. Fish, a little rice noodles, spring onions, shitake mushrooms, bok choy, baby carrots – a delicious, yet virtuous soup.

The fruit bowl has overflowed, there are cherries, white peaches, mangoes, gooseberries, kiwi, bananas, citrus for juices. Green things leap out every time the fridge is opened. The cornucopia of summer has arrived.

I was going to list my meals of the past week but I struggle to recall. There was a last minute BBQ with friends on a work night (after the weekly shopping had been done) so I knocked up some hummus and grabbed a block of smoked tofu to slice and grill on the flames to eat with the many salads. There was at least one delicious seafood spagghetini at the pub and smokey noodles with salmon and greens at Chocolate Buddha. At home there was a bean and tuna salad one night and the NB’s kitchen sink bake on another. There has been more glasses of wine than can be justified, with the late call that the PM lost his seat Maxine was toasted for many nights.

So for those in the north welcoming the snow - transmission Down Under will be intermittent, like sunburn. The next week has a catch up with someone not seen for over a decade and another with an old school friend. There is an unofficial BBQ day run by my favourite radio station. There will be more bike rides in the dark of night, cycling home in high spirits.

And I promise to not leave it too long between posts.

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