Always wear your thongs in Australia

Back in the UK, if someone was to ask me what my signature dish was, I would have said my salmon with avocado crust – I probably have said so elsewhere in this blog. I was particularly pleased when I could get the lightly smoked salmon from Waitrose because it gave the meal more depth.

Here in Sweden, if someone was to ask me what my signature dish is, I would have to say my roast salmon and rakor salad. The salmon comes in big slabs and is not lightly smoked. It tastes like it just leapt from the water and into the oven. It’s also a meal that takes half an hour from start to finish.

It is the easiest meal I make, but it’s also possibly the tastiest and most satisfying. The beauty is it needs very little work.

Conversely, today we had our usual Norrby’s brunch which was the far more complicated goats cheese and spinach pie. Mind you, when I say complicated, it’s not really that difficult. It’s just a question of getting the wholemeal pastry right then chopping goats cheese and spreading spinach. The drizzle of balsamic and honey makes it extra special.

But, enough talk of food. Today was Wednesday and I went to Tyresö Centrum.

I was a bit worried about my knee but, since the advent of the compression bandage, it’s hurting much less and actually going some way to actually supporting me. I think it’s on the way to healing properly. I have no idea why it decided to be so painful. My best guess would be tendinitis but without the energetic sport to blame. I must have overdone my workout…which is hard to believe.

Anyway, it seems to be on Recovery Road, so I expect to write nothing else about it.

Rather, I talked about Australia to three women at the centre today. Firstly the woman at the fish counter in ICA.

She spent months in Oz a few years ago and loved it. It was after I complimented her English (which is almost perfect) and she said she supplemented her school learnin’ by hanging around with English people at Bondi Beach. I laughed. We all know that Bondi Beach, while in Australia is actually part of Britain and is not the beach any self respecting Aussie would visit.

I asked her about her Oz trip and she started in Melbourne and worked her way up to Sydney then spent a lot of time at Byron Bay before heading to the Sunshine Coast. She loved it, she said.

Then, before leaving for the bus, I had a chat with the baristas at Espresso House. They both longed to go to Australia but were worried about the animals killing them. I assured them that, while, yes, there were plenty of things that could kill you, I’d managed to survive for 35 years without something lethal killing me. As had everyone I knew. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ve never known anyone who died from snake, spider, octopus or shark.

I told the baristas at Espresso House that the worst thing in Australia was, in fact, the bindi. I described the awful little weed, saying that while a lawn might look tempting and lush, one was always advised to wear one’s thongs rather than go barefoot. This had them both in stitches.

I corrected myself and suggested flip flops. Norah-not-Eva suggested sandals. The other barista was laughing too hard, saying thongs meant something entirely different and she didn’t think wearing them on your feet would be much protection.

I assured them both that they shouldn’t not go to Australia because they were scared of the wildlife. That would be like not walking across the street because you were worried about the traffic stopped at the traffic lights. Yes, it’s there and, yes it could kill you, but you can’t let things stop you or you’ll never go anywhere.

Actually, I didn’t say that because I only just thought of it. But it’s true. I also didn’t say that they’ll likely never go to Australia because no-one will be able to for many years. By which time it will have become a cultural backwater prime for rediscovery by intrepid explorers.

Anyway, along with my knee, the weather was a delight. We sat outside at Norrby’s and they’d actually unwound the big shade over the seating. Bliss.

The garden at Norrby’s is coming along nicely. How well I remember the almost non-existent winter garden. We had a short wander around, admiring the plants before heading back home. I think Mirinda is missing our garden in Farnham.

She’s organised the gardeners to come around next week after Kate and James said it was getting a bit out of control. Fortunately, Mirinda managed to get Dave the Gardener so things will be in the best hands.

Katie had just finished her Pilates on the grass and was about to eat lunch. Fortunately, there’s no bindis in this grass.

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