April 29, 2012


A blow to my ego today.

For 3 years I was a companion to Lucy, drove her around, took her to all her appointments, stopped in to chat, went out for coffee. Ran errands. I didn’t work on Thursdays for the last 18 months just so I could offer her my time and some assistance.

You may have read that her family came and moved her out of her house in the last few weeks. I was sad but when we went to visit last week she looked great, and it hit home that all she really needed was her family to step in and take responsibility.

Today I gave her a call to see how she was doing. We went through a couple of niceties and then I was told that she really didn’t have anything else to say to me. Point finale. She’d speak to me sometime. Good bye.

Perhaps her nieces husband, whilst brash, was right. Perhaps I needed the company more than Lucy…

filles at 4:58 pm

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April 26, 2012

My best friend

Today I ran into the husband of my best friend. Well, she was my best friend from when I was 18 years old – till I turned about 38. We were living in Glasgow.

Home for a visit at Christmas one year, Michelle and I rushed about doing all the things we did when we were visiting Sydney. Kerry and Peter were extremely generous as always – loaning us their car, their phone, their spare bedroom. The best of friends.

We went away for a couple of days to the mountains, came back, spent a couple of days at Bondi Beach as an anniversary treat to ourselves, and then planned to spend our last evening in Australia with Kerry & Pete in Newtown. Take them out, wherever they wanted to go, to thank them.

It all went to crap.

Kerry disappeared, we were told she had had an argument with Peter and that she had gone to stay with her cousin Dave. I called her endlessly, Peter told me not to worry. He wanted to go out as planned. It was weird, but we did it anyway.  The next day we left Sydney back to Glasgow and we still hadn’t had a chance to talk to Kerry nor thank her.

When we arrived home I was stonewalled. I was told that Kerry never wanted to speak to me again, that I was a horrible friend, that I was not welcome. I had no idea what I had done, nor do I still. The response was “if I didn’t know what I had done, that was even worse, and please stop contacting them”.

I tried over the years, I sent birthday greetings, catch up emails, always hoping that someday Kerry would talk to me again, let me know what I had done to hurt her so terribly. Unfortunately everything had to go through her husband, he was the only point of contact. I secretly thought he might have been enjoying playing the cat in the middle. Who knows.

Anyway, suffice to say, we moved to Sydney 3 years ago, and my best friend still doesn’t talk to me. I don’t know what’s happening with her, I don’t know anything about her really. We know where they live because it’s easy to recognise. And Michelle bumped into Peter on the train a couple of years ago. And then today….

I ran into him on the street in town. It was bound to happen, Sydney is not that big. Anyway, he wouldn’t look at me. He called me the enemy. He would talk to me without making eye contact. I was really happy to see him, asked about Kerry, but got no response. He told me he won’t tell her he saw me.

My best friend. I miss her.


filles at 8:06 pm

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April 23, 2012

Rashes, and movies, and all that wine…

I’m allergic to something. Something contained in spaghetti bolognaise from the local to work italian microwave heating take away shop.  It was pouring with rain last week, and instead of going for a walk for something decent to eat, I ducked in next door to the aforementioned greasy spoon….

One portion of spag bol, in a plastic container, heated up in the microwave on the premises and I was good to go. I ate at my desk, it was a busy afternoon. I didn’t feel so well, but nothing too serious. But my chin was really itchy.

I met Michelle at the cinema at 6pm where we were going to the opening night of Cafe de Flore – the Jean Marc Vallee film starring Kevin Parent and I got a few stares. I went to the bathroom, and low and behold, I was bright red and swollen.  Not to worry, this was Michelle’s night. The film was wonderful, I really enjoyed it, then we ate out under the stars, in the rain with the Canadian consul and a group of Quebecers in Sydney. It was fun.

But I was allergic to something. Next day I was completely swollen up, looked a right mess, had to work a tasting that night which was charming.

5 days later and I’m still not right. My eyes are puffy and very very dry, and my feet are like little water balloons at the end of my legs. God only knows what was in that spag bol. But I’m not going there in a hurry again. Rain or shine.


