It was a slow and hazy morning of meandering through conversations with Nairn and discovering Tim after meeting him the night before which had ended at 3am.
We followed that with the 3 of us wandering around Surry Hills, had brunch, stopped at the Whitehouse Institute of Design. I remembered when I was in there that that's where the former PM, Tony Abbott's daughter had been a student after she received a 'scholarship' nobody else had been invited to apply for.
Also went past Christopher's cake shop to pick up a tray of the favourite Greek custard sweet of galaktoburiko, then Nairn did his focused shopping for dinner while I walked around the air conditioned store trying to stay cool and looking at the latest trends in bottled drinks of coffee coconut, kombucha, cold pressed acai, turmeric and pomegranate concoctions, wondering at the same time how anyone can afford to live in central Sydney and have money leftover to buy $9 bottled drinks.
I used to live here. I loved it for many years. Now I find myself observing that I'm constantly observing and making mental notes.
It was a festive evening of much love and laughter. Joanna, Louise, Trish, Gayle and the three of us. I've known these friends for close to 25 years. I had never stayed in a place long enough until I lived in Sydney to have enduring history with the people in my life; which goes beyond treasuring memories and spills into the present where we are able to continue seeing each other even if there are long gaps here and there.
We had champagne thanks to Jonesy and the most delicious dinner of chicken tagine with preserved lemons, olives and ground spices. Nairn has always been a fantastically generous host and attends to detail.
I didn't get enough time with Joanna. That was the only part of the evening that didn't satisfy my cravings. Everyone else I've been able to chat with over a couple of occasions and dig deeper into their thoughts on what's mattered most in the past 3 years during the time I've been away.