Christmas Pudding

“Make sure Jack gets some of the puddings from Aldi before they sell out. They’re so good”, I sent Michelle in a text message the other day.

Now in his 80s, Jack has a routine of heading into town in Lismore every few days and buying groceries.

He’s been at a bit of a loss since the flood in Lismore earlier this year caused the closure of Aldi. Thankfully, they’ve re-opened, and thankfully they have plum pudding. I bought one the other day from my local store in Darlinghurst, and consumed it within a few hours!

Though I fondly remember Jack’s mother, Lillian (or as I called her, Nanny Bobbin) was an expert plum pudding maker (she used to call them plum duff), we get them from the shops these days. Along with cream/ice cream, they’re always a big part of the family Christmas routine, along with Pat’s very simple trifle.

Patsy’s Christmas Trifle, as filmed last year. We’re all hanging out for this year’s reprise.

After all the drama/relocation they’ve had with the flood this year, there have been many conversations about “getting back to normal for Christmas”.

Aldi Christmas Pudding
Aldi Christmas Pudding : In the midst of all the many conversations you have with family, both light and serious, you can never underestimate the importance of taking a photograph of a plum pudding and saying “make sure you buy some”.

I’ve been back in Sydney for a couple of weeks now, and it’s nice to settle back into life here.

Still, a friend and I had dinner last night, and we talked about the “imminent” plan of returning “home” to Lismore.

“I’m not as happy in Sydney as I am in Lismore”, I told her.

We had dinner at a “Pasta Emilia”. Though it was the first time I’d been there, my friend told me “It’s been here for ages”.

Located on Riley street, Surry Hills, it’s got a “rustic” feel to it. Both the food and wine were excellent, and so was the service. They were always attentive, though not “in your face” as can sometimes be the case.

Dinner at Pasta Emilia, Surry Hills

And of course, the conversation was terrific.

Since arriving back, I’ve caught up with quite a few friends and colleagues.

There’s one couple, for example, who live close by who I haven’t seen much of this year, due to regular trips to Lismore. We caught up on Monday night, and it was wonderful.

Birthday Trivia with friends and colleagues at The Imperial

And then last week I caught up with some friends and colleagues for drag trivia at Sydney’s legendary bar, “The Imperial”. Coincidentally it was my birthday. And we came third place in the trivia. We might have won if we had concentrated more in the first round, instead of chatting, eating and drinking.

The next few days are definitely “diverse”. A couple of friends and I are going to a recording of a Christmas cabaret for the ABC religious program, Compass. On Saturday, I’m going to a housewarming/baby shower for a lesbian couple. And then on Sunday, I’m going to the induction of a friend who is becoming a Minister in the Uniting Church.

Today, I needed to visit a bank in the city, and then come back after a break for a second appointment.

In between, I took a break to see the current exhibition at the 4A Gallery by “TextaQueen”, which is described in these terms.

“Bollywouldn’t is a balm to the displacement of diaspora. This major commission echoes TextaQueen’s enduring practice of connecting with the community using texta as a mechanism to bring people together.

Through portraiture, photography, mural painting and projection, Bollywouldn’t presents decolonial narratives and the reclamation of power and space by South Asian diaspora. TextaQueen’s portraits of queer South Asian community have been digitally mapped onto buildings in and around London, creating the creating the illusion that they exist as actual murals on a monumental scale against colonial structures.”
Bollywouldn’t at 4A Gallery

It’s a delightful exhibition, with politics, passion and humour evident in the work.

It was nice to have an unexpected and unplanned break in the middle of an otherwise busy fortnight since arriving back in Sydney from Lismore.

Life’s rich tapestry.

5 Replies to “Christmas Pudding”

  1. Hello James, Belated happy birthday. Sounds like you all had a good time at the trivia. My birthday was the 15th.
    Thanks for the tip about Bollywouldn’t. Am not familiar with that gallery. I’ll be sure to drop by when I’m up there next month.

  2. You’re coming up next month? When? I’m heading back to Lismore, but it would be good to compare dates. Let’s email. And happy birthday, which you share with Petula Clark and Anni-Frid Lyngstad who also legendary!

  3. You have been a busy boy. We’ve never been to The Imperial and I don’t know why. Next Sydney visit, its on the list. I just noted the health star rating on the Aldi pudding. Like it is expected to healthy and wholesome, but still it receives two stars.

  4. ““I’m not as happy in Sydney as I am in Lismore”, I told her.”

    Will he? Won’t he? WHEN will he?

    [move back to Lismore, that is]

    Suspense is killing us but I reckon you can drag this out for quite a while.

  5. It’s still 3 years until I qualify for my defined benefit superannuation scheme. But there’s nothing a public sector organisation loves more than a restructure.

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