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suzannebowditch

Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)

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food

Short Story: Lunch

currumbin-beach
Currumbin Beach, Gold Coast

From her vantage point on the balcony of the restaurant she watched as the surfers chased the foamy surf. The midday sun beat down fiercely, endless white sands stretching out towards clear blue sea and skies. They looked like seals, determined to catch that elusive big wave. It was their life long mission, their reason for existing.

‘Is this seat taken?’ a voice spoke as a woman in a brightly patterned dress smiled down at her. Chelsea nodded; yes, taking in a whiff of gardenias from her perfume. She placed her bag on the empty chair and sighed with annoyance. Where was he? His tardiness was starting to annoy her.

She looked around the restaurant. It was starting to fill as the lunchtime rush rapidly approached. It was such a popular spot, built on a rocky outcrop on the shoreline, right next to Elephant Rock. Tourists and locals alike flocked to munch on succulent prawns washed down with light beer and a fabulous view.

Today was no exception.

Sipping her stilled water, her thoughts turned to her absent companion: Luke. They had known each other since high school, losing touch after graduation. Then she had bumped into him at a party, an informal school reunion. They’d barely spoken to each other over the Bunsen burners and dusty literature books, but ten years later things were different. They both loved the beach, fishing and boating on the water, late night classic movies and discovering new restaurants dotted along the coast.

It had been an exciting twelve months.

That’s why the last few weeks had been a bit of a mystery. Luke had started to look detached whilst on their dates, as if he wanted to be somewhere else. He barely listened to her and was constantly late, that was when he bothered to show up at all. There were always feeble excuses; car wouldn’t start, or the traffic was fierce on the highway. Just the other night he told her that his boss had wanted him to fetch supplies in the city, but she sensed that it was not the whole truth.

What was going on?

Someone burst into laughter at the table behind her. She turned her head slightly, glancing at a young family eating lunch with an older couple. Chelsea felt a pull at her heart strings, remembering her own idyllic childhood on the farm in New South Wales. She had chosen to live here, hadn’t she? It was not just because Luke had taken a position as manager of the construction firm? She loved her job in the kindergarten, and her surroundings were breathtaking. A seed of insecurity formed in her mind, a cloud hanging over her, spoiling the perfection of the afternoon. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and animated whilst she felt dark and broody, and alone.

She glanced at her watch. Luke was now a full half an hour late. Maybe this was her cue…did he want to finish with her?

Just then a voice shouted up from the beach. A figure stood by the sandy shore, and she recognised Luke’s muscular physique. He seemed to be knee deep in the water, the waves splashing over him as he waved his arms around frantically and pointed upwards.

The girl on the next table cried out, looking out at the blue horizon.

‘Look up at the plane in the sky. That’s so romantic!’

Chelsea tried to focus on what Luke was trying to say. The waves crashed onto the rocks behind him, making his words distorted. He was smiling, waving, pointing at the sky.

She grinned with delight, clapping her hands over her mouth as she read the banner. Luke ran up the restaurant steps towards her, as the families looked on. The aircraft droned past, trailing the banner behind it, flapping in the sea breezes.

Chelsea – I love you. Will you marry me? – Luke XXX

 

 

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Food

 

Garden City shops
Garden City markets, Brisbane

Food plays a major part in how we live, socialize and interact with each other. For me, it is one of the main pleasures in life, and when I think about getting together with family or friends, or going out and socializing, then preparing or ordering food is a must. Precious memories revolve around the comfort of food in our lives. I remember taking my children out to the park to play when they were younger, and food was always a part of the pleasure of the afternoon. From feeding the ducks, enjoying ice cream, having a picnic or eating a bag of chips on the way home, tired but happy, food has played a large role.

When we moved to Australia, we were so excited to be introduced to new cuisines. There is a large Asian influence on the Gold Coast, so we enjoyed trying out the Thai, Chinese and Japanese restaurants in our new neighborhood. Suddenly our cultural cuisine had escalated. I remember my son Liam (who was 9 years old at the time) coming home from school and telling us that he’d had sushi at school, a food that I’d barely heard of then, but now enjoy. To this day one of my favorite foods is sushi, and my daughter agrees. We always plump for the tuna dishes with lots of soy sauce!

One weekend in the month, Jessica and I have a baking weekend. We spend most of the day in the kitchen, and bake goodies such as pasties, cheesecake, and caramel slices. We don our pinnies to look the part – I have a Welsh dragon on mine, and Jessica has a frilly pink one – so cute! We look at different recipes online, and this weekend it’s going to be apple crumble and custard, and a nice savory beef pie. For St David’s Day a few weeks ago (March 1st) we made Welsh cakes which were eaten 10 mins flat.

Food is a pleasure when things are ‘right’ in the world, and a comfort when things go ‘wrong.’ A world without food would be a very desolate place indeed. It is a main part of the way we socialize, communicate and share our emotions. It has gone way beyond the notion of ‘eating to survive,’ in a physical sense, but is an integral part of our emotional existence too.

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June 5 Challenge

June 1 – 30 challenge

Day 5: Five Favorite Foods

June 5, 1941. Robert Kraft, founder of Kraft Foods, was born.

Tell us about your five favorite foods or five favorite restaurants. You can also share five favorite recipes.

Alternative: Write about your least favorite foods or dining experiences!

  1. Sunday roast. I grew up in Wales, and a roast dinner on a Sunday was an essential part of life, followed by a Sunday afternoon film, and a snooze.Then, my mother would make –
  2. Victoria Sponge cake. My mother did not spend hours in the kitchen baking, but Sundays she loved cooking. One of her best bakes was a sponge, or a Jam Roly poly cake or Banana cake…all remind me of Sundays and food.
  3. Sushi. I had never heard of sushi until we moved to Australia ten years ago. Living on the eastern part of this huge country, it is very much Asian influenced, with a sushi train in most shopping centres, whether large or small. I love tuna and avocado, chicken and the Californian roll the best, smothered in Japanese mayo.
  4. Chocolate. Not technically a food, I suppose, but it has to have a mention. I would eat chocolate every day if I could (and boy do I try). I love Dairy Milk, Lindt chocolate and Maltesers, although would consider ANY chocolate.
  5. Indian curries. We had a fabulous curry house around the corner when I lived in Wales, which we visited at least twice a month when my children were small. So, they have also come to love curry. My favorite dish has to be Chicken Tikka Marsala. A new curry house has opened near us, making life in Oz complete. 🙂

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