Comings and goings and touring Australia

First thing this morning I headed up to Starbucks to have a coffee with Lizzy. She has been wanting to tell me her exciting news for months now but our times just haven’t been in conjunction.

We met at 8 and she burst out with the news that she was moving in with her boyfriend. She sees this as a huge step given she’s never lived with anyone but her parents before. Well, I’m ignoring student accommodation because that’s essentially living on your own with your parents house as a back-up for various requirements like a washing machine.

Possibly more exciting and of more fear factor is the fact that he lives in LA.

So, yes, Lizzy is so much in love with LA that she’s moving there. Permanently. It’s a brilliant opportunity for her and I wish her the very best of luck. It’s a bit sad for me but I’ll just keep that to myself.

There were tears and farewells aplenty before I left her to Sue and the rest of the Starbuck’s staff. I had to high tail it up to Hale for a meeting with a chap who was going to let me see a load of records of the people on the Hale War Memorial – my next project.

Geoff is a lovely chap. He started the successful Hale History Project which has brought the local population together once a month on Saturday mornings to have coffee, present historical finds and, generally chat about Hale.

He dug out the folder with the information in it which, I was thrilled to see, was collated and originally researched by Mr Ellwood who also did the Farnham memorial. Mr Ellwood is an excellent researcher and I have to say that I was somewhat relieved.

It was then a matter of scanning the 200+ pages onto my phone for later dissemination onto my laptop back home. It took a while but there was no time for boredom as Geoff told me about his adventures in Australia in the 1980’s.

He was visiting a rather eccentric hillbilly of an uncle who had some strange ideas about what a holiday entails. He insisted that Geoff and his wife rose earlier than the wildlife in order to get on the road before the sun rose. He would then drive for hours in order to reach some exciting destination just before midnight. Like Canberra. Or the Big Pineapple. Or…suffice it to say, it wasn’t exactly fun sitting in a car for countless hours.

Eventually, stopping somewhere in the outback that is western NSW after driving for a day and a half non-stop and heading towards Adelaide, Geoff’s wife exploded, telling the uncle that she’d had enough. She demanded he remove their luggage. And he did.

He left them in a small town, the name of which Geoff couldn’t remember. I’m assuming it wasn’t very big and perhaps a little something like Collie. They managed to find someone who, once they explained their situation, was generous enough to drive them to the next town where they could pick up the once a week bus. From there they continued their journey.

They did meet up with the uncle again but Geoff said the relationship was never the same. The holiday, however, improved out of sight.

I feel it important to state that he thought the Big Pineapple was incredibly silly and not worth the very long trip to see it. They drove from Sydney. Especially.

I should mention the weather here today because it was absolutely glorious. No clouds, slight wind, just a delight. So the walk down from Hale to home was not a hassle at all. Neither was the preparation for tonight’s dinner.

Mirinda had picked Lisa up from the station and taken her to most of her favourite places, pausing at the Holly Bush for a huge bowl of sweet potato for reasons that were not made clear to me. They went to Hankley for a long walk then to Waverley Abbey to see where the Cistercians once trod. Eventually they found themselves at Compton and the Mortuary Chapel before heading home.

Meanwhile I’d been busy with a lot of prep. I hadn’t realised it but I’d planned nine dishes – Lisa claimed ten but I can’t find the tenth. Also, I realise there’s only eight on the board however, I didn’t include the tofu and caviar given it’s just expected.

However many dishes there were, it was a bit much given the space already taken up by the sweet potato entree. Still, we all enjoyed dinner and washed it down with a lovely Italian red.

Lisa really, really wanted to be in the blog

We then sat around (Lisa was quite taken with the hygge concept of low lighting and cosy comfort) and fixed all the problems in the world before, eventually, heading for bed. A lovely, diverse and productive day.

I should mention that following the obligatory tour of the house, Lisa declared that my office looked like it belonged to a demented 12 year old girl with an unholy fascination with ships. I told her it explained why the rest of the house had been decorated by Mirinda.

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