Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apart from my previous philosophical rantings about my life direction, I've fallen woefully behind in updating this blog! And, like a large percentage of people, I am going to blame 'this time of year'. For me it's been a combination of the crazy at work, and the crazy that is my studies (in horticulture). Plus hitting on a pretty fab idea to make a (possible) living... but I'll divulge all that at a later date!

Have I been eating out much the past few weeks? Well, the answer to that is both yes, and no. I have at lunch time (HELLO CENTRAL MARKETS FOOD COURT!!!) and a smattering of times for the evening meal in the usual haunts. This does include the most favourite of favourite comfortably cheap(ish) eat haunts, The Seacliff Beach Hotel. I am pretty lucky to be able to call this place 'my local'... and when you see the view, you'll understand why I bold-type lucky...

If I was ever to compile a list of the most picturesque pubs in the world, this place would be vying for a spot in the top 10. Even in winter, it's divine sitting inside, by the window, watching the dark clouds become one with the tempestuous ocean. The only thing that possibly could ruin the atmosphere of this divine place is the fact that the local Surf Life Saving Club have plonked a hideous shipping container smack-bang in the middle of the view! And no, painting it with a mural which looks as if it would be more at home on the wall of a high school gymnasium does not endear it to the diner who wishes to gaze upon the infinity of the oceanic horizon. If it must be there (and I believe this may have to do with providing temporary storage until the club has been refurbished) why not have some local artist produce a pseudo-Turner seascape?

Anyway... I digress.

Not withstanding it's current view-fail, The Seacliff is pretty tops when it comes to fairly decent gastro-pub fare. There are the usual offerings of an Australian pub such as The Parmi (Parmigiana), Schnitty (Schnitzel) and Sul N Pippa Skweed (Salt n Pepper Squid). But then they throw in a few interesting ones like Green Chicken Curry, Pork Belly and Pasta Bosciola (which tries so hard to be a good, solid pasta dish but just lacks that little bit in flavour). One item off the menu you MUST try however, is their towering Beach Burger! As all good monsterous burgers should be, this one is chock full of patty, salad, egg and beetroot... all secured together with a skewer. The fries they serve are decent, and don't have that 'frozen' taint that so many eateries can't seem to escape (unless they make their own). The one dish I will have to steer you clear of however, is the pie. Look, it may have changed since I last had it (mid-winter), but back then it was a sort of Four-And-Twenty affair with a crust that could repel bullets. The meat was a gelatinous gravied mess of snouts, tails and other unmentionables. A definite disappointment.

Having said that though, the price is right with most fare sitting around the $15-$25 mark. And the wine list is hardly disappointing (hello D'Arrenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay!). The decor in the main dining room does border on the slighly tacky with a carpet that is dating fast, flat-screen TVs silently spewing out their radioactive commercial glare and a Keno screen constantly ticking over in the corner (let's keep that sort of stuff in the bar, hm?). You also get the occasional ne'er do well who wanders through the dining room blearily looking for the front bar. But the view... it's worth all that just for that perfect (bar the current shipping container!) view of the sun slowly sinking into the sea* ....

The infamous Beach Burger... film noir style. With a 'schnitty', chips and mushroom gravy, lurking deviously in the background.

*Yes I know it doesn't literally sink, but let me have the artistic license to finish on a poetic note.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So What If....

So what if one Monday morning you woke up and realised that you really were tired of your day job. And I don’t mean the usual Monday morning malaise that comes with the weekend come-down. The feeling of wanting to drown oneself in the cup of English Breakfast tea staring blandly back at you. I’m talking about the sudden realised that you are getting nowhere fast. You’ve known it for a while, been half-heartedly planning ‘The Great Escape’ by ways and means both fair and foul. But this particular morning it’s like the lilghbulb of life has appeared and ‘AH-HA!’... by jove you’ve finally got it!

This so happened to me this morning. Not in some dramatic way that had me calling my boss, telling her to stick my job and burning my suit-skirt and stilettos, and giving all my unused bus passes away to passing senior citizens. Instead it crept up sneakily, and cracked me over the head while I sat on the train surrounded by the mass of miserable weekday commuters. It certainly made me drop what I was reading, pick up my phone and make hasty notes, that now manifest themselves as this blog entry.

So what to do?? Where to go from here?

I can’t pretend to not be slightly jealous of The Wife, as ‘she have skillz’(in the words of the kids and incarcerated rap artists). She is a consummate textile artist with a business that is taking off and very set career goals. But myself... I have skerricks of dreams and visions that flit in and out of my consciousness. Dreams such as spending my days sitting at a sun drenched desk, writing down my thoughts and ideas on food and living – to impress my views, professionally, upon the world. Tending to herb and ‘Native Noms’ bushfood business, which will bring the simple pleasures of fragrant greenery to the masses. Milking my very own cow.... (Yes. You heard me right!) Life as it is meant to be lived - enjoying every moment, living every minute as I see fit... and eating some really kick-arse food while I'm at it!

What happens next?... Watch this space!