A visit from my sister.

I haven’t posted for the last little while, because my sister (Penny) and her friend (Jennie) came to visit me all the way from Canada.  Jennie is in the catering industry and won an all expenses paid trip to Thailand for her and a friend, through her job.  Because Jennie is associated with a large hotel chain their stay in Thailand was very luxurious.  From what I was told, their time in Thailand was a blur of company organised cultural events and feasts.

Since Penny was in the general area, she came to visit me here in Sydney.  We don’t get to see each other, very often, because we live so far apart, and the last time I saw her was about two years ago, when I was working in Vancouver, Canada.

Penny and Jennie arrived on Sunday morning a week ago, and I organised a large welcome lunch with some of my friends. 

Friends welcome Penny and Jennie

 I cooked a Sicilian lemon chicken dish for the main course and for the desert I made a panpepato (sort of like a rich brownie made with figs and raisins that have been soaked in marsala and mixed with cinnamon, roasted walnuts and cocoa), with a tangy lime, mint and pineapple sorbet over it and topped off with a jelly of blood orange juice and Campari with a garnish of dark chocolate and mint.  

Jenny with my desert

Our welcome lunch went well on into the evening, and much wine was drunk.

Peter, Razzbuffnik, Penny and Elanora

During their stay in Thailand penny and Jennie took some Thai cooking lessons so last Thursday they cooked my wife, her parents and I a delicious meal. 

Engogirl and her parents on the left with Razzbuffnik and Jenny on the right

 Since we were having Thai food, I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce my sister to the excellent sauvignon blanc’s that come from the Marlborough region in New Zealand.  So in the name of wine education we went through five different bottles of delicious Kiwi wine.

Penny and Jennie enjoying Kiwi wine

Most of the artworks that I own are way too expensive for me to actually buy and the only way that I can afford to own them is to do work for artists and receive their work as payment. Since my sister has been very generous to me in the past I wanted to return the favour by giving her a painting by Mai Long. Mai owed me two paintings as payment for some work I’d done for her a couple years ago, so on Saturday (the day before my sister was to go back home), we went around to Mai’s place and my sister and I picked out two paintings. Penny selected a work from 2000 called “Mateship” for herself and I picked out a painting called “Water sports”, from 2003 for my wife and I.

Water Sports by Mai Long

I thought it would be a good thing for my sister as a tourist to Australia to meet Mai, who was featured in the “Lonely Planet”, DVD (Lonely Planet Six Degrees Series 1: Sydney)of Sydney. Mai has been very busy producing work for her next exhibition of “Aquamutt and Dag Girl”, and her apartment was absolutely stuffed with unfinished colourful papier-mâché dogs and mutant girls.  In the photo below you can see the painting “Mateship” on the floor to the left and up on the wall behind Mai’s head is a painting by Reg Mombassa of Mambo fame.

Mai amongst her work

Since Saturday night was the girls last evening in Sydney I cooked up some roast lamb on the barbecue, and we got stuck into some very nice Shiraz. As the night wore on, and more wine was drunk, the music got louder and my wife and I’s collection of silly costumes came out.  It wasn’t very long before nearly everybody was nearly wetting themselves with laughter. 

Jennie and Penny in my idiot costume, about to wet themselves

Penny and Jennie’s trip ended on a really nice high note, and the only real drag was that we had to get up at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning so they could catch their flight back home.




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