All our windows open last night to welcome some cool breeze. There's a sense of waiting for the next onslaught of sun. Some people love this, by the way, but I fade into a sweat trickle.

The early morning parrots have just flown overhead. And I am up early to get ready for a visit from my brother and sister-in-law. Will be doing standard issue Sydney barbie. Well, not so standard, but the only place to be is outside alongside some moving air. I wish I could hide myself in a green shade but such a romantic notion is obliterated here.

Last night was Lolita Thai's. To explain. For many years there was a cafe on Glebe Point Road, Glebe (a suburb close to the city) called Lolita's. The food was cheap but good and they had an upstairs room with a couple of long tables. Ideal for a group to meet. For a couple of years an informal group of poets met there regularly to talk about everything under the sun, including a lot about poetry. But one night we turned up to Lolita's to find it was closed on our regular night (and has now closed for good). So we had to find another venue on the fly. Across the road is a restaurant, one of many, called Kata Thai. It's now our venue but we preserve the name of Lolita for our meeting.

Our crew? At the moment includes prime mover Martin Langford, as well as Brook Emery, Peter Kirkpatrick, Andy Kissane, Martin Harrison, Anna Kerdijk Nicholson, Rosemary Huisman and our token non-poet, Tony Blackshield. Jann Harry used to come but she's a bit tied up these days, and there have been others from time-to-time.

Last night we were mainly catching up after Christmas and talked about travel and surf movies, as you do. I was recommending a movie called 'Step Into Liquid', opening in Sydney soon. (There's also another one coming up that I may get to preview, called 'Billabong Odyssey', but Step Into Liquid is the one to see - a bit gee whiz Californian but great footage - 'amazing', as you'd say). Brook E, our resident surfer, was recommending the latest book by Australian novelist, Fiona Capp. Called 'That Oceanic Feeling', it's not a novel but is about her revisiting her old surfing days in Victoria and also reflecting on the things of the sea and surf. Sounds good. I'll follow that one up. And I'll post my review of 'Step Into Liquid' soon, as I'll be doing that one for the column when we start up reviews again this year. A bit of poetry chat too, but not much to speak of. Martin and I had visited Gleebooks just before dinner and we had new books ready to read in 2004. His, the latest August Kleinzahler and another I can't recall this early morning (sorry). And me, a selected of Mahmoud Darwish, 'Unfortunately, It Was Paradise'. More on that when I can. Have to move into domestic mode now.


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