Stralia Day

26/01/2017 Australia Day

Today I woke up early to meet my dear friend Cass. It’s Australia Day, my first ever, and Cass kindly invited me over to her family home, to enjoy a chilled out day with all her loved ones. I was absolutely honoured. We headed into the suburbs on the train, chatting for the entire ride as the urban sprawl turned to hibiscus, and palm trees, and beautiful little house nestled amongst the trees.

Before heading to her home, we stopped off at Coles to stock up on fresh fruit, a tonne of veggies, haloumi (food of the gods), and crackers and dips. All set for our stralia day feasting.

Cass’s home is simply beautiful, and it was such a lovely break from the city. Trees filled with Kookaburras surround an understated, wooden home with a garden to die for, made up of several different layers. We set up a garden den with an old couch, a big Egyptian rug, lots of pillows and candles to keep the mozzies at bay. We sat for a while just admiring our handy work and playing with Cass’s two dogs, Holly and baby Remy.

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It was an honour to meet the rest of Cass’s family and I was blown away by their hospitality. Her mother, a beautifully timid Malaysian woman, welcomed me with open arms and I felt totally at home.

Pretty soon Cass’s friends started to arrive. Jen, Jessi, Chris, Harsha, and her boyfriend Seb. Such a lovely group of people! Each of them very different in their style, but united by their classic misfit inability to blend into average mundane society. Cass met them all through her degree in architecture, apart from Seb who I believe fate drew her towards when on a trip to Melbourne. Creative people are the best kind of people!

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We listened to Triple J Hottest 100 on the radio all afternoon – a countdown of the hottest songs of the year, which takes place every year on Australia Day. The songs, predominantly written by aussie artists were nothing like English or American music. A lot more creative, relaxed, and unique in their own ways. Definitely going to pick up some new favourite artists whilst I’m out here.

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When the sun got a little hot, we jumped into the swimming pool and tried to get Remy the puppy to join us in the water. She was having none of it, and instead playfully watched us with curiosity as we splashed about. Huddled in our towels, we decided it was time to start cooking up our veggie feast. Corn, peppers, courgette, broc, tomatoes from Seb’s garden (just like home), mushrooms grilled in soy sauce with grilled pineapple, and… haloumi! Told you it was a feast!

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Whilst the veggies were roasting we played a version of Chinese whispers with an added drawing element. You had to write down a word then pass it on. Then the next person had to draw it. Then pass it on. Then describe the drawing in writing. Does that make any sense? I’m not so sure? Oh well, it was absolutely hilarious! We were all crying with laughter and we almost forgot about dinner in the oven. I’ve kept my drawings and I just know that every time I look at them, I’m not going to be able to stop smiling. We played a couple of rounds and then tucked into our feast. Poor Remy and Holly were desperate to try some of our haloumi but there’s no way we were going to share something this tasty!

When the day was over, Cass showed me to my adorable bedroom where I’d be spending the night, and I hit the pillow heaving with the weight of a day full of love and new friends.

Lots of love,

Sophie x

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