You know how I’m a bit of a hippie when it comes to medicine?
Strictly speaking, I’m of the view that if you’re feeling a bit sick, the best thing you can do is go to bed until you get better.
If you have a headache (and I only very seldolmly get headaches), my philosophy is find yourself a dark room and rest. If your body is craving a food, I generally believe, it’s because there’s something in that particular food your body is craving.
All those years growing up in Northern NSW has left me with an underlying belief your body can usually heal itself.
Today I’ve found myself challenging that view a little with my first ever case of middle-aged back pain.
It all started late last night with an intense pain around my shoulders. It kinda felt like a stress-related pain more than anything. Except I’m not stressed at the moment. And generally those pains have responded well to a quick warm shower or bath. Throughout last night I had two or three such showers or baths with no response.
And then when I woke this morning, still in pain, I decided a day in bed was going to be the best way to deal with it.
By mid-afternoon it wasn’t getting any better. And so with an evening planned with Damo, I figured some drug relief would help. My philosophy at this time was to see if the pain relief would help, and if I woke up tomorrow morning I would take another day off and go straight to the doctor.
A colleague recommended Voltaren, which my local chemist warned me twice, “it’s very strong”. After a bit of quick reading around the internet I was relieved to see there were no apparent side-effects associated with drinking white wine and eating canapes, and so I took a couple of tablets, as directed. The pain disappeared within about 45 minutes.
Since arriving home, I’ve taken a third tablet and the pain has disappeared completely.
Deep down, there’s still a bit of the hippie inside me telling me I obviously need to do a bit of fitness work on my back now that I’ve reached a certain age, so I don’t feel like I’ve compromised my principles too much.
But most importantly I was in a fit state to attend to the Vogue Entertaining and Travel Produce Awards at Etch.
I went to the awards last year, and was very excited and pleased to be invited back. With a focus on the people who produce the great quality food, it’s a really nice event to see the producers, the chefs and the consumers mix together.
Attending last year was quite an emotional experience for me. Chatting to a bunch of people who live and work in the bush was a bit of a reminder about one of the things I miss about my current job: not having enough contact with people from regional areas. For most of my life, and for most of my adult working life, I’ve worked in regional media, and have had enduring contact with people from regional areas, aside from my families. “They’re my people”, I sometimes think to myself.
The other amusing thing about last year was spending a bit of time chatting to a nice, jovial, borderline-eccentric bloke who obviously knew a lot about food, and who I engaged in quite an interesting discussion about Scandinavian food. That bloke has since turned out to be one of the people on Master Chef, Matt Preston.
He was the host for tonight’s awards which, I’m pleased to say were, once again, short and to the point.
When the first award winner was announced and made their way to the stage, someone close-by yelled out “speech”. You could feel the collective mood in the room which wanted to punch that person in the face, as we were heavily crowded in a small space.
Obviously the best thing, though, was the food. Most memorable for both Damo and I was the Holy Goat Cheese. Beautiful. Smooth. To die for!
Almost as memorable were the wagyu mini-burgers.
A lovely moment from the night was a special lifetime achievement (or something) award for Stephanie Alexander, recognising all the work she has been doing in setting up gardens and kitchens in schools around the country.
What a great night. And special thank goodness for the Voltaren which made it all possible.