The best things in life

I was obsessed with buying a house when I was in my mid-twenties and scored myself a two-bedder in Petersham for $170,000.

Ah, those were the days!

I have no idea why the photo is black and white, other than to make me seem really ancient.

Petersham was a revelation. It introduced me to Portuguese chicken, Portuguese tarts, gay skate night at the Petersham roller rink, Turkish pizza, the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten and other delights.

It also had its seedy side, a pub called The Oxford Tavern, where the waitresses were topless and nightly entertainment included jelly wrestling.

Well, there have been some big changes at the pub (spoiler alert: the jelly wrestlers are long gone) and I got to check it all out last night.

New owners the Odd Culture Group threw a party to reveal The Tav’s facelift, featuring a new menu by executive chef James MacDonald and head chef John Hockey, plus a delicious drinks menu.

My friend Sam lives just down the road from the pub and we hadn’t caught up for ages, so I invited her along for some free food and libations with a side order of frenetic conversation.

We feasted on delicious tempura broccolini and salt and pepper squid and mussels in smoked tomato sauce.

It was so lovely to catch up with Sam and her husband John, who ended up popping along too. We moaned a bit about how noisy it was because we are getting long in the tooth, but we also enjoyed the venue. Sam is thinking about having her birthday in the beer garden in a few weeks time.

I’ve known Sam and John for more than 30 years – ermagerd – we met when I worked with them on Design Series magazines.

For the past decade they’ve lived just around the corner from my first home.

Getting to Petersham was a trip down memory lane, past the shop where I bought my wrought iron bed, the spot where my ex pulled over and stormed off up the road because I was back seat driving and the night school where I failed to learn French before a European holiday.

The inner west was once the centre of my world, but it felt like a million miles from home as I battled through an hour’s worth of traffic to the pub last night.

Ah, the joys of Sydney life!

And that’s it from me for this week, because I’m off to hospital early on Friday morning.

Have a fab weekend and I’ll catch you next week with all my news.

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