Liz is one of those friends that I don’t have to see very often but when we do se each other, it is as if we had never been apart. She doesn’t live in Melbourne anymore, so we really don’t see each other much. I put aside time for her when she is in town, and vice versa her for me when I’m in Sydney. However she does have a habit of…appearing out of nowhere.
Luckily I am a bit of a home body and I prefer my nights in at home on weekdays. Liz knows this. It is not uncommon for her or several other close friends to arrive unexpectedly at my door, bearing gifts, in their pyjamas and without a plan B.
Over time, these occasions started to become quite common, and we decided that we need to do something with our time instead of just sitting around feasting on the delicious gifts Liz brings me, and watching Youtube videos of Chef John and Laura Vitale (don’t lie, you guys do this too). These boring logical thoughts were partially the result of growing older. Thanks brain. We accumulated time consuming responsibilities that made us feel guilty about sitting around doing nothing, so the obvious solution was to tack on more responsibilities to our situation.
One of these solutions was to start a book club that we invited several others to join as well, to fill the gaps between the times Liz and I don’t personally get to see each other. All our friends got incredibly bored of that quickly so it turned into a wine book club. Some of us would be in charge of bringing some books to swap, and the others would provide nice bottles of red. It wasn’t my idea I swear. Or maybe it was. Either way, it works out quite well.
I love how Liz would always have some interesting thing to say about the book she is reading. She’s kind of like my live, walking talking Reddit app. Most days she is a TLDR or ELI5 subreddit. Like most of the people I choose to surround myself with, she is full of knowledge because she is incredibly inquisitive. She’ll become curious about a word or a phrase in one of the books that she is reading and she’ll research the shitake mushrooms out of it, then returns to me with information coming out of her ears. We both read a lot on planes, so whoever’s turn it is to visit town usually has a lot to say.
As the book club expanded and took up more of our time, our members tacked on more and more responsibilities and soon the wine book club became a very important event in our calendars. It soon also became a cheese appreciation society. A few months later, we picked up the responsibility of bringing all our arts and craft equipment to these gatherings because it became a cheese and wine book club/craft night. I am friends with a few creatives, and in my line of work I meet a lot of new arty folks along the way. It started with some post impressionist art style, inspired by our surroundings. I learnt that the more wine I drink, the better I become at drawing them. This is possibly a false statement.
It is amazing the memories you share and the relationships you build and nurture around a dining table. Given our busy schedules I’m quite glad my friends and I take the time to do these things – despite me mocking the monstrosity it has become. Literally, the wine book club has become such a thing that we have a dedicating treasurer who sorts out all our spending on the books, the wine, the food and the paint. I’m so thrilled by the effort everyone makes.
Any ideas on what else we should add to our wine book club agenda? Post in the comments below. And as always, happy feasting (and do mind your table manners).