Sweating the small stuff

There are times in your life – well, my life – when the big stuff is just a bit too big to sweat. So this post – a long time coming, and clearly not worth the wait – is how I’ve spent the past week or so. Just kicking on back and sweating the small stuff.

Working backwards then.

Today was a roller-coaster of emotion. The restaurant (which I will call Queenie’s, because that’s its name) that I’d booked just over a week ago for eight of us (and, of course, the whole of the rest of Australia throughout this official Silver Fox Birthday long weekend) to salute his continued existence for another year, called me around midday today, the day before we were booked in for dinner. At 8pm for eight people, on the 8th of June. My. Husband’s. Birthday.

The voice at the other end of the phone at midday on the 7th of June  tells me that we’ll need to change our booking from 8pm to 7pm because “a function has just been confirmed here for tomorrow night, so the kitchen won’t take orders after 7.30pm”.


But I am lucky. A very nice man, whom I know through that wonderful wacky world of food around whose perimeter I tiptoe, helped me out. Noble, his name is – John Noble. And verily the man is blessed with a fitting ’andle for his nature.

So it’s The Balmain Hotel – newly groomed and steam-porked-bunned-and-taco-ed up – that will be enjoying the fruits of our custom, as we toast our release from the curse of Surry Hills indifference.

Happy again.

And then.

There’s this group of people in a room talking about restaurants. A big group of people. And there’s someone talking about a “somme” at a restaurant who’s “fantastic”.

A somme. Since when were sommeliers abbreviated into ‘sommes’? And how come this person said it three or four times through the course of an otherwise mildly enjoyable two-hour exchange without one among us slapping him? And how come I’d found myself sitting in this place with people who seemed familiar – nay, comfortable – with this abbreviation? How could I have missed this? I obviously just don’t care enough.


But then again.

Now, I love commas as much as the next man. Quite possibly a lot more. I love their soft little curl, the way they trip things along.

But, my friends, there are those among us who love those commas just a little too much. Really love them. In a dirty way. Recklessly, shamelessly, unapologetically. They flourish them so regularly, intently, relentlessly, that it can cause a splendid, monstrous, gulping gag reflex in your most humble servant, especially when coupled with their voracious, stupendous appetite; no, hunger; yes, passion, for writing All About Their Life.

This is a recurring small thing for me, and one I relish every Saturday. I have touched lightly on it before in one of my very early posts. I call this small thing of mine ‘gemmelling syndrome’. It makes for compulsive reading.

Obsessive-compulsive, in fact. I actually do break out in a sweat while I’m reading it.

And now it’s Saturday again. May the full stop be with you.