Mary wanted an upbeat celebration of her life, without any crying or sadness, as she had been blessed with an incredibly wonderful and rich life. She often said it was the people in her life who’d made it so great.
It all began in Leeds in 1939 — Mary was always proud of being a Yorkshire lass, with three other siblings, Patrick, Christine and Bernard, and her loving parents, Annie and Thomas. It was a terrible blow when her younger brother and sister died later on. Her memories of Leeds were of a close community of friends and cousins, especially Margaret, Pauline and Tony, who used to meet every Sunday morning after mass at the Holy Family Church with around 15 people in the room, chatting for hours. Mary was often asked to read aloud at school due to her lovely voice and reading skills and was very proud of a scholarship she won at 11 to go to a private girls’ school.
Held an ABBA picnic to play a new ABBA trivia board game I’d put together and have a sing-a-along.
I staked a perfect spot under a tree and sent out an SOS as there were picnickers everywhere in Camperdown Park, and I urgently needed more blankets to claim our turf.
A word re: Aussie ABBA fans: we’re hugely tolerant and will put up with retro discos where only hip hop is played, endure ABBA tribute bands that don’t know the words, and pay ridiculous amounts for smoked salmon on Ryvita at Scandi restaurants. But nobody messes with an ABBA picnic, and fans scurried back to their cars to bring extra blankets.
First on the scene was G, who’d just walked the length of uber-hipster King Street while wearing his Voulez-Vous badge – woe betide anyone who would dare make fun of it, and a few paid tribute by singing “A-ha!”. “It’s not just a badge, it’s a way of life,” G said, with his proudest expression.
“It’s not my job to come round and tell you what’s wrong with your restaurant. It’s my job to sell newspapers and to entertain and perhaps inform my readers: The last person who should be reading a restaurant review is the person that it’s about — they should already know.” – AA Gill
A.A. Gill and me at a book-signing, Sydney.
This is my fave youtube vid of him chatting about the highs and lows of his career and life.
AA Gill chatting to students
13:30: his audience.
14:31: Answer to where’s the best place to get a meal in London?
“What you eat should never be as important as who you’re eating with.”
“Nothing is as good as being a regular customer.”
“Is it the greatest Italian restaurant in the world – well, it is for me.”
Love Adriano Zumbo and his amazing desserts and predilection for magic, fantasy and fairy tales. Great Willy Wonka velvet jacked and crazy bright blue shoes. The gold chocolate ducky in the ginger ale bubble bath! The back-to-school desk! The romantic Lovenbouche! The floating Willy Wonka Hat Trick!
Rachel Khoo is the perfect foil, with her Mary Poppins precise pronunciation, great foodie instincts and well-timed winces as Zumbo lists every Aussie dessert as his fave, or looks askance at his goofy laugh.
Am so happy no-nonsense Mum Kate won, nothing can beat her experience gained while making all those Women’s Weekly Dessert Cookery book recipes for school fetes. She said she’d made a lot of cheesecakes.
A big Mardi Gras moment when the confetti was shot out of a cannon all over the winners. Kate says she’ll use the $100,000 to buy a pop-up dessert truck where we can all flock to savour her incredible flavours. And she gets to make a creation to be sold in the Zumbo shop. Runner-up Ali, an insurance broker — famous for her anxiety-inspired meltdowns — thanked everyone for the “journey”. Loved Amie’s artistry in the show (though the annoying bandanna she wore every appearance looked like she was trying to hide a head injury).
Have been visiting the local bakery, Crispy Inn, more frequently thanks to this series, and grew fond of their custard mille-feuille, chocolate eclairs and profiteroles.
The contestants have figured out, since it’s Season 2, that the decisions don’t really mean anything, so *everyone* decided to stay together, as, why not? They could easily split up as soon as the cameras are switched off. Noone gets to look like the bad guy.
The highlight was Tatts and Teacher, with Tatts being self-destructive as he didn’t feel good enough for her, so he avoids getting hurt by screwing it up.
She keeps us in suspense, looking very cross that he keeps screwing up. But she says yes.
It doesn’t really matter, as all the couples weren’t legally married anyway, and who knows if they’re still together after the cameras stop rolling? Might as well say yes, then leave them in the car park.
Enjoyed the rest of the series, and I s’pose if there had been some splits it would have been interesting, but seems the contestants have figured out they can’t lose by saying yes they’ll stay together. Whereas saying no would paint them as the bad guy.
Hope Tatts and Teacher are still together.
“All I know is how to defend and protect,” says Tatts, clearly referring to his former Navy job. Everyone’s crying as Tatts seems to have got a defence lawyer to compose the perfect apology. He does stuff to get back in her good graces: driving, washing the dishes. Teacher isn’t happy and warns him if he breaks his promise and gets nasty again, she’ll be heartbroken, as it’ll be over.
They do some portrait paintings on a windy beach and it seems v awks and Teacher starts painting his face as a bit of an attack and he cops it good-heartedly.
Am feeling sorry for Radio Girl and Fashion Designer cos she says she’s a shallow party girl and it seems she can’t really commit cos she’s been hurt before. Fashion Designer is lovely and sweet and suddenly I want them to be together forever. But still have reservations, as he doesn’t really like Pinky, her teddy. She doesn’t want him to move in straight away, probably cos she needs a break from all the sex. He’s very upset and says if she doesn’t want to, that’s sad. But surely they could live separately for a bit and then move in together?
Tatts’ family goes on about how he’s so immature and they’re glad Teacher has been a good influence. But does she always want to be the Adult? She loves his fun side, but it could get tedious being the main grown-up. He gets drunk with his navy mates and gets a random tattoo, crucially the night before Decision Night. A psychologist expert chimes in that he’s self-sabotaging cos he feels he’s not good enough/afraid of getting hurt etc. He’s only 26, so of course he’s immature. Teacher says she can’t trust him on his drunk nights out. He’s not that shocking really, pretty normal for a 26-yr-old. The dinner party angst freaked me out, though. I think he needs some post-navy debriefing. Seeing the bodies of refugees — women and kids drowning — would have had a big effect.
Am very surprised two of the girls wear teensy shorts to meet their mother-in-laws for lunch!!