When I was about six months pregnant with our first daughter, my mother set me up on a date. It’s not that she didn’t like my husband, at least, not that i’m aware of, (kidding, my mother and husband get on like peas and carrots). Anyway, she taught with someone who’s daughter was also pregnant and due at the same time as me and that, therefore, was enough for us meet and go on an awkward first date.
I had chosen the location as I was freelance writing at the time and had been asked to review a cafe which was, in short, terrible. The raisin toast was stale (though both of us were too nervous to bring that up) and the coffee took so long to arrive that it at least gave us a topic to break the ice.
It was hardly an auspicious first date.
We caught up a few more times while we were growing those two humans, chatting about cloth nappies and the mysteries of labour, and ended up delivering them 36 hours apart at the same birth centre in the same hospital but owing mainly to the appalling menu, my friend had already hightailed it out of there and we met each other’s daughters at a cafe that this time my friend had chosen and was far superior to mine.
Since then, we’ve seen each other at least once a week I’d say, helping each other, learning, supporting, crying, encouraging, laughing, a lot of laughing, as we do our best to raise our children to, you know, be good citizens and contribute to society and stuff, and not have cataclysmic meltdowns about the size of the squares in the vegemite sandwich.
She’s worked a few shifts on the floor when we’ve been desperate for staff, shares the job of napkin sewing with Gregory’s mum back in the states and painted the white piece you see hanging on one of our walls.
Incidentally, she painted that piece thus because it was originally intended to act as a screen for a fancy art projection that our friend designed based on elements in the kitchen, but by the time we had the money to pay for the technology, Hartsyard had found its own little energy and we didn’t feel we needed it.
This weekend we’re taking that piece down and filling the Hartsyard walls with more of my friend’s work as we host our first ever art exhibition featuring the work of my wonderful and talented friend, Jessika Steiner.
I know, I know, we’re a sophisticated bunch at Hartsyard. More culture than a tub of yoghurt, that’s us.
Clearly, Jess and I have a good many things in common, one of them also being champagne (which we haven’t had enough of in the last four years, owing to our pregnant and breastfeeding states) but we’ll have some for you sup on this weekend while you peruse my good friend’s work.
Art Exhibition by Jessika Steiner.
Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November
11-3pm @ Hartsyard
10% of all proceeds go to The Indigo Foundation