Tuesday, August 4, 2009

by the fireside

I finally got my watch fixed today, and then proceeded to clock (ha) myself in the head with it, as I'm not used to wearing a big stainless steel thing on my wrist anymore. I have no idea where the watch I bought in Amsterdam is, and I'm sick of pulling my phone out of my bag to check if I'm late or not. It's much more fun nearly concussing myself. Or getting my hair tangled in the blasted thing.

Oh my bag. It's terrible. Up until last week I had this lovely little leather satchel that I'd purloined from my Father. And then a train ticket barrier managed to snap off the latch, and I managed to have an attack of the foaming mouth variety at the stupidity of cityrail, the universe and everything. So now I'm back to using the $5 cotton tote bag that I bought from the Australian Museum which has a Mammoth on it. It fits everything, but its not that swish. And it doesn't have pockets, so whatever item I'm hunting for, goes straight to the bottom.

In fairness, I don't really carry that much. I have one notebook for all my subjects, my pencil case is small and doubles as my make up bag, there's usually my non required Reading (currently a biography of Thomas Malory, what is it with me and the Arthurian scholarship at the moment?). If I'm adventurous, my knitting makes it in as well. Keys, phone and ipod go in as well. I don't carry an umbrella, as they make me angry and I end up even more wet when I attempt to use one. If its cold enough for a jacket, I'll be wearing it. Sometimes I take my camera.

So why do I feel so attracted to bags that I could live in? Huge bags, bags the size of cows, emus and apartments in Bondi?

I can only deduce that I really, really, really want to be living somewhere other than the inner west of Sydney.


People keep asking me "what are you going to do with a BA in English?"
Today I told someone that I was going to make a hat and become the next Napoleon.
A witty person would have pointed out that perhaps a degree in French would be more useful.
As it was, they just blinked at me.

(I'm going to write a paper on Bloc Party and terrorism. And then I'm going to curl up in a library somewhere with a big sleepy dog and go horse riding on the weekends.)


On the weekend, my mother completed a Cassoulet. Which is posh baked beans. With an entire farmyard in it. I'm not a huge meat eater (thanks to years of yelling from Emma, and her arrival back in Aus in a month, I'm thoroughly expecting to be a vegan by christmas. I'm not sure how I feel about this.) but I was quite happy to help eat my mother's concoction. It's a good thing I was happy about it, as I suspect she was probably going to make me eat it regardless. There was a lot in the pot, and I've been having it for lunch for the past three days.

According to some French people I know, Cassoulet is basically leftovers, thrown into a pot with beans and cooked for Sunday lunch while everyone is at church. In the Barton Household, Cassoulet gets made every six years, in winter, when my father somehow manages to bribe my mother into cooking it. So on July 26th, my mother commandeered the kitchen and spent the next six nights doing very strange things with basters, beans and bottles. Depending on the stage she was up too, the house either smelt brilliant (like beans), bizarre (like duck) or plain bad (the lamb. I hate lamb.)

The Barton's are not known for our wide social circles. My father is almost as antisocial and disparaging as I am, my mother is a workaholic like my sister, and my brother is Jeremy, which is more than enough said. Still, we each managed to procure a couple to share our Cassoulet. Denise and Lou were bullied by my dad into coming, Rowena and Doug happily trotted over at my mothers invitation, and all I had to do was say to Lizzle and The Beard was "hey, mum wants to feed you" and they were there. With wine, which was a truly fantastic idea (given that I had had yet another frustrating week).

The Cassoulet was pretty fantastic - very rustic, very French and very delicious. The flan for desert was great too. It was a good night, with just the right amount of booze and more than enough laughter. The prize moment was me and Claudia hearing our mother shrieking with laughter from six rooms away. Our collective sense of doom as we realised that our future was spelled out by Briar Ridge Sauv Blanc, French Baked Beans and Dinner parties, was lifted as we realised that our future was spelled out by Briar Ridge Sauv Blanc, French Baked Beans and dinner parties.

And when we'd kicked everyone out at quarter to twelve, my parents announcing that they were too old to socialise, I decided that I'm going to have to throw (possibly literally) more dinner parties where the fire burns brightly in the hearth and everyone's cheeks are rosy from having a good time.


(Yes, Emma is coming back from Edinburgh in A MONTH. there will be much rejoicing.)
(Also, I am sad about how America has better and cheaper vintage than Australia.)
(Furthermore, I am worried about the Arthurian thing)

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