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Out of the Woodwork - Nick's Valve [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Nick Verne

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Out of the Woodwork [Sep. 13th, 2009|09:01 am]
Nick Verne
We got great sketches drawn up of possible extensions to our house. Kris is the architect, a friend who grew up living on the same street in Greenwich, so of course the work has to be kept in the "family". (Scare quotes indicate nepotism, not sexuality!) Then he got some ballpark figures from a builder friend of his for what his sketches might cost to realise and we came thudding back down to Earth. There is debt, and then there's Debt. Also, there's Over-Capitalisation. I think the practical considerations are likely to win out over the general coolness of Option 3 with the upstairs sunroom and access to the back yard. If we win the lottery, we're definitely going to try to build it (pending coucil approval, of course).

Other Greenwich connections converged last night. We went over to Mum's for dinner and also to watch her starring performance on "Today Tonight" shopping at Woolworths, Aldi, Coles and Paddy's Market for the same set of groceries. She's a natural, they said. I was amazed at how professional she seemed, speaking directly to the camera and saying, "These bananas were far too expensive at $3.98/kg. Not good for a family on a budget," with authority and expression. Trundling her shopping wheelie bag and showing Woolworths up for the rip off operation they are.

Then, after a dinner of whiting fillets and spuds and salad, we hit the road at which time the phone rang, so Yuri answered and lo, it was Anthony from the 40th birthday party several weeks ago. We had made a plan to meet for a drink sometime soon, which dragged through several rounds of unavailability and schedule conflict finally to be arranged by text message for this weekend. The text messaging happened late on Wednesday night while I was half asleep. For some weird reason, I went back to sleep convinced we had arranged things for Sunday night, but here was Anthony calling from Monkey Bar asking, "Are you coming here soon?" after waiting an hour for me. Twenty minutes later I was at the bar and apologising profusely for screwing up. Checking the old text messages I saw we had said Saturday night. Strange thing, though, he had it down in his phone calendar for Sunday too.

So we sorted that out pretty quickly and went on to conversation and wine. He brought a work friend (not his girlfriend, but she was pretty good value) and we ranged over all the topics of what we were like as kids in school versus nowadays. What was the deal with the online dating scene and how do some gay guys claim to have sex with ten or more people in a night? (Answer - you don't have orgasms with everyone, and you don't have to do too much for too long for it to count. YMMV) I wonder if he's bi-curious? As a psychiatrist by profession, he has a fairly non-judgmental questioning manner and probably doesn't have the taboos we had as schoolboys.

We talked on until the noise inside Monkey Bar (a DJ spinning chunes for the 20-somethings) got too hard to deal with. Shouting every sentence is tiring. The London Hotel was also crowded and loud - this time just caused by people talking a high volume. So we headed back to our house and sat on the couch drinking one more glass of Giesen, discussing their cat allergies (sorry, Dax) and other casually connected topics: lime trees -> a potted kaffir lime tree in which husband's ashes scattered -> caused and awful moment when house sitting for said widow and overwatering made the ash spill over the side of the pot all over the deck -> ashes were probably mostly coffin and any bone fragments would have stayed in the pot -> cribbed from Jessica Mitford's "The American Way of Death" -> etc. At midnight it was time for them to hit the road and I hit the bed where Yuri had been asleep all this time.

Greenwich. It makes weird stuff happen.
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