Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stand back, I'm in a RAGE

No, it isn't something Majic has done. Even though he DID get at the ball of wool again and he DID chew the knitting needles up. I can forgive him that. What I cannot forgive is ineptitude when it comes to restaurants.

My beloved and I like to have lunch together on Fridays. That's my day off, and he can often do a bit of relaxing that day too. Sometimes we do lunch mid-week, and that's usually a King Street eatery where we can meet half way between home and the University.

Fridays, though, we like to go on an excursion. The seaside often beckons. We used to love The Pavilion at Maroubra Beach. It is a fabulous spot, the food was good, the service pretty good, the prices not bad. But then they went up market. The prices increased, and the ambience changed completely. The last time we were there the snazzy new refit made the noise levels increase tenfold. It was crowded, and it was deafening. Sorry to say it got crossed off our list, very sadly. It was such a wonderful spot.

Another expedition is the Boatshed at La Perouse. Haven't tried that for quite a while, but the food is really good there.

Today we went back to a place we've tried before - the Seasalt Kiosk and Restaurant at Clovelly. Great spot, overlooking the beach. We've eaten there once before. It was cold and raining and windy - the restaurant was not at its best. The food was OK, but we were cold and damp. We tried to eat there another time, but there was a function there and too crowded, we couldn't get in.

Today we were in luck. A glorious day. Time to ourselves. We got a good table, the menus came. Michael ordered a Croque Monsieur (a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, really.) Sorry, they were out. OK, the special sandwich of the day then for him, a salad for me, and a plate of chips to share. Drinks - my current favourite, Limonata.

The drinks came. The chips came. The drinks were drunk. The chips were eaten (no tomato sauce....) Nothing else. Forty five minutes after we had sat down, I asked where the rest of our food was. "Did you order?" said one of the very many pretty young waitresses who had paid us not one scrap of attention the entire time we had sat there. "Yes, we have ordered" I snapped. She went off to check.

"Oh so sorry" she came back a few seconds later. "There is a problem with the order and it didn't get through to the kitchen. They are doing it for you right now!"

"FORGET IT" I said, "WE'VE HAD ENOUGH AND WE ARE GETTING OUT OF HERE." (Well, we hadn't had enough to EAT...). They didn't charge us for the drinks nor the chips. "It is in the computer, but it didn't print out...." said the girl behind the till. "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR EXCUSE IS" I said, rather emphatically.

As we left, one of the pretty young waitresses smiled sweetly and said "thanks, bye bye!" I just pushed past her. I was in no mood for pleasantries.

Mistakes happen, of course. But the thing that really got me was the number of "service" people who didn't seem to notice that we had nothing but a bowl of chips, didn't ask how our meal was, didn't notice our weary droop as the hour ticked by, didn't notice our increasinly surly looks and body language.

Alas, another seaside restaurant is off our list of Friday getaways.

One day I'll have another whinge about a Newtown eatery we have walked out of after having had the menu but no order taken for over half an hour on a very quiet lunchtime. We call it the Urban Crypt, and look for the skeletons sitting at the tables waiting for food to come.

OK. That's enough. Where is the fire extinguisher for this keyboard...

Now I have to go and order some more knitting needles to replace the chewed ones. What a cute and loveable dog.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sock attacker

Winter is on its way, and so are the woolly socks. This is the one I started in Honolulu, and it has been waiting for me to finish the black jumper.

It is the ribbed lace pattern from Charlene Schurch, and is 80 stitches around. Julie tells me that 72 is enough and expresses concern that the sock will be too big. It is a little loose, but socks often shrink a little when washed. It is also rather longer than usual, partly because I always have a little wool left over, and partly because I wanted to finish a 24-row pattern repeat before I started the heel flap.

Now I am concerned as to whether I have enough wool left. You can see the amount left to go... but Julie tells me that she has some more of this wool and I can have some if necessary. Looks like I just might have enough....

Uh oh! Who is that marauder I see getting into the act? This will be the third or fourth time The Pug has made off with this ball of wool. Fortunately he prefers unknitted wool, so the sock has not been made free with (yet).

It is hard to get much knitting done while he is awake. One sits quietly, and suddenly you feel something pressed firmly into your leg. A slimy dog toy.

This one is Mr. Green, who is turning into rather scraggy frayed Mr. Green.

Oh well, I'd better put the knitting down again and play fetch. Isn't he cute?