Friday, April 10, 2009

Visit From Guru Bob

Smaller Son has been giddily looking forward to this day for weeks. He met Guru Bob last year, when the Smaller Son was only five... and I shall carry the memory of my very little boy staring up, up, upwards in amazement for the remainder of my life, I think. He was a very, very quiet boy for the time he spent in Bob's company in Melbourne, but since then, he's never ceased talking about "Big Bob".

For those of you who don't quite follow... Guru Bob is about 6' 8", I think. He's a large chap, and proportioned after your typical piece of kitchen whitegoods. Smaller Son was awestruck, and the prospect of a visit from Big Bob has had him charging about the place, telling everybody how great it's going to be, for ages now.

As ever, Bob's an obliging chap. He turned up with his lovely pardner in crime, the delightful Miz E, at roundabout four or so this afternooon. (This despite the fact that apparently the address for Chateau Flinthart simply doesn't register on the GPS gear... confound it! How do you suppose that happened?) Despite the three kids promptly going berserk, Bob and Miz E were friendly, gracious, charming, entertaining, tolerant... and equipped with quite a nice pinot noir from the East Tamar region.

Of course, I wasn't entirely unprepared. We greeted them with a nice bubbly, and then served a big platter of antipasto with crunchy croutons. The centrepiece was a big mould of minced smoked salmon, under a thick layer composed of blended sour cream, cream cheese, chopped chives and wasabi. The whole lot was drizzled with a puree of fresh cherry tomatoes and roast capsicum.

We worked our way through that lot, aided by a couple of irreplaceable bottles of Dalrymple chardonnay, and then as the kids hit the bath, I put on some won-ton soup. (Natalie's request.) After that, we opened Bob's pinot noir, and I brought out the chocolate mousse. (Yes -- with the brandy-soaked sponge-cake base... though the kids' came without the brandy.)

Then we all trundled up the ricketty ladder to the Screen Room, and slobbed out on the mattresses with more wine, and blankets and pillows and sleeping bags and popcorn and kids everywhere. Took in a couple episodes of Pinky and the Brain (can you belive Bob had never seen 'em?) and then we watched The Fall again... brilliant film.

The Mau-Mau passed out cold about halfway into the film, so Natalie took her off to bed. The boys made the distance, though. Mind you, Miz E didn't... Bob had to wake her up come the end of the film. We tucked them away into the guest bedding, and then I set about the serious business of arranging for Easter goodies to be hidden.

We're having our egg-hunting day tomorrow, to involve Bob and Miz E. There's chocolate eggs hidden all over the place for the munchkins, and once they've done that, we get the traditional Evil Easter Bunny Ultimatum.

Well... okay. Traditional around here. I don't know how it works at your place, but 'round here, the Easter Bunny turns up every year and STEALS the Easter baskets that Natalie and I put together for the kids. (Bastard that he is.) Fortunately, he usually leaves clues for the kids to follow. One year it was footprints. Another time it was a sequence of rhymed puzzle-notes, each leading to the next location. This year, apparently it's going to be photographs -- obscure photographs of different bits of the house and property. Each photograph depicts a location which holds another photo-clue, until the final clue is reached and the Easter baskets are recovered.

That's the theory, anyhow. It's 0123 in the morning. I'm tired, slightly drunk, heartburned -- but absolutely delighted to see Bob again, and looking forward to the morning's shenanigans.