Last Night

I am sitting in my favourite room, looking out the windows towards my garden and a rustic country barn. It looks cold outside. Quite gentle, with a gentle cold breeze. It is about 12 degree, gloomy and overcast. Several of my deciduous trees are starting to change colours; some golden yellow, some brown and starting to wilt. The ground nearby is covered and littered with wilted autumn leaves.

A friendly “fantail” in its usual display of spreading its beautiful shade of grey, black with white strips tail, fanning swiftly from left to right, and right to left, playfully flying from one branch to the next. This fantail visits my garden at this time of the year. Yesterday, it was playfully flying next to me, as I was collecting my clothing from a homemade clothing line tied between two trees. I cheekily whistled and played along with the fantail. It loves it, came closer, within an arm’s length. Nature. What a beauty.

So, what do I mean by “Last Night”? Am I going away? Do I mean last night as last night I am living here? It can mean anything, right? If we don’t finish a sentence, the receiving end will either take notice, wonder, “What The?” is he bloody talking about?? Well, nothing too serious. Actually I was trying to say “Last night” as “what happened last night?”. This again, can mean anything. Alright, come on. After a while, people loose interest. Get on with it. Stop TEASE-ing.

Last night was the opening of a hair saloon in Hobart, called TEASE.

I have been to TEASE for the last six years. When I have found a good hair stylist, I stick to him like a leech. Even to the extent that I hopped onto a plane and flew 1,100 km from Hobart to Sydney every four to five weeks for the first year when I moved to Hobart. Called me MAD, but that was what I did when I first arrived in Hobart, until I found TEASE.

TEASE is located at 149 Collins Street, Hobart. TEASE was first opened 7 years ago. It was operating at street level. Now, it has moved up, to top floor. That was the Opening night – last night.

There is a new glass door leading up a dark grey painted staircase with a painted white metal railing, surrounded with white walls and ceiling, and designed white wall papers on both sides. Up the stairs is the TEASE signature logo of red and black, with trendy light tubes of red and black hanging from the ceiling.

When we reached the top of the stairs, we were greeted by Lucy, Ben’s wife, co-owner of TEASE. Ben is my hairstylist. I will only let him cut my hair. When he is not around, I will let Kea, Ben’s manager, cut my hair. Honestly. I don’t have much hair to cut or style. I like to keep it short. But my hair is not easy to style. If too short it will stick up around the crown like a sore and disturbed porcupine. If too long, it is too soft with no body and looks dull. But, Ben always deliver such a great cut that without fail, I always leave his saloon with a big, wide smile.

I can’t believe I am sharing this with you. I must be really MAD this morning. Is this the work of Hobart? Am I becoming that tragic that life is becoming so boring? But, guess what? There is even professional photographers there from the local newspaper, The Mercury, and a popular Tasmanian life magazine, called Tasmanian Life. There you have it. The glitz and glamour of not so Hollywood, but HOBART.

My partner and I didn’t stay long at TEASE. We were finding an excuse to go out for dinner. That was why we drove 60 km from our country home to Hobart. Otherwise, we will be at home, watch a couple of DVDs, lay on the couch and then to bed. The usual night routine in the country.

My partner suggested we go to “Chooch”, pronounced with an “sh” in front. One of his colleague suggested to him that it is a new place and the food is good. But, what a name, right? It is almost like a “term of endearment” refers to someone in Italian, from the word ciuccio and means dummy, idiot or moron! So, would you take that kindly if someone call you an idiot or moron, but use the word, “chooch”?

Ciuccio Restaurant (or Chooch) is located in Shop 9, Salamanca Square, Hobart.

The words my partner’s colleague described to him was, “it is nice and casual” and “it is new”. We didn’t know it is an Italian place. We walked in. It has an industrial look with a huge bar in the centre and exposed ceiling with the AC unit and piping fully visible. Interesting. I like industrial look. It was busy with lots of buzz and noise.

We were lucky to get the last table, without a booking. We sat down. Looked at the menu. The place serves mostly pizza and pasta, with two veal dishes and one chicken dish. The price is very reasonable. We were going to order 2 courses each until I saw the pizza, which is one size only. It is a whopping mother of all pizza size! Way too big for a single person to eat by himself/herself. But most customers in there were having the pizza to their own. I asked the waitress what about the size of the pasta dish. Whether they can do the main as an entree dish. She smiled and said, “you get value for money here,” “if you can’t finish, you can take the rest away”. We decided either we have a pizza or a pasta to share, and a salad. There is no way we can each eat a pizza or pasta on its own. The serving portion is way too big. But, as the waitress said, you get value for money here. That is what most people like.

We ordered the Calabrese pizza ($24) and Insalata Spinachi salad ($15) to share. They were both delicious and pack full of flavour.

The Insalata Spinachi salad came first. Beautiful salad with lots of sliced mushrooms and crispy bacons, chopped parsley and dressed with good red wine vinaigrette, olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper.

The Calabrese pizza. Completely covered with toppings of generous slices of salsiccia (mildly spiced meat), lots of olives, slices of roasted red capsicum, mushrooms, mozzarella and tomatoes.

The bill came to $76, including a bottle of red wine and another glass of wine. Very good value for money. The service was excellent, cheerful and fast.

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