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A light interlude, but will Desert Book Chick approve?

March 14, 2010

I have nearly finished my next book/s and so a review will be coming up any moment now, but in the meantime I thought I would post this photo:

Coffee, cake and crosswords at Pialligo Estate Winery

Coffee, cake and crosswords

Now, the thing is, Desert Book Chick recently wrote a post on the Five Things that turn her off (some) book blogs – and one of them is “Foodie/Book Blogs”. I rather like Desert Book Chick – even though SHE doesn’t like Jane Austen – but I wonder if I have now earned her ire forever because here is a foodie, sorta, post. Except, it’s not really.

Book bloggers, and online bookgroupies, often talk about their penchant for never being without a book, so that if they find themselves suddenly stranded on their own – say, on a train or bus, or in a cafe, or in a doctor’s waiting room – they will not be bored, and I’m no different. I ALWAYS have a book with me. But, sometimes, I’m not quite stranded. Sometimes I’m with Mr Gums*, and my mother taught me that it’s rude to read in front of another person. So, what to do? There are, after all, only so many topics you can find to talk about when you spend a lot of time together. What we do – and have done since our dating days way back in the mid 1970s – is do cryptic crosswords together. And so it was that some weeks ago we found ourselves lunching at the Pialligo Estate Winery. We’d had a good chat over lunch and consequently decided over our coffee and dessert to bring out the crossword book and voilà, the photographic evidence. Oh, and the cake, actually an interpretation of Eton Mess, was delicious, but in deference to Desert Book Chick I’ll not wax any more lyrically than that.

*Mr Gums. Since starting this blog 10 months ago, I have been struggling to find a way of referring to my “other half” or “significant other” or “DH”. (Take your pick.) Ms Textual uses The Vet, while Lisa at ANZLitLovers uses The Spouse. Both work nicely. On our daughter’s blog, Wayfaring Chocolate, Mr Gums is L. Engineer. I think I will use that from now on.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2010 17:06

    She approves and she laughs out loud! And… she does love good food, but perhaps not the silly foodie culture that’s emerged in the past 10 years. I am partial to the odd recipe, although I post it on my other blog….

    You won’t shift me on Jane Austen though. Again, that is a consequence of being brought up in a country town obsessed with status and appearance, and the bizarre popular culture that’s developed around all things ‘Austen’.

    Do I detect a Canberran perspective? I suspect I do! I have to say that Canberra and Adelaide are my favourite cities in the whole world. I went to ANU, have family in Canberra and originally, came from Bowral (Seeing Diana Krall at Bradman Oval would have been utterly delicious! Bradman Oval always reminds me of giving birth… the hospital is across the road and I used to escape to the cafe in the Bradman Museum).

    I love Lyneham especially, and running around the lake at lunchtimes in winter, seeing the Brindabellas dusted with snow. And snowgums. Snowgums are great works of art, living.

    Lovely to meet you, and thanks for dropping by my blog and reading my story!

    • March 14, 2010 21:54

      I rather thought you would, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. Glad it gave you a laugh.

      As for Jane Austen, never say never … one day, you might just see her for her wicked funny self! She really can make one laugh, you know! I do agree with you about the bizarre popular culture though. In fact, would you believe the Jane Austen Centre which is housed in her last real home at Chawton had to send out a message last year asking that no more ashes be left in the garden!! Made me laugh – but feel rather sad at the same time… We can’t blame Jane though for that!

      Yes, you do detect a Canberra perspective. I have spent all my professional life here (except for two postings in the US with husband) but travelled around a bit growing up (including 3 years in Mt Isa). Husband and both kids went to ANU, and I did two units there for fun in my pre-kids days. (Oh, and I love Canberra and Adelaide too. Adelaide would be my choice after here – love the climate there).

      Anyhow, I’ll stop rambling … btw Krall was at the Centennial Vineyards….

