Since Scott, the Hire a Hubby, got my barbecue fired up, it has been getting quite a workout … I’ve had more barbies in the past week than I managed in the past two years.
Last night’s was a cracker. Marinated lamb backstrap (olive oil and herbs), thinly sliced potato and onion (and garlic), big, thick asparagus spears and a salad of fennel, tomato and oak leaf lettuce. It was made all the better with a bottle of chenin blanc from Swords.
I put the mandolin to good use … gotta used it more.
I buy all my meat at South Melbourne Meats (stall 32 at the South Melbourne Market) and I can’t remember even getting anything but the best and the service is as friendly as all get out.
It was about an hour and a half market trip, chatting to the various stall holders (yeah I even went to buy some wine for Anna, the woman who runs a stall that sells everything from garbage bags to paper plates and serviettes … and shitloads of things in between).
And you know that you’re really in your comfort zone when you walk by Paul’s Jeans Shop at the market.
The time was right for me to invest in a new pair, given that there are now iron-on patches on the iron-on patches of my last but one pair.
I just walked up to Paul and said: “The usual, thanks.”
Without batting an eyelid, he went to a pile, went down about a dozen pairs, grabbed one and stuck it in a bag.
No need to try them on, no need to tell him the size, he knows what sort of creature of habit I sometimes am.
And he gave me a price cut … that’s I guess not for everyone, after all I have been buying my straight-legged Levi’s from him for about 25 years.
What amazed me though was the lack of attention people pay to the fruit and veg that they buy. I watched as so many people just pick up the first thing they grab … no close examination … and plonk it in their basket.
The bloke in front of me at the till had a huge basket of bits and pieces, all loose and mixed together. So do you reckon that he helped the woman on the till, you know, put the nectarines together, the apples together, whatever, just to help out. Not on ya Nellie.
I looked at some of the things he’d bought … bruised, spotty and the like. Some of these things creep through given the volume of the produce that goes through the place, but why not leave ’em on the shelves and take the time to make sure you’re getting the best. It only takes a smell here, a squeeze (gently) there and a quick look.
It’s about time to fire up the barbie (it’s 9.30 on Sunday morning) for a breakfast of bacon and eggs, asparagus and some toasted sourdough with shallots mixed through it.
IN SEARCH OF A QUID
Finance has been on the agenda. I was hoping to do better than my four and the sup effort in Tatts last night, and it will happen.
I spent almost an hour and a half at the bank on Friday sorting out a couple of new accounts, something I should have done a while ago.
Reckon it’s a first … I will actually get something from the bank rather than the other way around. It’s a few grand a year in my pocket.
BENNY ON SONG IN CHINA
My mate Ben, a tenor who does some work with Opera Australia, looks as if he has stitched up a tour of China at the end of the year. I think he mentioned involvement with David Helfgott … and almost two dozen concerts all up.
I’ll hopefully get some details when I catch up with him for a glass later in the day.
By the way, Ben’s company can organise whatever you need … from a solo singer serenading you at dinner or a fully staged musical spectacular. He reckons nothing is impossible! Gotta get him working on my personal life if that’s the case.
You can find Ben on Twitter @Loganmusicevent
THE OTHER MR CRICKET
It was great to hook up with to hook up on Twitter with Luke Gillian, best described as a cricket tragic and a really good bloke.
I’ve bumped into Lukey at various places watching cricket. I first met him at dinner in Adelaide with a heap of cricket journos and our paths have crossed many times since. The most recent was a while ago and I was sitting at a café in Albert Park and he walked up, sat down and filled me in on his latest travels.
He runs Waving the Flag (at http://wavingtheflag.com). Have a look at the site and you’ll get some idea of just what a legend he is. He hasn’t missed a Test for yonks anywhere in the world.
He’s rated by the players in a big way, so much so that when he attended his 100th Test (it was in New Zealand), the players invited him into the inner sanctum to sing the celebrated Under the Southern Cross. Reckon he might have even carried the drinks during a county game in England.
I remember being at a Test at Eden Park in Auckland (it was when Warnie broke Dennis Lillee’s Australian wicket-taking record) and at the end of the game the whole team saluted Luke.
Yep, they really rate him and his support.
Luke’s putting together a tour of the West Indies (cricket’s holy grail) … go to http://www.wavingtheflag.com/tour.asp?TourID=57 and have a look at what’s on offer.
I reckon I met Luke in Trinidad many years ago … and if you fancy some cricket and some partying (OK Port of Spain really is a party town) … get to it.
Luke’s tour would be a great vehicle for a great time.
GETTING RID OF COFFEE BREATH
I used to go jogging/walking every morning with a great friend, Gaynor. Yeah, it was 7.30 each day and I'm on the record as only recognising one 7.30 a day ... and it's not the first one.
Anyway, we used to do five kilometres each morning and usually we'd finish up with a coffee and a cigarette on the way home. For a bloke my age, there was always a good feeling hangin' with a 24-year-old .... but I digress.
The coffee shop we went to had a tradition ... with every cup of the essence of the bean, they served a shot glass ... God knows, I'd have been happy if it was a vodka ... but it wasn't. It was a shot glass full of soda water, designed to get rid of coffee breath. It worked. But that bullshit aside, anyone walking past and seeing a boofhead and a young girl drinking shots at that time ... no doubt they thought we were legends.
I reckon every coffee shop/cafe should do it.
THE SON IS SHINING
I had a chat to my son, Liam, in Vanuatu this afternoon … and he’s in a really good place.
He hasn’t had a cigarette for a week and he’s cut right back on the singing syrup. Two beers on Friday night is the extent of it.
He has been hitting the pool and gym every day … he actually woke at four this morning and got up and headed to the pool.
I wanna go on the record here that he never got those genes from me.
He’s trying to stack on some weight (please, take some of mine). He said that his appetite is going through the roof.
“I put on three and a half kilos on Saturday,” he told me: “I’m eating huge amounts.”
Suffice to say that he’s going through a “let’s be positive stage”. His girlfriend has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer (again) and she’s just about to head off to Oz for tests, although the preliminary diagnosis (in Vanuatu) looks positive.
I wish her much love on the journey to recovery.
THE LOCKS ARE GOING
The time is right to clean up the act. I've booked a haircut for next weekend ... it has been about a year ... and I'm hitting the weights ... time to ensure that when summer finally comes, I'm half a chance ... whatever that means.
ME IN A NUTSHELL
- G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.