To all those who have contacted me concerned for my cyber-whereabouts, thank you! Rest assured, everything is just peachy here at Hotly Spiced Headquarters, it’s just I’ve had a few unexpected events thrown at me that have consumed me and these have arrived on top of an already jam-packed schedule. So I’m doing a bit of juggling.
Now, where was I.
Yes, that’s right, I was about to explain to you why my daughter is wonderful.
One of the very pleasant scheduled events I’ve had recently was a get-together with Tanya from My Kitchen Stories (we hadn’t yet met), Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella. We planned to meet at 11.30am in a restaurant in Balmain called Little Darling Diner which is a French-inspired diner with lots of old world charm.
I had my whole day planned. I would drop Alfie at school, race to Chatswood, buy fabulous new shoes that are an absolute ‘must’ for an event two days later, relax and browse around the shops and enjoy my own company for 60 minutes, then head in a no-rush manner over to Balmain, some half hour away.
It’s my fault I know, I should not have vocalised my plans, but I made the mistake of telling Alfie, as he was tying his shoes, that we wouldn’t be walking to school, instead I would be driving him because immediately after school drop-off I was heading to Chatswood. Arabella, like she’d been shot out of a cannon, suddenly sprang from her coma, emerged from her bedroom and appeared in front of me. ‘Did you say Chatswood? I’m coming with you’. And I knew why she wanted to come; it’s because ‘Chatswood’ means shopping.
‘No, you can’t come; you’re not even dressed. And I’m not coming back here; I’m going out for lunch’.
‘I’ll make my own way home. I’m ready’.
‘Arabella, I’m going out to the car now; Alfie cannot be late for school. If you’re not there in five minutes I’m driving off without you’.
But she was there! She made it. Somehow she went from pyjamas to shorts and a T-shirt in less than five. So now I had company. On my morning of solitude.
We arrived at Chatswood and I bought some shoes.
But Arabella got some too…
And she wanted to look at all the new summer stock like the skirts and the dresses and the jewellery and the hand bags and before I knew it my ‘me’ time had been absorbed and I needed to rush to Balmain. ‘I’ll come with you’, said Arabella.
‘I thought you were going to the library to study’.
‘I know. I am. I’ll get a bus to the library from Balmain’. So Arabella tagged along with me.
Incredibly, we arrived at the Little Darling Diner on time and Lorraine was there to greet us. I introduced her to Arabella and said, ‘She’s not staying, she’s about to get on a bus to go to the library to study’. But the waiter was there and he poured me a champagne and one for Lorraine who then realised she couldn’t drink it because she was driving so it was handed to Arabella who smiled gleefully and plonked herself down on a sofa beside us.
Then Celia and Tanya arrived and I introduced them to Arabella and Tanya and they were thrilled to meet her. Tanya asked her all about how she was going with the HSC (fine if you ask me – sitting there swilling down her champagne) because her son is also doing the HSC so there were plenty of stories swapped. And Celia wanted to talk to her about her plans post HSC because her eldest son is now at Uni and so Celia had lots of great advice for her about how to get into all the universities even if you don’t quite get the mark required (which just might be Arabella’s scenario).
So you know where this is going.
Arabella didn’t go to the library.
She joined me not only for my shopping expedition but also for my lunch with friends.
And she charmed the pants off them.
And they said to me, ‘In your next blog post, you need to say some nice things about your daughter. She’s lovely and she’s been much maligned by your blog. I don’t see a drama queen at all. Look at her! She just offered to go out to your car and check that you haven’t been fined. She’s a great teenage girl’.
And Arabella looked at me with her champagne in her hand and threw her head back and laughed.
And she laughed all the way home and said, ‘Mum, your blogging friends are so much fun. I had the best time. Next time you get together with your blogging friends I want to come’.
The Little Darling Diner is at 485A Darling Road, Balmain. Ph: 9810 5255
High Tea costs $37.00 and includes a glass of champagne.
Thanks for a lovely day Tania, Celia and Lorraine xx