Of course May is the last month of Autumn - Don’t you just love this season and the colours?
Another work requirement gave me the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital. I do still like Canberra a lot. There is something very reassuring leaving the airport in a city and having that sense of rural and still knowing my way around. It was a jam packed week for work ‘cause it was Budget Week. So there were a lot of meetings, appointments and work commitments etc., but very satisfying. Being in Canberra that week was quite moving when history was made with the legislation being passed for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It really is a significant and historical moment on
Australia’s community landscape. Of course it is of significance to my MSA role.
During my schedule, one meeting was cancelled when I arrived (they forgot to tell me) so it meant I had a chance to have a lunch break. While walking to find somewhere for lunch I discovered a fantastic shop and could not resist this little jacket for a little friend of mine. It really appealed to the “clothes express thyself” inner me!!
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress finally happened in Melbourne. There were many colleagues and friends from around the globe. What a treat to catch up them from near and afar. Two wonderful women in particular that I met in Durban four years ago were in town Barbara and Diana from Manhattan, New York City…(I never met anyone from NYC that I didn’t like !) Anyway, Diana and Barbara are amazing, wonderful, beautiful women who are nurses, activists, dynamic, successful women - who are also FOODIES!! My sort of “sheilas”, they are so into learning “Aussieisms”……I
realised I like the essence of the powerfulness when referring to strong wonderful women as sheilas. These two friends are such great sheilas! Sorry, I digressed……back to where I was heading….So they were interested in eating somewhere that we recommended in Melbourne, of course, Tez did his normal wonderful stuff and researched the latest Good Food Guide and provided a list for them to consider – so to cut a long story short – we ended up with a booking at Dandelion. Good fortune had it that it was Buddha’s birthday – so the restaurant was providing a vegetarian feast as a tribute to Buddha. Before we started eating two Buddhist monks from the longest established monastery in Victoria walked through the restaurant chanting and offering us all a water blessing. We also received a Buddha thread bracelet. When we arrived,
Barbara asked the head waiter how old Buddha was, his very cute response that amused us enormously was “I will have to Google that and find out”.
So a vego feast was shared and an evening of chatting and solving more problems of the world. In spite of some very serious discussions about the things that bother us, we had so much fun and enjoyed the feast and blessing enormously. As we were leaving the head waiter advised us that he had indeed “Googled” but because there were so many different Buddhas to worship, he was simply ageless!!! We had to agree that really appealed to us and we were glad we did not have a number of years to celebrate, that we just celebrated him.
The next morning Tez joined us in Carlton and had a breakfast before Barbara and Diana discovered the wonders of shopping in Carlton and Melbourne!! So pleased that all those years of research I had undertaken, was able to be put to good use and advise two very discerning visitors!!!! After all those of us who are shopping experts know there is real science in shopping.
Following the congress we had some gorgeous and wonderful friends from Canada visit us at PCH. They live in Canmore in the Rockies, Alberta. We had the opportunity to visit them a couple of years ago and I was absolutely enthralled standing on their front deck and realising that I was having my own “Aussie- Northern Exposure” (Who remembers that TV show?) event. I was so overwhelmed by the majestic panorama of the Rockies. What a treat to have Barb and Rich come and stay with us to return the hospitality. After recently discovering some new ways to do the good old fashioned lamb roast, it was an evening of winter food and good Aussie wine. It was so much fun to have them stay with us. We forget how much our wonderful country impresses others, just like we are impressed when we visit them. So it was with great pride I found myself catching up and “hosting” friends from around the globe during the month of May. Naturally, for us, catch ups always seem to revolve around food!!
Mind you, I am not sure Barb and Rich knew quite how to take my tirade about the thieves who stole my olives!!! My trees have been laden this year with such a fantastic crop of olives. I have been watching them for weeks and planning to pick the crop just in time for when Alfie Spina was here for the next schedule of cooking classes. By my observation and calculation, they were going to be perfect to pick a few days before he arrived.
dare they….little.…*#@! scavengers.
My plans for the first production of PCH olives foiled, by what I can only imagine are Italian possums!!! Next year will be a
massive netting project as the trees are doing so well and producing a plentiful crop. Very, very disappointed….
Finally, I met Kate Connor and Alfie Spina today, ready to deliver the next program of cooking classes at PCCS. We called in to Queen Vic Markets to pick up some provisions before we heading down the trail to collect supplies along the way and arriving home to start preparation for their cooking classes.