Monday, 7 April 2008

Camping with the Nances

Sometimes I think that Barb and I are crazy. We made the decision to stop buying presents (stuff) for family that they don't really want. We've decide to purchase or organise fun stuff and experiences instead. A couple of Christmas's ago we bought our extended family tickets to Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, as done by Belvoir St theatre. It was a really fun day out. 

Last Christmas we decided to organise to take Barb's extended family camping and we would cater for the weekend. It was surprising how soon March 14th came around.

Barb and I had a really stressful and busy week leading into the weekend away. We were exhausted. I had a couple of job interviews on the Friday we were going away, we'd just had some bad news that we were starting to come to terms with. We'd also had a relatively fruitless early morning trip to the markets, that we'd assumed that it would save us time and $$. (we came back with a box of figs and a couple of herbs). The week sucked.   

Barb really put in that week. After trying to teach 5 kids with autism she came home to prepare a goulash and a tex-mex special so we could reheat it on the weekend. She spent Friday morning preparing camping gear and packed the car when I returned from my interview. Everyone should have their own personal Barb.

We camped at East Beach, Kiama. All Nances and Walkers (Liz's family) came. We were also fortunate that Jo's new beau, Matt could come along. Matt was great to have along. He patiently taught those interested how to use a river kayak in the surf. 

Everyone pitched in their own way. We borrowed a tent for the Walkers, Carol and Rob pitched a giant tarp, Jo brought lots of lovely beer and the Walkers  brought enough apples and grapes to feed the entire camp ground!

I still find these events stressful. I love being with everyone but I'm not so good with the chaos. Being around young children can be fun but also reminds me of what Barb and I don't have. I struggle to not let this show too much. 

It was fun to be together. No one had to rush to another engagement or had an important errand to run. Our job was to be together.   

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


The latest Food Appreciation Guild (FAG) outing was to Bagan, a new (and Sydney's only) Burmese restaurant in Strathfield. I had read a review in the SMH that stayed with me. You can search for the review: 

We were greeted by velvet covered menus that could have been mistaken for a Indian wedding album. The menu was full of pictures, labeled with names that gave you little indication of what the meal contained. Mitch ordered, with a lot of help from the waitress.

We order the famous pennyworth salad, fried whole fish, lamb curry, seafood hot pot and a couple of other dishes. The food looked influenced by Indian and Chinese cuisine. The curry was divine.

We were joined by Renjit, who was in Sydney after his recent move to the USA and his old flatmate, Caroline. I want to come back and try some of the other dishes on the menu.

Macadamia Nut capital of the world

There's not a lot of photos of my friend Libby on this blog. That makes me a bit sad because the reason for this is that she lives in a small town outside Lismore called Dunoon. She moved up there about 5 years ago due to her circumstances at the time. I would tease Lib by saying she lives in the "macadamia nut capital of the world".

I recently spent three days hanging out with Lib after leaving my job under difficult circumstances. I really needed some time out We had a great time of catching up, reflecting on some of the difficult things we'd been through and were currently experiencing. We drank lots of Cooper's green and Campos' coffee, and I had the occasional rolly.

We visited the famous markets at The Channon and spent lots of money. Lib kindly modeled some clothes I was thinking about buying for Barb. Lib bought a very cool bookmaker's hat. I really enjoyed hanging out walking, talking, browsing and buying.

We went to Byron Bay one arvo to watch Into the wild. We had to have a couple of beers afterward.

I miss Lib. I miss having a schooner or two of Toohey's Old at the White Cockatoo in Petersham. I miss inviting Lib over for a curry. I miss drinking too much coffee and beer in her backyard. I miss chatting and laughing together. I miss growing up together.