Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lasagna and laughter

My friend, fellow volunteer and cinema going companion, Cs, has house guests from Canada. His sister, Ch, her husband, Rn, and her lady friend, Pt, are in town.

Cs, as is his practice, made detailed plans for their stay especially with regards to meals. Cs loves cooking and as amateur cooks go he is very good. The guests flew in on Friday. On Thursday Cs made a Lasagna and the base for his intended dessert, a Pavlova. This was to be their Friday night meal. On Saturday night the plan was for four others of us to join the four of them at dinner in a modest Thai restaurant in Bondi Junction.

That plan quickly fell apart for various reasons. To start with it turns out the Thai restaurant is still closed for its extended Christmas break. Second, the visitors' departure from Canada was delayed a few hours meaning their arrival in Sydney was later than expected. Third, the visitors arrived on Sydney's hottest day on record and in no real desire to sit down to a Lasagna meal or indeed any meal of substance.

So the Lasagna and the Pavlova were held over to Saturday night and the eight of us dined at Cs home rather than seek a substitute venue for the closed Thai diner.

It was a very enjoyable evening. I have heard a lot about Ch, Rn and Pt but unlike the three other locals had not met them previously. Ch and Pt are a lot of fun, much raucous laughter punctuating the night air. Rn, perhaps through necessity, is quieter but managed his share of input to the conversation.

It is fascinating how alike are Cs and Ch, not only in looks and build but also in behaviour. Cs possesses a very hearty laugh, his laughter when he is enjoying a comedy movie regularly attracting glances from other cinema-goers. Ch's laugh last night was as penetrative as a Kookaburra's. She really enjoys a laugh.

Ch met Rn, a French Canadian holidaying in Australia, at Bondi Beach nearly fifty years ago. They have been married 47 years. They have three generations of family in Canada and will visit Ch's other brother in Queensland on this trip. Pt is of Polish origin and was born in Canada. She also has three generations of family both in Canada and in Queensland.

The trigger for this visit is Cs' milestone birthday. The actual birthday was yesterday, hence the small gathering last night but the official party will be next Sunday with as many guests as his age. Unfortunately I can't make next weekend's celebrations as I depart for an overseas holiday on Saturday. However the Canadian visitors will still be here when I return so there should be more happy get-togethers before they wing their ways back to Canuck-land.

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