Old folk at lunch

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A busy weekend

Anne came over on Thursday evening and we went to the "Mado" Turkish restaurant at Southbank. I had a sucucluk pide there (something like an Italian calzone) as I usually do and Anne also had a pide. Excellent food. It's getting hard to park the car near there though so we had a walk as well -- which pleased Anne.

Anne stayed overnight and next morning we took a trip to Austria for breakfast -- to the K& K Konditorei at Sinnamon Park. We Humbered out there. It really is like a slice of Austria -- but set in a backstreet of a Brisbane suburb. They even sell Almdudler (A herbal lemonade imported from Austria). I had the Bauern Groestl, as I often do, and Anne had a Kransky with Sauerkraut, Roesti and bread. And we both had two cups of their excellent coffee -- which was a bit over the odds for both of us.

Then on Saturday Anne's sister Merle had a celebration of her 50th wedding anniversary. It was a dinner held in the hall of the Carina Presbyterian church -- an awful big soulless modern place. Not the sort of Presbyterian church hall I was used to at all. Merle and her husband Ralph do however go regularly to that church so it must have something -- good outreach, I gather.

The occasion was in fact a very Presbyterian one: low-key but friendly. Definitely no wild singing and dancing. We did however at one stage have some harp music! It wasn't a Western concert harp so I think it must have been some sort of Korean harp. The lady playing it (Yes. It was a lady. Why are almost all harpists female?) was Korean. You meet Koreans anywhere you go among Australian Presbyterians these days. Why? Because there are now far more Presbyterians in Korea than in Scotland! The main reason Presbyterian missionaries were so successful in Korea is that they were not Japanese. Koreans loathe the Japanese and all their works and do their best to differentiate themselves from the Japanese. Another feature of the evening was a slideshow of family snaps, which everyone enjoyed.

There were four generations of the family present, which was impressive. Anne's 90 year old mother was there as were Anne's two little grandsons. Baby Ethan was looking healthy, which was very heartening. His premature birth was very stressful for all involved but he seems to have suffered no harm from it -- due in part no doubt to the excellent care he got at Brisbane's Mater Private Hospital.

The food was predictable (roast etc.) but pleasant enough. There was of course no alcohol in evidence and we did start the dinner with one of Merle's sons saying grace. I imagine that some people might have found the occasion boring but I felt on familiar and comfortable ground there. I am rather pleased that Anne has revived my Presbyterian connections to some extent. Our similar background is very congenial.

Then Sunday was of course Mothers' Day. As I usually do, I took some good lunchy things over to Jenny's place. She's not my mother but she is the mother of my son. My mother passed away long ago. Jenny's mother is however still hale and hearty in her 80s and she was present at the lunch. Others present were Paul, Joe and Samantha. It was a very pleasant lunch. My contribution was prosciutto, terrine, antipasto and some King Island cheese.

Then for dinner Anne came over again and made us some Reuben sandwiches -- using some Dutch Leerdammer cheese -- a Dutch version of Swiss cheese. And I still managed to keep up my usual blog output through all that!

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