RELATIONSHIPS, CHRISTMAS SPIRIT AND OPENING A BAR. FAREWELL 2014

I’ve been trying to write a blog for a while now, but things keep cropping up. Things like only working when your children sleep. What a dumb idea that is.Remind me to do something about that in the new year.

And dinner. Have I whinged about that before? The next person to say to me; ‘oh, you’re so lucky, you’re married to a chef, you must eat so well,’ will get a swift kick to the shins. People married to chefs don’t eat well unless they are good cooks themselves (which I, unfortunately, am not) because chefs are NEVER HERE. Instead, the girls and I make do with tuna surprise, homemade pizza (which my girls refuse to eat because it’s ‘not as good as dads’s’) and my mediterranean feast which consists of carrot sticks, hummus, olives, cheese and a stick of droopy celery. I fleece the girls into it by throwing down a rug, calling it carpet picnic night, and letting Q watch a movie. I know, I’m an amazing parent.

What else has been going on? We held our charity dinner for Gunawirra and our delightful guests helped us raise over $7500. As if that isn’t impressive enough, the feel in the dining room that night was really something. Gregory wanted to do three long tables for ease of serving, which meant people were sitting opposite and next to strangers, the only common theme being their support for the cause. And it was just delightful. The chatter didn’t stop, the ideas were flowing in tandem with the wine and the Gunawirra people left with offers for free legal representation and building services. 30 odd people in a little restaurant in the inner-west of Sydney spent a wonderful evening together and have helped build 14 gardens for indigenous children throughout greater New South Wales.

From little things big things grow…

We’ve had a moment to look at the to-do list and initiated a monthly newsletter. It’s mostly a little update about Hartsyard Happenings, but one day we plan to get super sophisticated and include video links, recipes and a crossword . The winner can get a bottle of hot sauce. However if you’d like hot sauce before then, never fear, you can now order it through our online shop on our revamped website.

What else? Oh right. The bar Gregory finally convinced me we should open. He’s been badgering me for over two years now, since the shock of opening Hartsyard wore off enough to leave him with the thrill of a vision realised, and he’s been at me ever since to get his next idea out of his mind and into reality. He’s an ideas man, folks. And those people can be slowed down but they can’t be stopped entirely and I have finally acquiesced.

You’re right, it’s a spectacularly hideous time to fit-out a new space as we try to shop for christmas presents while also convincing the tile guy to process our delivery before he shuts down for the holidays. Basically, the girls’ gifts are all going to come from Bunnings.

At this stage we plan for an early February opening, but now that I’ve put that in print, let’s just hope it’s by Easter, before all the supply shops shut down again.

The to-do list also says ‘write blogs about bar fit-out’. Ha ha. Our first daughter, Q, is four, and a fascinating mix of the literal and wild imagination. She is really struggling with the concept of christmas magic that happens when she’s sleeping because she can’t confirm that it occurred. I wish one of Santa’s elves would write the blog overnight for me. I’d happily have it occur without me seeing!

I’ll be honest here and say that the christmas spirit isn’t really with me today. I reckon it’s probably missing from a few of us these past few weeks. There is so much badness and sadness in the world at the moment. Capturing people far away from us, but also those we know intimately and personally. You feel such sympathy for people hurting from the loss of loved ones or the possibility of such, and then you also feel such a guilty relief because so far you’ve escaped it, and you know that ‘there, but for the grace of whomever you believe in, go I’.

It seems sort of insensitive to include our closing hours in this blog, but then I thought about it. We don’t want to work the christmas period, and we don’t want our staff to work it either. Because if life is about anything, it’s about relationships. And Christmas is a time where we celebrate the good ones, work on the ones we’ve neglected and relish the sense of belonging these relationships bring.

So, Hartsyard’s last service for 2014 will be this Sunday, the 21st of December and we will reopen for 2015 on Thursday January 8th.

Thank you all for your support this year. To our many regulars who visit us at least once a fortnight, we’ve loved getting to know you and thank you especially for your continued interest and enthusiasm. To our staff, we thank you for your commitment, your skills and your quickness to laugh and have a good time.

And to you all, we hope that like us, you have a chance to celebrate the relationships that are important to you, to rest and reflect upon the year that was, and to charge into 2015 with all the hope and anticipation a good break can provide.

With thanks,

Gregory and Naomi

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