  2. March 14, 2010 23:56

    That picture has made me very happy — and very hungry. Two of my favourite things in the whole wide world, apart from books of course, is coffee (I drink it black, too, unless it’s instant, and then I have to have milk in it) and cake!

    And I know what you mean about reading in company… I can’t remember ever being taught not to do it, but I think it’s rude when someone does it in front of me, so I wouldn’t like to make someone else feel the same way. (I wish people who fiddled with mobile phones in company would learn this bit of etiquette too.) My Other Half is a reader (although not as obsessive as me), so it’s not really a problem when I’m with him, but I would never do it if I went out with a friend who wasn’t into reading.

    Thanks for mentioning Desert Book Chick — am always keen to discover a new blog!

    • March 15, 2010 00:12

      My pleasure kimbofo – always happy to introduce bloggers! And she lives in such a special part of Australia…her (current) banner is gorgeous I think.

      To be honest, I’m not sure that my mother actually taught me that specifically but more that when you are with another person you focus on them – you don’t engage in non-inclusive activity, you don’t pull out “lollies” and not share, and so on. It always intrigues me that people seem to need rules ie this is how you should behave with mobile phones – rather than principles ie this is the way you behave with people. Principles should then be able to be applied pretty well regardless of what you are confronted with shouldn’t they?

  3. March 15, 2010 01:02

    While my sugar intake is now limited, I have to say, Eton Mess was never one of my favorites. Why take a fine dessert and crush it up?

    My wife and I do Sudoku rather than cryptic crosswords!

    • March 15, 2010 07:30

      You mean, why spoil a pavlova? If so, I sort of agree though I’ve had some very nice Eton Mess interpretations and it saves you all that trouble of crushing it up yourself!!

      My mum is addicted to Sudokus – and crosswords – as are a lot of my bookgroup friends, but husband and I just can’t get into them. We’ve both done a couple to see what they’re about but no go really. Husband is electronic-cum-software engineer so you woulda thought… Chacun à son goût as they say. Anything that keeps the Alzheimer’s at bay can’t be all bad can it!

  4. March 15, 2010 06:35

    Crossword books also come in handy for distracting yourself from the fact that multiple people who arrived after you are being seen before you in a Parisian hospital… so thank you, mother dear, for sending this past-time down the genetic line!

    Also, cake?! I thought that was mushed up fried eggs and ketchup! I should have known better… only my special scrambled eggs for you, right? 🙂

    • March 15, 2010 07:32

      It is a very odd looking Eton Mess I have to say, but of course it wouldn’t be Scrambled Eggs. I only eat one person’s interpretations of those!

      PS Glad the crossword book has come in handy and that you didn’t ditch it along the way somewhere as taking up too much space.

  5. March 15, 2010 20:19

    But I like “Mr Gums”!

  6. lithelianas permalink
    March 15, 2010 23:36

    Oh please – I like ‘Mr Gums’, too. And what else did your mother teach you – Cryptic Crosswords?

  7. March 16, 2010 02:36

    If I weren’t vegan I’d be downloading a recipe for Eton Mess right now. But with the cream and all that, I doubt a vegan version would really work. My husband and I sometimes sit down to dinner with books in our hands. If both of us want to read, no reason not to. And I like Mr. Gums but L. Engineer works too.

  8. March 16, 2010 07:27

    Janine, Lithelianas, Stefanie – it seems like the public has spoken. Mr Gums will probably remain.

    Lithe Lianas – you are right, my mother also taught me cryptic crosswords. She has had a powerful influence on my life!

    Stefanie – fair enough about reading and dinner, I can certainly understand that. But sorry about the Eton Mess. Not vegan friendly at all, but friendly to people who can’t eat wheat!

  9. March 17, 2010 15:28

    Bless you for making it real and keeping it real! Blogs are all about expressing self whatever the medium/topic/theme/whatever. We live in a real coffee-smudged world where evidence of the place of books in our lives, or narratives if your sporting a Kindle, is entirely natural. well done you for mixing it in!
    ‘Ms Textual’ approves!!!

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