Coat hanger

Sydney Harbour Bridge is ungraciously described as the coat hanger. Our plastic and timber collection, proved too great for a cardboard box.

At last the book chest is contributing to the move, five days and counting!

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.

Winter night

Usually six stacked shadows precede my path on the final leg of my journey home.

Last night, the path was dimly lit. Filtered light finding it’s way through surrounding vegetation on the boundary of the adjacent Fort Street High School.

The apex of the bridge provided two spotlights; nowhere near enough to light the serpentine structure.

The crossing over the Parramatta Road is usually well illuminated from six floodlights mounted high up on the side of the orange Kennards Self Storage building.

Is this a sign?

Future thinking

Today we went to an exhibition of men’s fashion over the last 300 years at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. I enjoyed it, even though the 1980’s barely featured.

After a quick trip on the train to Circular Quay we had a late lunch at Graze at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Delicious beef cheeks served with jus in a Yorkshire pudding. Let down by the lava-less chocolate pudding; I realised that 20 years into the future when we are residents of Twilight Pines, minimum security retirement home that we will be thankful for whatever chocolate high we can get ………

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.

Stained glass

The Salon du Thé Lounge, Hydro Majestic Hotel has amazing views of the Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains.

Oh, there is also some interesting stained glass.