Monday, May 27, 2013

What would be your perfect Canberra day?

Lets say, it starts with a sleep in and a cup of tea catching up on the internet and friends far away. It's cold outside but sunny and the dog is on the bed snoring. I make toast out of sourdough and he wakes up in time to share the last buttery bit.

There is a chill in the air as I walk the dog - it isn't a big walk, but just a little walk so he is happy. His tail wags as we walk down to our park and the are poplars are just coming back to life and the contrast is amazing against the bright blue sky. I think it might be the end of winter...winter on the cusp of spring.

Then I ride my bike to brunch - maybe silo? No a coffee somewhere like Ona with a friend. Or the farmers markets? Maybe I meet someone at the farmers markets a bit later than usual. It is really busy and I don't eat because I'm going to silo for lunch. Coffee on the grass in the sun and chat, watching the dogs chase balls and the hustle and bustle of the stalls. I say goodbye and wander around the fresh produce and buy whatever is in season, and as a treat, some fresh flowers - I think jonquils. And mandarin juice too. The asparagus looks good, as do the fresh peas and I buy lots because I'm cooking dinner tonight for a small group of friends.

Silo is always nice for lunch and I get there right on time. Because it is so sunny we sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine with the pizza. Good company, maybe my friend is visiting from Bowral....yes that would be lovely. We go to essential ingredients and browse, then drive out to antique shops in fyshwick - a wander around down memory lane. I buy some more etched glassware to replace all the ones I break. Lucky i'm going for that eclectic look! We have a little bit more time before we meet her kids at the lake for icecream (before they drive home), so we go to Braddon and hang around Lonsdale Traders. 

We say goodbye and then I go home. People will be coming in a few hours and I go to the garden and cut fresh flowers for the house. The daphne is amazing this time of year and the smell does this thing where it reminds me of something...a moment in time, but hard to place.

I make a gin cocktail with the fresh mandarin juice and start planning the menu. Some simple antipasti, followed by a slow roasted joint. Not too slow because the sun is setting and there won't be time, but slow enough so the meat falls clean off the bone. It goes well with the alligot mash. I start cooking and enjoy the challenge of getting things done. It is always a nice time, that time in the kitchen. The dog lays on the floor in the middle of it all, but that's where he should be - and always is when I cook. The peas take forever to shell and ever now and then one hits the floor - which never fails to catch the attention of the dog, who without fail sniffs the air in disappointment.

The house is decorated for a party and everyone arrives. We have cocktails and then we listen to a great mix of music, taking turns playing albums on the record player. Someone brings me dahlia's which is so lovely. Gosh I have great friends.

We enjoy a long dinner and at the very end we eat home made fresh jelly. We decide to play scrabble before chocolate and cherry roulade dessert. It tastes good, but we are all so full. The dog makes his way around the table to pick up scraps and is in luck tonight. 

Before everyone goes home we light sparklers - because they are pretty but mainly because I love the smell. 

And as the dog snores loudly on his bed in the hall, everyone sneaks out one by one so as not to wake him. They know if he wakes up he'll be sad to see them leave and will bark loudly into the night. As the door slams the party tassels move in the breeze of the closing door and I squint as I look into the colours until they blur into one. Alone in my house filled with bunting and love.  I feel lonely for the day just gone, but also happy as I say goodnight.


  1. Thumbs up. I appreciate the house filled with love but not bunting. That gives me nightmares about the ALP on election day.

  2. I want to be the friend who meets you for coffee and the farmers market and Lonsdale Traders (whatever that is) and comes for dinner and falls asleep on the couch and helps with the dishes in the morning.

  3. Sounds like a plan. We'll work out what we are cooking at the farmers markers while we drink our coffee, ok? And don't forget that we need to buy pastries for Sunday breakfast!