Holidays Are Over

It’s Monday night on my first day back at work and I’m exhausted. It’s almost like that feeling when you’ve finish high school or university and you get your first full-time job in the “real workforce” – as opposed to short-term summer work – and you come totally exhausted. I’ve had a great couple of weeks getting out of bed late, doing lunch, having afternoon naps, socialising and then being totally irresponsible about when I go to bed. But yeh, back at work, and I achieved a few things today which was good. But I really wouldn’t mind a few more days here and there.

Friday night was quite good fun as I went for dinner for the first time in several years at the Olympic Hotel at Moore Park. I remember having a beer there two or three years ago. I’m also pretty sure Damien, Colin and I had dinner there one night a few years ago, though my memory is pretty hazy about when and why, except that we all thought it was pretty good.

And so it was with some interest that I made a return visit to the Olympic Hotel with its new “Bistro Moore” under chef, Giovanni Spinazzola. The menu would best be described as “modern Italian”. All of the choices were excellent and I spent a good ten minutes reading the menu before I was finally able to make a choice. A warning, however, there’s not a lot to please the vegetarian in your party unless of course they’re the type of vegetarian who eats chicken and fish!

Although I was truly tempted, I decided against the apparetive which was a blood orange bellini. Instead, we went straight for the main course, for which I had the chargrilled veal rump with stuffed with thinly sliced porcini mushrooms, garlic and parsley which I thought was absolutely excellent. Tender, tasty, and just the right size (although I did feel my top button tighten ever so slightly).

Accompanying this was an excellent wine, a 1999 Temple Bruer Reserve Merlot from Langhorne Creek in South Australia. Highly recommended.

For desert I had the Almond Pannacotta which really topped off the meal. I also tasted some of the delicious Chocolate Pudding with Blood Orange accompaniment.
With two bottles of medium priced wine between four, this meal cost us around $75 per head. The only downside to the night was that the service was a little slow.

Also this weekend I was invited to ABBA fan, Cotton Ward’s place to watch the Channel 7 ABBA Special hosted by Dicko. Interestingly enough, we watched the show with four non-fans who I think found watching “Behind The Blonde” (a program about Agnetha’s seclusion, her stalker, etc) afterwards was more interesting.

Unfortunately we’ve had a run of these specials in Australia which are just cheap cut-ups of other specials incorporating some local personalities on the assumption that “ABBA lite” will appeal to a mainstream audience. The most successful of the recent programs was undoubtedly “The Winner Takes It All” which told the story, relatively speaking, of then and now with a degree of integrity.

Those with only a passing interest in ABBA, which is most of the potential television audience, don’t really care what David Koch or Lulu thinks of an ABBA song. They want to see a few old songs, have a reminisce and find out what Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida look like now. The formula’s not that tough, so why do Australian television stations get it so consistently wrong?

The only thing I got out of last night’s program was the thought that, after seeing Madonna perform her new ABBA inspired hit, Hung Up, there’d be a few sales in re-releasing Gimme, Gimme,
Gimme upon which it was based.

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