.. in a little town called... hang on, that was in December. And now it's, oh gosh, it's practically the end of February and here I am still mulling over the difficulties of making a commitment to even one New Year's rez. Even half a one... dammit, maybe like Cath (hi) I'll just declare that the new year hasn't started yet, not til I'm ready. She only delayed hers by one month; hell, watch me top that!
I've been to the coast and back, and missed the heat in Canberra. Then just a few days here, and we jumped on planes to go to Adelaide for my next visit to the uberdoc. Adelaide had the Most Amazing Heatwave recently, and I was fervently hoping it would be over and nice and cool for me. I got a happy compromise - the first few days were pleasant, only late 20s, but by Tuesday this week it was heating up again. Wednesday was hot enough that at 6pm we sought shade for an evening picnic at the beach. We used the aircon in the motel and the hire car lavishly, and I field-tested a number of iced coffees. The best one was made with cold espresso, ice cubes and milk shaken together, then poured into a chilled glass and topped with genuine coffee gelato and just a little cream. It was FABULOUS. Cool, slightly sweet, and the gelato meant the drink had that icecream feel without any extra richness. I loved it. But the other, more usual iced coffees were all pretty good. I don't really like icecream, but a scoop of vanilla diluted by espresso and milk isn't exactly a problem.
The news from the uberdoc is that my poor old sinuses are 'odoematous' and I need lots of topical steroid to help fix that. You don't want to know how I'm going to achieve this. All I'm prepared to say is to quote some of the paperwork accompanying the meds: 'adopt the Mecca position'; 'remain kneeling for at least 10 minutes'; and 'lie down immediately afterwards' ... preferably 'on retiring for the day'. This means, loosely, that I have to go to bed after I 'do' my nose every evening. M is delighted cos it means I can't go on faffing around after I 'do' the 'doing'. I can fix that. I'll just delay the 'doing' til I've finished faffing.
A good consequence, afaic, would be the return of my sense of smell and taste, which are both quite compromised atm. Can't smell my new gorjussness from the Jo Malone shop on King William Road (Hyde Park darling, only rich useless types shop there). Can't taste the iced coffees properly, or the ro-zay, or the fennel-smoked black pig charcuterie. Couldn't tell if I needed extra showers. Also didn't realise for several hours that the large and expensive bottle of cold-pressed extra virgin McLaren Vale boutique gourmet oil that I knocked onto the concrete floor of a wine cellar-tasting room, was lemon myrtle flavoured. Later in the day I was wondering what the lemon smell was and where it was coming from (I was in a non-lemon-laden car at the time) and eventually realised it was my oil-soaked right canvas shoe. I washed it and washed it, and when dry it was still oily. Now the inner fabric sole has come away. But the colours on the canvas are notably brighter than the left shoe, so I expect I'll have to mix up a cup of good olive oil, seep a packet of dried lemon myrtle in it, and then pour it over the shoe somewhere. Purrhaps I'll do it on the bit of front path which is about to be dug up and removed forever. It could be a sort of farewell anointing of the path for all the years of good use it's had and given as a means of getting to our front door without having to negotiate mud, crud and cats.
I enjoyed spending time with quite large bits of my family - I do appreciate Gerald Durrell's incisive titling of one of his 'remembered youth' books - the 'Other Animals' concept applies most aptly! There are inter-brotherly grouches, partner-pickling, view of the offspring from afar ruminations, and some feedback about and to me, about and to me. All very entertaining and mostly not a worry. My fave three things were: dinner with bro #3 and his sweetie. They're on a diet. He cheats. She scolds which makes him smile a lot. Heh. Next? - dinner with bro #2 and his family. Sitting on their new couches after dinner fixing the world while youngest dorter made a play for a late night while falling asleep on my feet. And finally: speaking to my mother about a problem and hearing her response - "I'm gonna come over there and beat them up. How DARE they say that to my favourite dorter???'. She's only GOT one. Bro #3 complained that it's not fair and he wants to be a favourite dorter too. Oh sigh...!