In other news, my charge, Lucy who will be 98 this year, has been moved by her family out to Hornsby. At the moment she is staying with family, but she will soon go into care. It was a tough couple of weeks, we missed her, but we drove out Saturday afternoon to visit and she looks great. She’s put on weight, and she has no intention of ever coming home. It’s all good. She’s probably wanted to get out of that pokey little house for a long time, she just had no way of doing it. Enter the family and their good intentions at Easter…


And more news… we’ve finally bought an apartment in Sydney and are starting the lengthy, complicated, time consuming, not to mention – stressful, process of renovations. It’s only tiny, but it’s right in the centre of the city, in The Rocks right under the Harbour Bridge. It’s heritage listed which is why it’s taking so long. But it will be beautiful when we finally get it finished… if we survive the process.


I have to dash, I have my first tasting group evening tomorrow night. We’re starting with Alsace… every Monday from now ’till December 17th – and we’ll just about make it through the syllabus. It’s not over yet. But I’ll be singing on the rooftops when it is.  Goodnight.


filles at 12:00 am

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April 17, 2012

Sunday night dinner party

We had a magnum of Italian Garganaga, a riesling from the Clare Valley, a Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, a 1999 Lakes Folly red + a bottle of Tyrrells aged Verdelho (Madeira style) and a glass of Diplomatico rum and another of 1972 armagnac.

Food was less important.  Some cognac pate, a fresh pasta with lemon and basil, BBQ’d snapper with a parsley, pine nut and feta dressing an amazing cheese platter, and lemon tarts.

Sunday night in Erskineville.


filles at 12:31 am

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April 14, 2012


So. It’s going to be a mix of cement, stainless, piano key finish and teak veneer. One shelf. A drawer for a dishwasher. Induction stove top and butcher shop tiles for a splash back.


That’s what we did today. It’s supposed to be fun, but I’m not so sure…

filles at 11:38 pm

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April 11, 2012


I’ve had to go and clean out my comments, hit by spam.  How do these things work? All of a sudden a little bit of activity and bam 5432 spam comments. If I deleted your comment by mistake please forgive me… i do love when i get real ones, but if I have to go through 5000 of them after awhile it’s hard not to just delete all. I’ve turned them off for posts older than a month to try and control it a little. Let’s see how we go.

Funny observation though, mostly from the UK and the US. Is that because a certain demographic can’t find anything better to do? I wonder.


p.s. for those of you waiting with bated breath(!) Essay is finished, just cleaning up the presentation. Will be on time to deliver to couriers. YEAH!

filles at 10:26 am

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April 8, 2012

Everything I said, I take back…

Today it rained, thunder and lightning and real rain. Finally.

Perfect weather to be writing an essay come report come case study. Yes, a new discovery today, there is a case study attached too.

So in case you were wondering, no I didn’t get any chocolate, but Michelle did make me breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus plenty of glasses of water with lemon and tea with sugar all day long.  I’d exchange chocolate for this EVERYDAY if I could.

Never eat another square. Ever.

Progress is ok. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I might even go outside tomorrow for a walk, fresh air and all those alien things. Tuesday I work, then Wednesday I finish tidying it up. Printing it. And getting it ready to ship to London for marking.

Right now, I’ve got a full belly, my favourite chicken and chorizo and arborio rice meal matched with a lovely red from Sami Odi in the Barossa.


filles at 10:18 pm

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Report vs Essay

How about both?

Once I actually read what was requested of me I discovered that I am to be writing a report, that has an essay inside of it.  Charming. Happy Easter!  As a cruel and twisted punishment, summer has finally decided to appear. It’s 27 degrees and sunny everyday… the pool is shimmering all day long, and I’m locked upstairs in my office, with the glaring sun reflecting off my computer screen.

Again. Happy Easter!


I don’t suppose I’ll even get an egg tomorrow? Apparently we don’t eat chocolate in this house…

filles at 1:24 am

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April 4, 2012

Let’s get the record straight..

You could be excused for thinking that i was away writing my essay, a valid reason for not posting on here lately.  Unfortunately it’s not the case. As hard as I’m trying – i’m still not advancing and I’m seriously running out of time.

I sat down today to start writing and amazingly enough i’ve found a million other things to do.  I’m really struggling on the essay planning phase.  I’ve tried planning first, writing second.  That didn’t get me very far. Now I’ve tried writing first, then rearranging into some kind of plan. Not working either. I can talk through my ideas, although not in any kind of logical order, which is where the problem is.

Now you would think if you know what the problem is, it should be easy to address and move on.  Yeah, I thought that too…

Guess we learn something every day.

filles at 2:52 pm

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