The hermit emerges

How was your weekend? Mine was all over the place, literally and figuratively.

Actually, on the literal front I was mainly on the road to DD’s place.

It’s a pity I didn’t earn Frequent Flyer points each time I drove the 40 minutes north over the Christmas break – I’d have enough for free flights to the World Skipping Championships by now.

I’ve plunged into the surf just about every day over my holidays, aside from yesterday, as all the beaches were closed. Sad face.

So we just had brekkie at the Bilgola Beach Kiosk with our friends John and Lindy. Lindy is one of my sister’s best friends and has been since birth. They grew up a couple of doors apart and have stayed close despite Lindy living in Newcastle and my sister being in Sydney.

Lindy is minding my sister’s house while she’s on holidays. Her husband is an old friend of mine – he was mates with my first boyfriend. Isn’t it a lovely, tangled web we weave?

I had very delicious cauliflower and chickpea fritters with avocado, labne and a poached egg for brekkie. Mmmmm.

Afterwards, we took them on a tour of the area, including a squizz at the view on Avalon Headland, with a bonus coffee from the coffee van, a scramble down to Avalon Bat Cave and a stickybeak at Clareville Beach.

Then we went for a stroll around the shops at Avalon, which is getting very fancy in its old age. There are some gorgeous homewares stores – if I win the lottery (that I don’t have a ticket in) I’ll happily buy half the stock in a shop I think was called Road to Paradise, at 55 Avalon Parade. The palm decorated lamps and cane furniture were divine.

We finished off with a sausage sizzle on DD’s deck while sipping a delicious Krinklewood Francesca Rose that Lindy bought at the Avalon bottle shop, which featured in the hilarious Avalon Now. (Read about the Richard Roxborough related experience I once had there by clicking here.)

It was a lovely day and way more social than I’ve been the rest of the holidays, I’ve become a bit of a hermit, not making any plans. I’ve just wanted to recharge and spend a bit of down time alone with DD.

I’ve also been feeling pretty rattled by the fires and devastation so much of Australia is enduring. I’ve barely taken any photos as it’s felt wrong to smile for selfies when so many people are suffering.

After our friends left, I headed back home to greet the youngest, who finally arrived home after being stranded down south by the bushfires for a few days. She’s been gone since Boxing Day, so it was great to have her back.

She was covered in hives because something had upset her skin during the drive, so it was a brief greeting before she headed straight to the bath to soak in QV.

While she was soothing her skin I made her favourite dinner to celebrate her return: Chorizo & Avocado Pasta. Here’s a version with bacon and spinach, it’s fairly versatile.

Recipe: bacon & avocado spaghetti

bacon pasta

500g spaghetti

1 pkt free-range bacon (would it be 250g? I forget, it’s the average size you see at the supermarket), chopped

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tub Carnation lite cooking cream

1-2 avocados, depending on size, cubed

grated parmesan to serve

Rocket leaves and chilli flakes for the grown ups

METHOD: Boil pasta, drain. Saute onion, garlic and bacon in a frying pan until the onion is soft. Add lite cream, bring to simmer, add pasta to pan. Gently toss through avocado. Serve sprinkled with parmesan to kids. Toss through rocket and chilli for the adults.

In other whacked weekend news, I pulled a muscle in my back putting my too-tight gym pants on to go to Pump class. Ouuuuch! Embarrassing!

Might need to cut back on the creamy chorizo pasta …

And I walked the dogs, chatting to various people along the way, with a long smear of buttery vegemite across my cheek that looked like a bird with diarrhoea had shat on me. Even more embarassing.

Also, I tested out my steamer for the first time and it was ace.

Just in case it’s slipped your mind, I got a garment steamer for Christmas.

I have a bit of an ironing phobia – there are clothes in my wardrobe that haven’t been worn for years because they require ironing. Getting the ironing board out seems like soooooo much trouble, so I avoid it at all costs. My affection for ironing is so lacking that I still have the iron that I bought when I lived in Singapore in 2000.

Twenty years ago!

They don’t make irons like they used to …

But steamers are a revelation!

And now it’s back to work. That’s going to be a different sort of revelation, after lazing around doing virtually nothing for more than two weeks.

Are you back to work today?

Song of the day: The Pretenders “Back on the chain gang”



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