Lunch destination

When walking Stan at the weekend we often include lunch at a cafe. We had our favourites in and around Leichhardt including, Monté, Capriccio, and the Pig and Pastry.

After collecting a set of keys and remote control for the aircon from the real estate agent we tried out the Little Hideout Café, Balmoral.

Delicious food, great coffee, and friendly service combined with outdoor seating make for a perfect destination that is 20 minutes walk from home.

Unexpected turnaround

Our ISP, iPrimus let us know that the phone and ADSL would be connected on Friday 31 August. After receiving notification of the number, we connected the modem/wireless router. Based on experience I was unsurprised to find that neither the Internet nor telephone was working; from all four outlets in the house.

At 8:30 am on Saturday we sought assistance from iPrimus. After escalating our enquiry they let us know that we would receive further information in the next 24 hours and that we would be liable for $165 if the fault was due to our equipment. It is not the first time we have received this warning, on all occasions our equipment was found to have been functioning perfectly well.

At around noon there was a knock at the door. A burly ‘Field Technician’ (FT) from the phone company who provides infrastructure, bustled into our home brandishing meter adorned devices, with cables dangling. After poking and prodding, emitting high pitched noises and making himself comfortable on our soft furnishings he went to the ‘exchange’ to fix the problem. The FT returned two hours later, fault fixed, somewhat exasperated by the time it had taken.

To say we were gobsmacked would be an understatement; fixed on the same day!

Day three of our new life

Day three of living in Queensland, coincidentally the first day of Spring in Australia.

Wednesday

The day was taken up with cleaning the house in Sydney, as Bob and Daz from Mullumbimby Removals did a sterling job of packing our household and garden into the truck. After eight hours, we were pleased to see it begin it’s ten hour journey, north.

We wasted time waiting around for the real estate agent to take back the rental property in Leichhardt. He didn’t show as he “had a lot going on”; tell us about it!

Brisbane boys, Wade and Ben made our Virgin Australia flight enjoyable, delivering us to Brisbane at 8:30 pm; exhausted. The Colmslie Hotel, Morningside provided respite from the day’s trials.

Thursday

10:00 am, the unloading began. Thankfully, Bob and Eddie (Daz’s replacement) had a couple of helpers. Only six hours from arrival to payment.

In addition to moving boxes and furniture we ticked off the day’s goals of assembling the bed, sofa bed, and daybed.

Friday

We spent the day:

  • Installing the fridge’s innards;
  • Assembling racking in the garage;
  • Getting the espresso maker working;
  • Unpacking boxes; and
  • Arranging plants, so that they could be watered. The picture, above is the result.

Saturday

Today, a sore lower back is limiting my ability to do very much.

Child repellent

Whenever we sit down at an outdoor café table Stan goes into protection mode. Medium to large dogs, walking by with their owners and children around 75cm high receive the ferocious force of a guard dog.

Stan’s passion is intense enough to move tables and chairs with his lead. When Stan is sitting on one of our laps all is right with the world, peace and calm prevails.

Barking at other dogs started when we moved to Leichhardt, almost four years ago. Stan’s issue with children began after an incident outside the Pig and Pastry, Petersham. We were quietly having lunch when a young girl slapped him on top of his head, as she walked past.

UTS sunset

I worked at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for around eleven and a half years. During that time, I learned a lot about myself, the institution’s operations from faculty and central student administration perspectives, and the higher education sector.

It holds a special place in my memories, as the University took a chance on someone, a migrant, looking to change career direction.

The serenity of a Winter sunset, reflected in one of it’s buildings contrasted against the bustle of Broadway mirrors my mind as our move interstate looms.

Count down

28 days from now we will have:

  • Been to the Weekend Transfer Station (tip) to dispose of a king sized bed;
  • Donated to Vinnies;
  • Sorted the garden and plants out;
  • Had many farewells with friends;
  • Seen Mission: Impossible – Fallout;
  • Celebrated a 31st birthday;
  • Exited work;
  • Finished packing up the house in Leichhardt;
  • Travelled 927.7 km (576.45 miles) north;
  • Stayed one night at the Colmslie Hotel; and
  • Slept two nights in our new home in Morningside.

I first used the clock and calendar picture, early in my blogging career; you can read the post, from 2012 here: Life Through Time.

Food service in restaurants

The other evening we were watching Bitter Sweet, a Starz television series, set in a fine dining restaurant. One of the themes of this episode was the heroine earning the accolade of being able to carry three hot plated meals, without a waiter’s cloth.

This got me thinking of how much food service in restaurants has changed in the 36 years since I was trained in silver service.

My studies demanded work experience. Being the embodiment of bathos, I had three jobs: function waiter at the Raven Hotel; hall porter at the Chateau Impney Hotel; and counter hand at Neptune’s Pantry, fish and chip shop.

Even at banquets with tables of ten plus people, everything was silver served. Runners, myself included, would lead by gathering a pile of superheated plates from the hot cupboard in the kitchen and stagger to the table, under the weight of the china.

The stack sat on the left forearm with one end of a folded waiter’s cloth underneath. The right hand, using the other end of the cloth polished and placed each down, from the left, in front of the seated guest.

One of the many Boadicean characters who had honed their craft year in year out followed with a silver flat of sliced meat and sauce. Behind came another runner serving vegetables. If you were unlucky the two compartment silver dish contained mashed potato in one and peas in the other. I am sure you can imagine the gloopy white and green nightmare that results from serving one then the other repeatedly, using a spoon and fork in one hand while carrying the dish with the other.

The shift started with the meat being plated then kitchens became more visible. Culminating in the presentation of the food being the signature of the chef.

Six years ago, during a sojourn in Sorrento, we were delighted to experience the drama of Crêpe Suzette in the restaurant of the Hotel Grand Excelsior Vittoria. The sauce was prepared and cooked from scratch at the table. The flambé echoed Versuvius’ antics, across the bay. It was reassuring to see that the theatre of food in the hands of talented wait staff was not dead.

Transition

My epiphany for this week is the realisation that going with the flow of transition provides opportunities to enjoy new or seldom experienced tasks like:

  • Working as a team
  • Planning the adventure
  • Reviewing oneself
  • Stretching to meet new challenges
  • Being present
  • Thinking about short and medium term goals with an eye on the vision

As the stars align and things start falling into place, the panic recedes, leaving space for calm.

On Thursday, we arranged for the real estate agent to give notice to the tenants in Brisbane. This is the second step, after electing to take redundancy.

Morning Moon

Waning Gibbous Moon 99%, perfect for letting go. The decision has been made, we are moving to Brisbane; my last day of work at UNSW is 31st August 2018. Today, I have drafted my first application for a new role. Aiming to shift my career focus, I am looking at school manager positions in universities.

925 km or 575 miles north.

Excitement and trepidation reign in our house, this weekend.

Bassey dreaming

In the cool darkness of morning, just before awaking. The intertwined tentacles of dreams slowly slipped away. Leaving behind memories of the words “it’s impossible”

My subconscious had melded the lyrics and melody of two songs. Perhaps it is the distinctive delivery by Dame Shirley Bassey that assisted this mind mix.

I remember a series of lines starting with “It’s impossible to dah dah dah” to the tune of “Never, Never, Never”.

My attempts to recreate the conglomeration yields a most unsatisfactory product. Looking something like the following:

It’s impossible to tell the sun to leave the sky

It’s impossible to ask a baby not to cry

It’s impossible to keep the ocean from rushin’ on the shore

It’s impossible for me to not ask for more

It’s impossible to stop the stars from shining high above

It’s impossible to live without your love