Burning love

I packed my wetsuit and drove to DD’s on Saturday, hoping for a swim. It’s still 21C in the water, though it was a brisk 18C out of it.

DD had other ideas: he took me on a ferry ride to Ettalong instead. Cunning diversion!

We haven’t done the Palm Beach to Ettalong ferry thing for eons. The channel got too shallow, so the ferries were cancelled while they dredged, then life just got too busy.

It was deliriously gorgeous to head back there again and the weather was perfect.

We had the nicest afternoon, wandering along the foreshore past Poppa’s old fibro house to sit beside the water with a cider and a shared plate of fish and chips, with a few oysters kilpatrick on the side.

Then we meandered back via the main street – peering through the fence to check out the ugly townhouse they’ve built in Poppa’s backyard. The backyard was the site of a mini fun fair he held every summer holidays.

The eldest still wears the plastic, barbed wire bangles that were among the plastic tatt he gave away as prizes at the fair. After he died we went through his shed picking through all the leftover stuff, endless boxes and boxes of it. I filled many a children’s birthday party bag with the booty.

Poppa – my ex’s grandfather – was a showie or a carny, who travelled the show circuit for many, many years of his life. He got lonely after his wife died and hit the road again with a few “merch” machines – the ones with the claws that grab for toys – when he was long past retirement age.

Poppa’s house was right on the waterfront at Ettalong, with a gun barrel view of Palm Beach. Oddly, in all the years that we went there to visit him, we never sat on the front verandah enjoying the stunning view, we were always out the back in the courtyard for some reason. Though the kids used to love a paddle in the sea out front.

DD and I finished up with a coffee at a funky cafe called Coast before popping back onto the ferry home, where he kept making little detours to all the beaches, hoping for a glimpse of whales, but there were none to be seen.

Still, it was a pretty fab afternoon, despite the disappointment of not dipping my toes in the surf. Here are some happy no-filter snaps:

We finished up on DD’s front deck with a glass of wine, where we were joined by his neighbour Gav, for a natter about his recent trip to Italy.

I swear, every second post on my Facebook feed at the moment is from someone who’s swanning around Italy. I’m surprised there are enough people left in Oz to keep the place running. And I’m trying not to be horribly jealous, though sometimes I feel like I might scream if I see another gorgeous Amalfi coast shot. My gawd the photos are gorgeous.

I’d love to get back to Italy one day, but I reckon it’s many, many years off. Grey nomad territory.

I think my favourite part of my Italy trip a few years back was getting all that one-on-one time with DD. It’s been forever since DD and I spent more than a few days together at a stretch.

He’s off to Shanghai this morning for another week of business meetings. Poor him.

And then, hopefully, there’s a decent few weeks at home to remember what normal sleep patterns feel like.

I made him dinner last night – sticky ribs and beans – I figured he could do with some home cooking. I could have done without dropping boiling hot beans all over my hand when I was flipping the ribs, but hey, they were still yummy, despite the first-degree burns – here’s the recipe, forgive the crappy photo (and the burnt bits), it doesn’t do them justice:

Sticky ribs and beans 

2 racks of pork ribs

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp dijon mustard

3 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto

1 jar passata

2 tbsps tomato paste

2 tbsps brown sugar

2 tbsps worchestershire sauce

1 bottle apple cider

3 cans of butter beans

Method: Preheat oven to 220C. Mix the onion, garlic, mustard, pesto, brown sugar, worchestershire sauce and half the jar of passata together. Toss in a baking dish with the ribs.

Bake ribs for 30 minutes, turn and bake another 30 minutes. Remove ribs carefully to avoid first-degree burns and cover with foil. Tip drained beans into the baking dish and pour over the rest of the passata and the 250ml of the apple cider (drink the rest).

Bake for 20 minutes and serve with the ribs and some corn on the cob.

Byyyyyyeeee DD I will miss you!

Song of the day: Elvis Presley “Burning love” (ohhhhh wasn’t he beautiful!)

 

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