Saturday, 11 May 2013
Ladies Who Lunch ........
Not much has changed over the decades.
Ladies love to lunch.
We love the time out from thinking about preparing a meal, we love catching up with girl friends and relaxing over good food (and a drink or two)
Sharing lunch is different to going out for dinner. Not sure why, but it is. Trying to get out for dinner without husbands can be difficult - mid week means trying to organise a sitter for the kids and it's usually over their dinner/bath/bed time, so not always great; hard to have a late night midweek when there's the 6am alarm the next day and you have to face the school run and/or work.
Lunch is easy - kids at school; husbands at work and you can always pick up take away on the way home if you finish late and don't have time or inclination to cook dinner.
I love the occasional night out with my girlfriends, but LUNCH is a whole other experience. It's a bit naughty to have the time mid day mid week to just sit and well, lunch.
MrsH very kindly offered to drive us to Avoca for our lunch, despite not attending. It was lovely to have just another 30 minutes together, and I got to meet her youngest daughter.
MrsS and I knew the second we were coming to Dublin that we'd lunch at Avoca.
The brand is one of Ireland's most popular exports. It's the oldest woollen mills and one of the worlds oldest manufacturing companies. It's also Ireland's oldest surviving businesses. Dating back to the 1700's it's truly an Irish icon.
I was surprised to see some of their lavender skin care products on sale in Sydney when we were last home. You can shop online, so as a very famous Australian used to say 'do yourself a favour' and Google it. But it's their scarves and wraps and blankets that take your breath away - the textures and colours are beautiful.
We invited a few friends to join us, as the IWCD Reunion activities weren't starting til Friday night. As word got around, the invitation list grew and MrsS thought it best to post a FB event/invite list so that we didn't miss anyone.
Twenty one ladies met for lunch, with several apologies of 'love to join you but can't make it'
The staff were gracious and welcoming. They'd set us up a long table by the main windows and we felt like we had that section of the restaurant to ourselves.
Each time someone took the walk from the entrance to the table, someone would shout their arrival. With arms outstretched, and faces ready to be kissed (once on each check), the you-look-fabulous and you-haven't-change-a-bit and -oooohhhh-I've-missed-you were spoken.
The giggles and conversation simply didn't stop.
We caught up on people's international moves; their kids; we compared moves, shared stories from various International Women's Clubs, talked about potential moves, repatriation, what trips we've done, and plans for summer.
MrsS, MrsC and I were the last to leave at 5.30pm (I felt a wee bit homesick for the fabulous group of women I met at Chicken and Chablis in Tokyo). Not only did we reconnect with old friends, we've left having made a few new ones.
We caught the LUAS back to the hotel and passed our old home. What a rush of good memories! This made me so very homesick for Sydney - a genuine yearning for HOME.
Between good times with good friends, then seeing the house, OMG it was taking a lot to keep it together.
Quick shower'n'change, and off we went to MrsB for the IWCD Friday Night Drinks. Some ladies left early-ish to attend a charity event, while others (including us) opted to stay and chat (and drink)
So much champagne, so much food, so much love in the room.
I won't post photos as i don't have their permission but rest assured they are lovely.
I had a restless night's sleep. Too much going on in my head. I'm thinking about much loved friends in Sydney and feeling sad that we've not managed to get back since the quake; I'm thinking about friends in Japan and those who have moved onto new adventures and how scattered we are and when, if ever we'll be able to Lunch; I'm picturing our move to THERE and the things needed to be done to establish a network, and make friends.
There have been a few AHA! Moments this weekend but the biggest one is, I am an expat. I am a global nomad. Sydney is where I'm from and home, but home is also Dublin, and Yokohama, and of course, Winchester.
Thank goodness where ever I am, there's friends to meet for LUNCH,