I’ve had a surreal weekend.
On Friday night Carl and I went to an event to raise money for Kids with Cancer. Because I knew the organisers they asked if I would mind arriving early to help set up and then work the crowd selling raffle tickets. I told them I would be only too happy to, so Carl and I, with Archie and Arabella, arrived early and tried to be helpful.
I was wandering around the near empty room with my mind on a thousand different things when I heard a voice say, ‘Charlie?’ and I turned around and standing in front of me was a man wearing a very smart suit who was was about six foot two with lots of dark hair, incredible eyebrows and smiling at me. He said, ‘Charlie Louie, I recognised you straight away.’ And I looked at him rather blankly because I’m terribly vague and I wasn’t sure who he was. He very quickly told me his name and I was so shocked I gasped. I hadn’t seen him for a quarter of a century.
I didn’t know what to say so I blurted out something ridiculous like, ‘What are you doing here?’ and he said he was there for the fundraiser which was the only answer to such a stupid question.
We met just after my sixteenth birthday. I was down at the snow on a family holiday. I had arranged to meet my parents at one of those restaurants they have halfway down the mountain for lunch. When I walked in I could see my mother sitting at a table with some other people. She had run into her tennis partner, Joanne. Joanne was with her husband and their children and I was introduced to her son. We all sat at a big wooden table but after a while we teenagers became bored with the adult conversation so we went outside and played in the snow, pushing each other over, holding each other down, rolling down the mountain, laughing uncontrollably and just being complete fools but we had the best afternoon.
I didn’t see him again for the rest of my holiday but a few days after I arrived home he phoned the house. He asked if I would like to go to a Midnight Oil concert with him. I told him I would love to. We had a great time at the concert and got along very well. He was very polite, passionate, caring, witty and told a good story. We had a lot of laughs. I found out that he actually lived walking distance from where I was living so after the concert he walked me home.
We started seeing each other and had many more dates that included going to The Clash where he held on to me really tightly because I was terrified of all the punks, a night at Luna Park, nights at the movies and we were both into jogging so we’d go running together as well. He was a devoted fan and even came to some of my swimming competitions. He bought me a beautiful gold necklace that was elegant and understated and it wasn’t even my birthday. I think I still have it!
He was pretty much your dream boyfriend. We dated for about six months and it was becoming quite intense so for no better reason, I broke up with him. We spent more time together when we were about 18.
When we left school we went to different universities, then his parents sold the home and they moved to a different part of Sydney and I lost touch with him. I heard he’d graduated as a lawyer and that he’d then spent some years in the North Pole doing something with environmental science. A few years ago I heard he was back in Australia, that he’d married and was now working as a barrister.
So on Friday night I was standing there with raffle tickets in my hands and he, in his smart suit was right in front of me and I hadn’t seen him for all those years. And it didn’t seem like it was all those years ago. It felt like it was just the other day. He’d come straight from his Chambers and his wife, also a barrister, was about to join him. We had a lovely, warm and friendly chat. He asked after everyone in my family, he remembered them all – you have to be good at remembering things if you want to be a good barrister! We discovered we’re living in the same suburb and that he is once again, within walking distance. I introduced him to Carl and he met Archie and Arabella and said he didn’t think it was possible they could be so old – older than we were when we were dating!
We caught up again at the end of the night. As he was leaving I wanted to give him a big hug mostly because I’d been the one to end our relationship and he was hurt very deeply. I didn’t give him a hug, I just told him how wonderful it was to see him again and left it at that.
He was always a nice guy and he still is – he bought more raffle tickets from me than anyone else!
Have you ever had that moment where you’ve run into an ex?
I’m still without the internet so while I’m in the queue to speak to the phone company I bake. Here’s something I thought would be good for the kids when they come home from school.
Makes: 16 squares
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: I believe I made this for less than $10.00.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cup self raising flour
For the Topping:
- 2 tbspns raspberry jam
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup coconut
- 2 egg whites
Beat butter and sugar, add yolks then flour. Roll out on a greased lamington tray. Spread with jam over the top.
Beat whites of eggs until stiff, add sugar and beat well. Add coconut and spread over jam.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a moderate (180C/375F) oven.
This recipe is by Jenni Browne.
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