Quality Time

October 23, 2007 at 6:26 am (Uncategorized)

Three days in Canberra and Bungendore precluded my posting yesterday, and apologies for those of you who checked in that your efforts went unrewarded. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted from an all over general satisfaction that it was all I could do to make a salad and warm up the rabbit pies I brought home on the train from the gorgeous little township of Bungendore. Needless to say they were definitely worth the trip.

Llew had the inspired and very thoughtful suggestion that Sarah and I go away for a weekend together since we haven’t been able to really glut ourselves on each other’s company for quite some time. After discussing numerous options, Canberra and Bungendore surged to an easy lead for a number of reasons: Sarah’s parents live in Bungendore, and one of my favourite things to do with her is wake up there and have cups of tea and chat with her mum and dad; our friend Judith was flying up from Melbourne with her little boy for a week with her own parents; our friend Suz had her birthday last Monday; besides the Bungendore connection, we both went to the Australian National University, so we’ll always have an affectionate connection to Canberra; the National Gallery is having its 50th birthday, and there were exhibitions on we wanted to see; plus I could finally catch up face-to-face with Nick, a college friend from those long ago Canada years whom I don’t think I’d seen since 1996-ish.

It was settled.

Everything came off without a hitch – it was a perfectly choreographed weekend. Sarah and I had lots of time on the leisurely train legs to catch up (over wine on the way down Friday night, and treats and Vogue Living on the way back Monday afternoon), and we saw everyone we wanted to see and did everything we wanted to do. This included a truly vintage night out with the girls. The four of us went to Anise, one of Canberra’s many excellent dining options, and enjoyed a three-course meal, wine, and each other for hours. Hours. I think we were in that restaurant for the length of the average workday. There was no stopping us. Even the staff abandoned the idea of kicking us out and just left us sitting on, talking and laughing whilst the rest of the place was folded and packed up around us. Brilliant. Great food, too. In my case (count them, Sydney restauranteurs: f-i-v-e), scallops on a cauliflower puree for entree, then a medium rare kangaroo fillet on a beetroot jus with mixed greens for main, and affogato for dessert, although the other girls had more elaborate offerings: passionate souffle (yum) and what I think was a quince tart (which looked very sticky and delicious). It was all so shockingly reasonable we thought they’d made a mistake with the bill.

Once we finally managed to drag ourselves out of there, it was only to go next door to a wine bar that I think is called Muddle (otherwise known as ‘Convenient’). There we had a bottle of Chandon and continued our conversation without missing a beat. I just love nights like that. I love a night spent out with the ladies. It was uproarious fun and we were all so excited to be there together and clink our glasses and pore over our menus and swap stories and laugh our heads off and lean in and listen closely when someone had something serious to say. It was the perfect night. It felt like we’d somehow pulled off a major coup, all of us managing to be there together like that. These moments are rare, and we all unashamedly basked in ours.

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