Thursday, March 6, 2008

Some fine dining to go with the culture

Before going to the play on Saturday night, B and I went to dinner at 'Guillaume at Bennelong'. Yes, it is as fancy schmancy as the name sounds, big time restaurant that has won many awards.

B and I had been wanting to go for ages, and this was the perfect opportunity. Saturday was an anniversary for us, we'd been together for 16 years!

B and I both think it was good, but not a place we'd absolutely rave about. The waiters were pretty snooty, they seemed to be in a hurry to get us out of there.

The food was nice though, for entree I had blue swimmer crab on a bed of avocado with cucumber, coriander and capsicum coulis, and for main barramundi with Kipfler potatoes, capers, olives, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. I like capers, but this had what looked like 2 cups worth, so most of those stayed on the plate.

B had for entree atlantic salmon cold smoked in house served with crème fraîche and toasted brioche (yes, I am copying and pasting from the menu) and for main fresh ink spaghetti tossed with blue swimmer crab, tomato and coriander.

The place was full, and we had a spectacular view of the harbour and the bridge.

For a rating, I'd give it 3 out of 5 for the food, 2 out of 5 for the service, and 5 out of 5 for location.

And I give B 5 out of 5 for taking me out for a romantic dinner at a swish restaurant! :)

I got me some culture!

B has been hanging to go see some Shakespeare at the Opera House for ages, and last Saturday we finally went.

I had mixed feelings about going, but I wanted to go because B wanted to go, and, well, it truly wouldn't hurt me to broaden my horizons.

My pick of a fun night out is going to a movie, or going to the footy, or staying in watching DVDs or reading. Never been to opera, or ballet, and it was a couple of years ago that I went to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Christmas show, I was in heaven when they did The little Drummer Boy).

It's not that Shakespeare is foreign to me really, I studied it at high school, and I love the movie Much Ado about Nothing. But I don't tend it understand it right off the bat, it is something that I have to study.

So when we bought the tickets I decided to study up, so I'd understand what was going on. We got tickets to "As you like it", one of the comedies. Prior to the show I read the play, along with some cheat sheets, and had a good understanding of it.

And it was a good night. And a tough night, personally, for me.

Many years ago we went to a play in the city and it was a very small theatre where everyone was crammed in. Lots of panic attacks for me, I felt very claustrophobic, and I ended up not remembering much of the play. Since then I've been wary of going to the theatre. I don't like going to places and sitting in the middle of rows where the seats fold up, as I feel hemmed in, trapped in place, because if I did have to get out, the entire row of people between me and the aisle would have to stand up, hence me putting them out and them being annoyed at me. Do I overthink things ... naaaah

I've been getting much better at stuff like that, places like the footy don't faze me now, people are getting up all the time anyway, to get drinks, go to the bathroom etc.

But I still had the nagging fear of the theatre, of plays. But, I kicked in my never give up, never surrender attitude and off I went to see Shakespeare at the Opera House.

The theatre, called the Playhouse aptly enough, is a small theatre tucked down the side of the Opera House. Yep, a small theatre .... where the seats fold up ... and we were dead in the middle of the row. Oh ... and the air con wasn't working overly great, so it was warm and stuffy (brilliant for panic attack sufferers ... not). So, I kept telling myself you can do this, you can leave if you have to, all the while panic nipping at the edges of my mind.

The play started and panic attacks ensued. Bad ones. I gritted my teeth. I didn't want to let me down, I didn't want to let B down. I even didn't want to leave because I didn't want the actors to feel badly, like I was judging them or something.
I've let B down so badly before, and it is never a good thing, for him, for me, for us. At one point I said to B I can't do this, and he replied to leave if I had to, but I hung on. By my fingernails at some points, but as the play went on, I gradually got better.

Intermission came, and I hadn't passed out, thrown up, lost the plot, insulted the actors, or pissed off the people in my row. B was very proud of me, we celebrated with a glass of champagne. Second half was much better, and I got through to the end.

During all this, I did watch the play, and understand it. And I did enjoy it. Don't know that it will ever be my most favourite pastime ever, but it's good to experience different things, and some of it was really good.

I was disappointed that I suffered the panic attacks in the first place, but I take out of it that I didn't give in to them. I did really well.

So, hooray for me!