I‘ve always had a soft spot for tulips with their waxy petals and globular shape. I like their air of notoriety too, although it’s difficult to connect a cellophane-wrapped bunch from the supermarket with fortunes made and lost, all for the want of the rarest specimens. Still, I hardly ever buy flowers for my home, so handing over $10 for a bunch of tight orange blooms felt like a treat, even if far from a mania. The occasion for flowers was a weekend at home alone. Colin had flown to New Zealand for a work trip and on Saturday morning I was stocking up supplies for the three-day Labour weekend. So, the usual staples went into the trolley, plus a little this and that; some exotic looking yellow squash, a bar of chilli chocolate, and the tulips.
I’m always a little surprised by the offers of social events that come my way every time I’m on my own – it’s truly sweet, but I actually relish the opportunity to be alone for a while. Maybe it’s the ease of a long-term relationship – I miss him when we’re apart, but we’re each our own person. Anyway, this time I wasn’t alone because I had the company of Miss Macy Gray, the most delightful little Maltese-Poodle cross that ever was. Macy belongs to friends who were away at a wedding, so she came to stay for a girls weekend. Macy and I had long walks along the river each afternoon, hot chips with Maree on the lawn at Southbank, slow walks each dawn (slow, because she had to sniff everything), and in between, she would sleep, follow me around the house or jump up for a snuggle if I sat down.
I spent much of the weekend cooking, trialling new recipes (like socca, or chickpea pancakes) and preparing staples like chicken stock and cubes of pizza sauce for the freezer. I had an amazing dinner one night with friends at London Fields, sampling an array of strange but delicious meats including roasted bone marrow, shaved beef tongue and pork belly (a first for me). I read a book, did a little yoga and didn’t switch on the TV once. I also took many photographs. A cute puppy with melting brown eyes and a bunch of tulips that unfurled over the course of the weekend provided new points of inspiration. I realised that I had gotten out of the habit of having my camera at the ready to photograph my daily life. It took a little space to get it back: a small thing really, but rare nonetheless.