Happy New Year to you, dear friend. I hope you embrace it with hope and gusto and bravery, and may it bring you deep love and great joy. Recently, in my quest to sample the wares of all the food trucks in Melbourne, I took a stroll up to the Grub Food Van. It was a bit of a stretch, but I included Grub because when the weather warms up, the folk here open up their classic streamline caravan for food service in the sunny courtyard.
I found a table under the shade cloth and ordered an avocado salsa on toast and the biggest, coldest drink on the menu.
The people here are lovely and there's a friendly resident dog called Mutti (they also serve hot dogs called Mutti Dogs, but she doesn't seem to carry a grudge), a fabulous greenhouse (photos here), and delicious food, all of which combine to make Grub one of my favourite local cafes. But I've gone on about all this before. So let's talk a minute about dating my daughter, instead.
Madeleine is an AWESOME date. First of all, she can almost sit up by herself, which is extremely desirable in one's choice of lunch company. When we get to a cafe, I tilt her stroller up into the 'big girl' toddler position, and she can't keep the delight out of her face as she watches the world from this whole new perspective.
Second, Madeleine is a great conversationalist. In that she is of the opinion that I am a great conversationalist. She hangs on my every word, laughs at all my jokes, and, as I raise my coffee cup to my lips and back, she watches with an expression that ranges from fascination to adoration at my manual dexterity.
She also smiles constantly, never raises an eyebrow if I order a cupcake, and is generously free with the cuddles and kisses (something more lunch dates should be). And finally, she wiggles her head in what we like to call "the Stevie Wonder" dance-move whenever I squeeze her squeaker-toy, like this.
At Grub, Madeleine managed all of the above. And when it got too hot outside we moved indoors, where she took her dance moves to the woven mat floor while I polished off a delicious slice of cake with heavy cream and read a magazine.
I defy you to find better company in a cafe.