Through long residence in the west, a son who is progressing through the various school levels and Consider The Sauce, I appear to have surrounded myself with a pretty darn good network of family, friends, acquaintances, connections and various mixtures of all of the above.
And for that I am truly grateful.
We enjoy meeting and greeting friends and followers of CTS at our now regular Feasts, other foodie events, pre-arranged smaller, more private gatherings in restaurants or even spontaneous introductions on the streets of the west.
That figures – Bennie and I have hardly been shy about running photos of ourselves; and our T-shirts!
We enjoy these opportunities immensely.
But the truth is, other people’s homes – with a couple of exceptions – are a mystery to me. As is ours to them.
Perhaps this is one of the downsides of having such wonderfully easy access to outstanding cheap eats.
Why bother cooking for a crowd when you can just as easily – actually, much more easily – hit one of the great local noodle or curry joints?
This seems to be not just true of a quick feed on a regular week night when the fridge is empty, but also for myriad celebrations that would’ve once been held in family homes.
Although, in a broader context, there are far more profound forces and factors at play than those merely pertaining to our great westie eats circumstances.
It really is a different world.
Forget my very early days in Dunedin.
Even in my 20s and in Wellington, the pubs (and the music) would finish about 10pm or 11pm, and then it was usually off to somebody’s place for a party!
How often do regular folks hold parties these days?
OK, tick them off – elections, AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup, New Year’s Eve.
And that’s about it.
Even kids’ birthday parties are conducted out and about.
So perhaps in many cases it makes sense to think of the places where people sleep as living spaces or some such, rather than as homes.
I think there are both positives and negatives to what really is a seismic shift in how people in metropolitan settings live their lives.
But maybe it’s time to get back into the habit of having guests at our joint for great Indian thali meals – as we so often did at our previous abode.
That’s right – the one right next door!
Buy a BBQ and start a garden?
Hmmm, maybe not so much …