It’s Friday afternoon, the kids have been picked up from school and you can feel the tension start to ease and the prospect of the weekend start to creep in. Not even the thought of what’s for dinner can wipe the Friday-afternoon smile off my face.
Three to five of my closest friends are safely, comfortably propped up on one side of my kitchen island bench. I’m holding court on the other side. There is wine. There may or may not be nibblies (usually limited depending on whether we are weight watching) and the kids are running around like lunatics outside just as happy it’s Friday and there’s no school for two whole days.
Friday afternoon drinks
It’s open house. A text goes out earlier in the day. Anyone can instigate it and everyone is strongly encouraged to participate. Sometimes it starts at lunch, other times after school but wherever it is whenever it starts there’s one thing for sure I miss this Aussie tradition like nothing else.
Sometimes it’s a quick drink, other times we linger. And, best of all, it can still happen on a Thursday and will generally always happen on a holiday eve. (Actually in all seriousness it can happen anytime but we do try to contain it to once or twice a week).
It Started with after-work drinks
Remember when you were a free agent and you’d have a “few drinks” after work? Is that an Australian and British thing is that something the Americans do too?
Well it’s all fine and good when you’re a free agent but it doesn’t mean we mums don’t get to enjoy the ritual either.
And so households around Lilyfield, Rozelle, Leichhardt and Balmain (and everywhere else in Australia) would be the new venue for “after-work drinks”.
The magic ingredients
Friday afternoon drinks are seriously one of my favourite things to do. The perfect recipe is:
- my closest girlfriends
- within a 5km radius (ie walking distance)
- kids of similar age
- a nearby park so the kids can let loose.
Actually when the kids were younger we would all walk to the local park. We’d pack snacks for the kids and grown-ups and a bottle or so of wine.
The best is when we kick on to someone’s house and feed the kids and the dads come to pick the mums up. Or perhaps catch a cab because they, too, have caught up to us.
Ahhh .. life in Sydney’s inner west never felt so good.
Reliving the tradition here
Tomorrow is a holiday here so I sent the following text to two friends as we’ve all been trying to find a date to catch up.
Idea! Let’s celebrate the day off tomorrow with a glass of wine.
In my mind (with my built-in knowledge of how things work re Friday afternoon drinks) I knew exactly what I was doing: calling after-school drinks.
Still not seasoned in the “Aussie way” I think I confused my girlfriends. They even wondered if this was in place of our dinner plans. Of course not! After-school drinks is an easy alternative if you’re finding it hard to plan a girls’ night out. It’s an easy option for anything–a catch up before the night starts and definitely NOT in place of any other catch up–family or single.
I’ve spent so much time on this Blog talking about the cool things we do here in LA and what it’s like to acclimate that I forgot a few important things: indoctrinating my US readers on all things Australian.
So, this blog post is dedicated to after-school drinks across the pond. Here’s cheers to one of the greatest Aussie traditions of all times. Here’s hoping I can covert a few people in my neck of the woods. And, it should suit LA down to a tea with its eat & run mentality: Drink & run. Perfect!
Shana Tov & Cheers!
xx It Started in LA xx