Friday, March 12, 2010

Passed the breathalyser, got the FT - weekend made!

Feeling very virtuous as I was breathalysed this morning on my belated way back from the school run – though actually when I think about it being stone cold sober at 10 am on a Friday morning is not actually an achievement of which to be proud – had they been testing for caffeine rather than alcohol I think the outcome might have been somewhat different. Just to clarify things for any UK or US citizen, where I think the police have to have a reason to pull you over, I was pulled over as part of a routine Random Breath Test rather than as a result of my erratic driving. Police road blocks and the associated Random Breath Test are a normal part of Sydney life, particularly on a Friday or Saturday night. There are a couple of spots round us that are traffic bottlenecks and the police are very cunning at setting up the RBT units so there is no option but to go through them. You turn round a corner and see the blue and red lights flashing.and policemen directing you into a lane where you are asked to count to 10 whilst breathing over the machine. I am sure RBTs do have an impact on the incidence of drink driving. It certainly focuses the mind on the need for designated driver, taxi or a long walk home if we are out. The other obvious police presence in our area is the undercover police car, cunningly painted bright purple. I have to say at this point that the majority of people in Mosman drive tasteful, grey, white or black top of the range models so the purple Ford is an immediate give away – note I can only make these snooty remarks about colour of car as we drive an iridescent neon green car demonstrating our utter lack of taste on the car front.

One of the things I love about weekends is the Weekend Financial Times – possibly the best paper in the world in my totally unbiased opinion. It is a very rare weekend that I don’t find something to fascinate and interest me, and the house is littered with scraps of the immediately identifiable pink paper that I have ripped out. Amongst my favourite bits are the Secret Agent column detailing the trials and tribulations of a top of the range London estate agent, the Expat interview, and Miss Moneypenny who comments on anything that takes her fancy – in fact too many great sections to mention. One of the joys is the fact it is completely eclectic, some of the bits I have torn out recently include a fabulous brownie recipe for mothers on the hop from Miss Moneypenny, and a quote from Keats in ‘The Poem” section that I stuck beside my bed “If I should die…………….I have left no immortal work behind me – nothing to make my friends proud of my memory – but I have lov’d the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had time I would have made myself remember’d”.

I went with a group of female friends to see a fairly confrontational play called “That Face” last week. I keep calling it, ‘In your Face” by mistake which in fact would also be a rather apt title. I was stunned that it had been written by a 19 year old Brit, Polly Stenham - immediate envy of the talent and confidence necessary to write something that will keep audiences gripped for 2 hours. Still on my gratitude theme I did stagger out of the theatre feeling very relievedl that my own home life looked amazingly calm and composed in comparison to the family that would give dysfunctional a bad name, who were portrayed on stage.

The friends I went to the theatre with were all my Kiwi (New Zealander) friends. I have to say having bright, fun, sparky friends rates very highly on my five to be grateful for daily list. I have come to the conclusion though, based on a careful scientific survey based on the Kiwis we know here and hours of painstaking observation and research over numerous bottles of wine, that all Kiwis of a similar age living in Sydney, are either a) related to each other, b) married to each other, c) or have gone out with each other, and d) refer to each other by nickname (often animal related!) We are talking 2 degrees of separation rather than 6 in this Kiwi in exile environment, and they all know how to party. Add in the compulsory lashings of wine and you have the makings of a great evening.

Husband has just got home to ask why the dog has been dribbling over sofa – had to explain it was just drying itself after a bath – don’t think he regarded that as a particularly satisfactory explanation.

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