Loving the lemonade

Life has given everyone a few lemons over the last two years.

I’m getting better at turning mine into lemonade.

I didn’t even bat an eyelid when a nice Yorkshireman clambered onto my roof earlier this week and declared my terracotta tiles were shot. Quite literally – that’s what they call the little shatter marks the tiles get when the glazing wears off and they start to crack in the heat.

That explains all the mouldy bits on my ceiling.

As for my guttering, it’s about 70 years old and rusting through.

Neither problem will be easy or cheap to fix. I am awaiting the astronomical quote. But I kept my cool and thought cest la vie.

However, my blood started to boil during the heatwave on Tuesday. Metaphorically speaking. The youngest begged for a lift from school to work and I grudgingly agreed. As the perspiration dripped down my face in my sauna-like car I deeply regretted that decision.

Not long after I got home from being a mum taxi, the rain started pelting down outside. That should have been a relief … except I had tickets to the Westpac Open Air Cinema at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair that night.


I’d been invited to the event by a lovely bloke called Dan, who used to be a food writer for a Melbourne newspaper and is now the communications manager for Mr Yum.

The Aussie start-up knows a thing or two about making lemonade out of lemons. Little did the founders realise when they launched the hospitality ordering and payments platform in 2018 that a pandemic would be just around the corner.

When COVID-19 hit in 2000, Mr Yum was suddenly in possession of a highly sought after QR code system that allowed patrons at venues to stay in their seats and contactlessly order drinks and food.

Fast forward to 2022 and Mr Yum is now the ordering platform for Westpac OpenAir.

I have only been to the cinema to see one movie in the last 12 months: James Bond: No Time To Die.

Guess what movie Dan invited me to? James Bond: No Time To Die.

But I figured the OpenAir Cinema is such a gorgeous experience, as the screen rises out of the harbour and the city skyline glitters behind it, that it was worth popping along.

I took my friend Mel with me and we grabbed a couple of rain ponchos as we walked through the gates.

We had the most amazing table for dinner right next to the harbour and we sipped pink Croser together as we ate delicious food from the Kitchen By Mike pop-up restaurant … all ordered via the Mr Yum disc on our table.

Well, I tried to order it via the Mr Yum app, but I’m not very experienced at it – the kids normally do it for me – so the pink bubbles didn’t come. After about 20 minutes, Dan had to sort out my flub and an ice bucket was whisked to our table.

It was a very soggy night. After about an hour my fingers looked like I’d been lying in the bath for too long, but it was still heaps of fun because we made lemonade out of the lemons and didn’t let the downpour interfere with having a great time.

Dan turned out to be a kindred spirit and we chattered away like old friends as we sipped our bubbles and supped our yummy food.

We shared the three mains on offer: roasted free range chicken, with roasted zucchini, pecans and basil; ash-baked eggplant with miso, sesame, edamame and puffed rice, and grilled Rangers Valley flank steak with charred onions and chimichurri. Our sides included heirloom tomatoes with watermelon, basil and chilli salt; warm potato, mustard verjus and herb salad, roasted broccolini, oregano and cumin salsa; and roast pumpkin with pomegranate molasses and nigella.

Nom nom!

Then we took our seats for the movie and I agree with the Westpac tagline for the event – it’s the most beautiful cinema in the world.

I haven’t been for around eight years, as it used to be something my ex and I did together as a yearly treat.

He left me just before my last visit in 2014, so it was good to get back on the horse.

James Bond: No Time To Die is also the longest movie in the world, especially when you’ve already seen it. Well, it’s not actually the longest movie, but it goes for two hours and 43 minutes.


Still, it’s a rollicking good time … despite not finishing until 11.30pm, which was well past my bedtime. I was totally knackered yesterday.

But also pretty glad that such nice things happen in my life, even when the rain gods decide to pour down on me.

Song of the day: Billie Eilish “No time to die”

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