Australia 4: Evolution, Ingredients and Chips

It was the youngest child’s day yesterday. In lieu of lollies I suggested chips and was told the choice was to go closer to home and have ‘okay’ chips or a little bit further and have really good ones. Everyone knows you don’t mess around with mediocre chips so I was led along streets and down alleys and through a really cool park, over the road into a parking lot then along a footpath to the bike rack. The smell of grease hung low on the warm air and despite my misgivings, I heard my stomach growl. Last time I ate at Bribie it was white linen tablecloths, silver service and on the waterfront, but this is the low season and I was being lead a hole in the wall shop on the main drag. The menu was hand written and the interior a puke shade of yellow but it was humming- in a good way. We ordered and went outside to drink our drinks on little stools on the outermost edge of the footpath. Ten minutes later our boxes of the most yummy chips I’ve had in ages, were hand delivered. It pays to take recommendations from the locals. While we ate we watched elderly couples going in and out of the adjacent real estate office. I judged them sellers if they looked happy and took a full 10 minutes to cross the pavement, walk around the front of the car and ease themselves into the driver’s seat. If they were starry-eyed with half-way decent knees they were buyers. They’d need to be cashed up because house prices have risen since Covid. I am supposing there are people moving here who are imagining a gate across the end of the bridge to keep all the bad things away. Though where they’ll get the spuds for the chips from, I’m not too sure.

Food ingredients featured in a 30 min debate with the eldest after tea. In one of her classes at school (a class we would’ve called ‘cooking’ but they now have a special name because ,lets face it, cooking has been elevated to an art form), she has to produce a meal made with pasta or a pizza and to use only 5 ingredients. This is the girl who has cooked entire meals for her family for many years and quite understandably feels aggrieved because an orzo salad has 7 ingredients – two more than her allowance. What to drop? Why must she drop anything? Why is the teacher so stupid? My question is who in their right minds would challenge a teenager who has her heart set on making a tasty orzo salad. Containing broccoli.

Today, it’s the middle one’s turn for a day off school. It’s not so much about spending time with a long lost relative but something to do with having a late class on Fridays and having to run to catch the bus. I know my place! We have already walked the dogs and I’ve learned a few more tricks on how to get the to behave. The preference of this ‘almost teenager’ at the moment is to become an extension of horizontal surfaces such as beds, beanbags or sofas. She also has an awesome turn of phrase. When I mentioned that one of her sisters who didn’t used to butter her toast,now does; she replied with a drole, ‘she’s evolved’. I’ve also learned the plot lines for 5 series of a programme she likes about vampires, werewolves and witches. There appears to be quite a bit of angst and interbreeding. They are also extremely pretty, deeply troubled and full of secrets. Your basic ‘Days of Our Lives’ with blood. Our lunch was down at the jetty and featured pelicans, extremely yummy thin tortilla wraps and a handful of persistent flies. I guess even Paradise has it’s flaws.

It’s been a great week and I am looking forward to my son coming back from the GC tonight. I’ve still got one child to go and my daughter-in-law’s bike tyres need pumping up.

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on

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