Other good Adelaide things were the funny little car we hired - a Renault Megane. You use a sort of credit card thingie instead of a key, to open/shut things, and turn on/off the engine. A bit tricky til you get used to it. And it's another small black thing to easily lose amongst books and papers. How do I know that??? And driving in a very very right-angled city. All NSEW easily identified, not to mention being able to SEE where you are - between the hills and the sea, duh.
The regional gourmet/specialty shopping of edibles and drinkables. We sent home two boxes of wine, and collected another of other things like oil (yes, see above for why we guiltily bought so much of this!), vinegars, chutneys and sauces. We had an excellent picnic of cheeses, dried meats, amazing dried fruit (pears par-dried with vanilla beans, YUM). A soft cheese, very sheepy, wrapped in prosciutto - we ate it cold but this can be put in a hot oven for 7 minutes to crisp the meat and soften the cheese. I imagine it would be damn luscious spread on some springy bread. Barossa grapes all over the shops, and small dark figs. Really excellent tomatoes even from supermarkets. And plenty of splendid plonk. I found a great bottle for bro #2 - he has a frog 'theme' (no I can't explain why, any more than I can explain why *I* have a watermelon theme) - 'Arrogant Frog' Merlot named 'Ribet Red'. Heheheheheheh...
I almost had a swim twice, but both times refrained because it was SO hot that the amount of Factor 30 needed was just too hard. I survived discovering (on the day) that the appt. with the uberdoc was indeed for 11.30 on the 18th - of MARCH. A booking mix-up which we didn't identify cos of course February has a Wednesday 18th as well. But no drama, we got in anyway. They wouldn't turn us away once we said, lip a'tremble, but but we came over from Canberra. Ahem. Not sure I can blame myself entirely for this one, but I do wonder..
Little cat here in the window says 'let me outoutoutOUT!!!l' there is buffaloes to biff and heffalumps to hunt and sweet night air to whisk my whiskers'. Natch. She can swish her tail all she likes, cats are IN at night and that's that. Oh god, now she's attempting to claw down the fly screen. I shall depart.
... leaving a trail, I hope, of Jo Malone 'Dark Amber and Ginger'. Sounds like dessert! Try it and see. Do you find yourself reaching for a spoon and some cream to schloop it all over your chest? Then maybe it's not for you.. unless you start wearing chocolate t-shirts, anyway.
Nine days at the coast, except for one day it was a mere 28 degrees. Watching the rest of east/south Australia, I dare not mention the evening humidity which made my hair run with sweat, dare I. No.
The Good Wimmin joined me on Thursday for 4 days of shared food, bubbles, venturing, swimming, reading, chat and deep appreciation of the surroundings. Major shopping took place at Mogo, where shirts were found for all of us. I topped up with some 'anti-stress' incense - as always this recipe is lavender and rose geranium. Very nice tho.
On Saturday, swimming in the shallow lagoon, I saw two stingrays! One large black ray, about a metre across; and a baby ray only about a foot wide, still a pale sandy colour. I've never seen them before. This year there are no small fat green starfish in the rockpools, or crabs, that I can see. The beach is pebblier than ever, but that I think is a good thing as it prevents too many ppl from driving in to spend the day. I am selfish. I want to keep this place as unpopular as possible!
It's good to be home with my pusscats, my purrfume collection, my M and proper phone reception. We have only a few days before leaving for Adelaide for a week, so I can visit the uberdoc again, and spend some time with fambly. We're hoping to stay somewhere on or near the beach, but accommodation is proving tricky to pin down. It must have aircon, aircon, a queen bed and aircon. How hard could it be??
Today brought to you by eau de Mr Sheen (used by the cleaners on the kitchen cupboards); a cool breeze, and a suspicion that my sense of smell has gorn again. Sigh....