Hotel "where's my circumflex?" Harlot (Boutique Accommodation for the Well-Tempered Sydneyite) has just had the honour of hosting a Delegation from the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel. The Delegation returned to her native metropolis today, but while she was here, she (the Delegation) and I (your trusty hotelier) had a super time.
F'rinstance, yesterday, in between fancy hot chocolate on Lygon Street and fancy pacifist shenanigans on Collins Street, we betook ourselves to the Camberwell Markets. The Camberwell Markets comprise three acres of trestle tables, laden with ceramic giraffes, 1950s hats, decapitated Barbie dolls, and second-hand vinyl underwear. I approached this al fresco Temple of recycled Mammon girt in resolution, holding aloft the shield of I-Shall-Not-Buy-Questionable-Nick-Nacks, and clutching the sword of Tempt-Me-Not-Ye-Bric-a-Brac-of-Yore. Indeed, I had informed the Delegation that I would only offer up my hard-earned silver if I saw: (a) a colander, (b) a cheese grater, (c) a first edition of the Origin of Species, or (d) diaphanous turquoise curtain fabric. But most of all a colander. The pasta's been unspectacular for a good month now. This official list was a very sensible strategy, retention-of-pennies-wise, but led to many a wistful sigh as I spurned a succession of 1950s hats.
No colanders were forthcoming, and, strangely, first editions of the Origin of Species were thin on the ground, so, excepting a $5 lapse in the direction of an entirely unnecessary skirt, I left the Camberwell Markets unbesmirched by commerce.
Unbesmirched, but disappointingly devoid of colanders. 'Course, a resourceful spaghetti-artist will find a way to drain her pasta regardless, but everyone loves a colander. Nothing like a colander to beguile one's Thornbury evenings. Always fun to take to Amsterdam, a Hollander colander.
When I arrived home today, I found that the Delegation had contrived to buy me possibly the world's most beautiful colander. A pale blue ceramic job, shapely and shiny and altogether full of holes. How did she know?, I asked myself. Such are the mysteries of friendship.
Three cheers for the Delegation! Never again will Hotel Harlot offer up soggy fettucini. They're jolly nice gals, those Leichhardt lasses.