I Can’t Keep It In

“What are you taking that for?” Tracey asked me as we prepared to leave for the long drive in to Melbourne.

I was packing my pockets with the usual cards, keys and one other item I don’t usually leave the house with.

Still, I was surprised she needed to ask.

I’ve had a bit of a rough trot this week – or should I say, the rough trots, if you know what I mean – which has resulted in a boost to my weight loss plans in the lead up to Christmas. In fact, I’ve reduced the circumference of my waist by 5cm in a few days.

At first we were concerned it was some sort of bug, but Tracey suspects the smell disappearing from the fridge after I ate an especially old bit of brie might be some sort of clue as to the course of my discomfort.

Thing is, it was all looking a bit hairy as to whether I’d even be in any condition to attend the Cat Stevens concert but, with a mere twelve hours before we were due to leave, things seemed to be on the mend. I mean, I was still dabbing and..well, trust me, you don’t want to know the deets. Let’s leave it at there was still a bit of unnecessary pain in my underworld, shall we?

So we’d driven the hour plus to get into Melbourne, arriving with a full two hours before the concert started because we neither ran out of fuel or got a flat tyre – both of which would definitely have occurred if we’d left closer to the concert start time.

Things were on the up.

Because we were early we’d even then managed to fit in a good night out in the lead up to the concert. We went to a restaurant called Chin Chin which we discovered quite by accident just over two years ago when we’d flown in from home for our anniversary to see comedian John Oliver.

There’s a dish at this place called Pad Seuw which is so good I bought their cook book as we left last time and had been making it with, I thought, increasing success ever since.

I now suspect the passage of time had simply helped me to forget how good the original was.

But even the rediscovery of this fabulous dish (and my assurances I would redouble my efforts to imitate it) on the brink of seeing live in concert an artist who so keenly influenced both of our childhoods didn’t seem enough to warrant the huge grin Tracey was giving me just now having made it through the security check ahead of me.

Just below her smirk driven parted lips, I had no doubt her laughter was caught waiting at the base of her tongue to be released at a moments notice. She was staring expectantly at me as though I was going to for sure stumble through the turnstile and land on my face.

“What?” I mouthed at her as the security guard turned to me and smiled less ominously.

Whatever was about to happen he was no part of it, I was sure of that.

In no way convincing me, Tracey shook her head once and mouthed, “Nothing.”

Which, because I’m not a complete idiot, only further convinced me I was missing something. Something important. Something which she was so keen to embed in her memory forever her wide eyes seemed hesitant to even blink.

Then the guard spoke.

“If you could empty your pockets please, sir,” he said.

“Sure,” I replied, reaching in and pulling our the usual cards, keys and…one other item I don’t usually leave the house with.

“Have a…,” the guard seemed to pause ever so briefly as we both gazed down at a clearly well used tube of Rectinol. Tracey’s laughter gleefully shouldering its way into the gap before the guard went on, “…good night, sir.”

In lieu of a photo of my bum cream (picture a tube of toothpaste nearing the end of its useful life in a family which likes to get the very last of the paste out before going on to a new one) here’s what we ate for dinner. This dish. It’ll haunt me until we come back again one day. This and, to a ever so slightly lesser extent, the kingfish sashimi.
Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam/Steven Georgiou – the man has as many names as Prince/Love Symbol/Prince Nelson/The Artist Formerly Known as Prince – is a genius. And so nice. He told the story of his journey which was genuinely so interesting and made the show.
When this man, Alun Davies, shuffled out to join the band both Tracey and I got a bit teary. Cat gave full credit for Alun being responsible for the success of the new sound and the albums he’s a part of, like Tea For The Tillerman. Lovely to see him involved and respected. There were several weepy moments for me but Tracey’s face was like a sprinkler. I suspect she was still picturing my face as I came through the turnstile.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

– this post is not sponsored or gifted –

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