Guilty pleasure

As I was clambering down from Barrenjoey Lighthouse yesterday, a perfect stranger did something totally unexpected.

She told me she loved my blog.

I was so startled. I haven’t been recognised publicly since I put a “How to blow like a pro” coverline on Singapore CLEO back in 2000. There was a lot of whispering and pointing on Orchard Road that year.

Actually, I tell a lie. I was at a wake a few years back and a kind stranger came up and said she loved my blog.

That startled me too. Most of my readers are a mystery to me. I love it when someone “outs” themselves.

The nice woman at the lighthouse said reading HouseGoesHome every morning was her “guilty pleasure”. Then she admitted it was DD she actually recognised on the path first. DD took a photo of us, but I wasn’t going to post it because I seriously look AWFUL in it.

But DD said should run it, so I spent an embarassing amount of time last night photoshopping fake sunglasses onto my face to hide my trainwrecked eyes …

Meeting Jo made my day. It felt really cool to be someone’s guilty pleasure – like I was chocolate or a non-sexual celebrity hall pass or something.

Anyways .. Now I need to rewind a bit and tell you about how crazy the past few days have been. Hopefully you don’t think I’m a COVIDiot after reading this … I promise I bumped elbows rather than hugged most people …

I don’t know about you, but until last weekend I hadn’t been very social during COVID-19. I’ve stuck to my local area most of the time, mainly just walking with my sister or friends and driving up to DD’s place.

Last week I decided it was time to start seeing people again. Perhaps I shouldn’t have crammed so many people into such a short period of time, but I went a bit nuts scheduling things in … and the whirl continues this week.

It was supposed to kick off last Wednesday night with Vietnamese with some former workmates, but that got cancelled due to a husband with a bad back. I reckon his misfortune made things slightly more manageable.

I headed out on Thursday night for a Ricky Ponting wine tasting at my sister’s place. I’ve written a blog post about it over at The Thirsty Travellers if you fancy a stickybeak – click here.

Friday included a lunchtime walk with a friend, then dinner at a local Thai place with my New York buddies. Well, buddies I met while living in New York. We were introduced when our kids were attending the same preschool on the Upper West Side around 2008, just before the other family moved to Sydney, and we have stayed in touch ever since.

We caught up on our respective lives over the past six months while eating purple dumplings at Sky Bar and drinking Tamburlaine organic sparkling wine with a screwcap, which I think is the most genius invention. But I was knackered by around 9pm due to my Ponting excesses of the previous night.

Saturday dawned with a dog walk, followed by a walk with two local friends, followed by coffee, followed by grocery shopping, followed by a burger with the eldest, followed by a walk and coffee with a friend in Centennial Park, followed by osso bucco at DD’s place.

On Sunday morning, DD and I climbed up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse with friends to admire the stunning view, then we hiked around the base of the lighthouse to check out a seal colony (they’re those tiny little blobs on the distant rock), then had Peruvian hamburgers a local scenic lookout.

That night we drove exhaustedly to Petersham to have dinner with former workmates I met way back when I was Alana House at House Design magazine.

This is a picture of the Design Series team just before I joined:

That was a fun period, our office was above the Woolies opposite Sydney Town Hall. It boasted a balcony overlooking George Street that gave us a bird’s eye view of a royal parade of some sort that I’ve since forgotten.

Under Woolies was a dingy food court colloquially known as “The Dungeon” where I was introduced by my workmate Paul (who is still a dear friend) to laksa. This naive Newcastle girl’s tastebuds were blown.

On Fridays I’d join the motoring mag boys from the adjoining office for Sri Lankan at a restaurant near Central Station. I’d valiantly attempt to eat the scorchingly hot curries, while also trying to appear grown up and witty around 35-year-old men who seemed so mature and terrifying. That was usually followed by Friday night indoor cricket games and drinks in the office.

Happy times back then and last night.

DD dropped me off across the road from my house last night and ran afterwards because he’s a bit behind on his work and had to catch up.

And now it’s Monday morning. I can’t say I’m feeling rested, but it was great to see so many old friends. Hoping to see a few more once I’ve recovered from this action packed lot.

How was your weekend?

Song of the day: Seal “Kiss from a rose”





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