It was a pretty indulgent Easter. My clothes were feeling rather tight and uncomfortable by the time I collapsed on the couch last night and began rubbing my belly. There was not a whole lot of restraint going on. It all started on Friday. No, wait. Thursday. I had a hankering for sushi that just wouldn’t quit, so after a sundowner at the jetty bar, I dragged Llew to Minato, a fab Japanese joint opposite the wharf. Talk about total wish fulfillment: sake, miso, tempura scallop rolls, sushi and sashimi – YUM. Then we realised we could just make the late session of The Boat That Rocked, playing at the independent cinema a few doors along.
Why does this movie have such a dumb name? That’s my first question, but it’s an important one. There’s no way that ridiculous title is going to do them any favours. It’s so clunky and, well, passive and dull. Surely even Rock the Boat is an improvement, if not quite a winner? The movie itself isn’t bad – it’s waaay more fun than the title suggests – and its portrayal of life aboard a pirate radio ship in the UK of the 1960s is amusing and toe-tapping. It also draws yet another excellent performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman, who may actually be incapable of a dud performance (unlike, say, Richard Gere… who’s not, I should hasten to add, in this movie, it’s just that Llew was channel surfing up at Palmie yesterday and the mere sight of Richard Gere on screen made me snort like a pig because he is such a hopeless HAM), and who can do other than love Bill Nighy and want to have him round for dinner? My only other question relates to my sole reservation about giving this movie an unequivocal thumbs up (regardless, it’s a good date movie – there’s plenty of music trivia to discuss during conversational lulls on the way home) and it is this: why sink a good film with a super corny bad ending? They were doing so well. Sure, there were a couple of minor annoyances, but still, they were doing well. They had me. I was on their side. But as the absurd climax took hold, I turned to Llew and said, “Well, that’s just stupid.” Such a shame. Still, in the balance, it’s worth a berth.
Friday started with tea and hot cross buns (with lashings of butter) in bed. I love them. I may well be addicted to them. Then I headed into the kitchen to make a late brunch because my friend and old office mate from PhD days, T (it’s not your imagination. I have an inordinate number of friends whose first initial is T), was up in Sydney from Melbourne and due to arrive on a ferry at some point. I slow roasted cherry tomatoes and then baked large flat mushrooms after brushing them with balsamic vinegar. Making the mushrooms the base on the plate, I added a dollop of sour cream, then shaved parmesan, then the tomatoes, and finished off the stack with fresh basil leaves. T is a vegetarian, so I was quite chuffed with myself because this was my own creation based on a few of my favourite ingredients. It’s really delicious, and one could easily add a layer of crispy bacon for a more carnivorous meal. I served it with hot buttered toast and coffee and I suggest you do the same. Mmmmm…. I love brunch.
It was great seeing T, we had him all to ourselves for a few hours in the Chez J courtyard before I saw him back to the ferry wharf and Llew and I headed up to Palm Beach. There we remained for the rest of the weekend. We swam, ran, Llew played golf, I worked on chapter one and read books, we had playmates on Saturday night when two friends T and R (see, I told you, T’s everywhere!) joined us for the night and next day, we walked up to the lighthouse (a fine sandstone specimen, the Palm Beach lighthouse is still fully operational), we ate and drank fit to BURST, we waved our friends goodbye, we strolled up the road to see another couple up there for the weekend, drank and ate more, went back to the house to meet up with my sister-in-law, went out for dinner locally (where I proceeded to wipe the floor in the ordering contest – my seafood stew was killer), rolled home, slept like the dead then woke up yesterday to basically do it all again. No wonder we were in bed by 9:30 fighting to keep our eyes open. No wonder I wasn’t hungry for the first time in my life when I woke up this morning… not that I was going to let a lack of hunger slow my down. I still have hot cross buns to get through (and a secret stash of back-ups in the freezer for when the weather next turns foul…).
In other news, Catherine swore.
(I’ll explain tomorrow, but as I said to the Darklings earlier today, I must be the only writer in existence who aspires to expletives.)