Monday, October 17, 2005

Birthday part 1

It is not often that I have a whole weekend off work, but this weekend off co-incided with the day I turned 40, 17, 27, 30 and a bit, 50. None of those years are correct but it is between the highest figure and the lowest. On Saturday night I celebrated it with friends at the Duke of Devonshire Hotel..........ok, it was named that for a time. The original licensee was in 1866 and by 1888 he had gone broke. It remained a hotel for a while and then became a boarding house. Banks tended to take over old pubs, so then it was an ANZ Bank for a while. Then in the early eighties, it was one of Melbourne's first Thai restaurants. (I am told the first Thai restaurant, but I can't be bothered researching this). For the last twenty one years it has been the Xanghai chinese restaurant run by Jane.

It is Dame M's local. She has been patronizing it for the whole 21 years, eat in and take away. Jane is very kind to her. For Dame M's eightieth birthday, Jane sent her some food and flowers. Jane even asked her to come to a party at her place, a two storey monstrous mansion somewhere in the middle burbs. Dame M, a person of style was unimpressed with usual Asian gaudiness, but she did say the swimming pool area looked very nice.

So to celebrate my birthday, the gang trooped off to Jane's restaurant, after drinkies at Dame M's first.

The restaurant is on the corner of St Kilda Road and Octavia Street, just around the corner from Dame M's. We have been quite a few times. Enough for Jane to give me a packet of three hankies and a bird of paradise flower from her own garden. Not in return, but I gave a printed copy of the above pic and she was very pleased and offered to pay me for it. Jane cannot really read English, but Dame M said someone will translate for her later.

It was a great night, with good friends and they all made me feel quite special for the night. No doubt next time I see them, they will be back to being bitchy queens, faghags, imperious dames and lickers.

Picture courtesy of Pots, Punks and Punters, a St Kilda Historical Society publication.