As Pip has been on our backs about wanting to say sorry to Claire we arranged a reconciliation lunch at The Botanical Hotel™ in South Yarra. We've been quite apprehensive as Claire still doesn't know that Grayam and Pip are an item, nor is she aware of Grayam's burgeoning modeling career and she's going through one of her really intense anti-male-model cycles. Going out with Claire in winter is usually a pain because she smokes and we have to sit outside, but global warming has it's benefits as today was another summer's day in July.
Pip was only five minutes late but very apologetic and tried to reassure us that her and Steve Vizard were only acquaintances and that her shares in those businesses were a gift from her grandparents. We didn't know Pip knew the disgraced Steve Vizard, and we don't know him either so it was all a bit weird. We have little to no interest in finance. Whatever Pip!
The lunch went well with Pip impressing Claire with her direct apology, looking Claire straight in the eye. They were friends again by entree (Six freshly shucked Tasmanian oysters, properly garnished) and we all had a cheery conversation about the controversial contestants on Big Brother. It was the first time we were able to partake in the subject without having flashbacks so we were pretty jolly too. We overlooked the constant message alert beep of Pip's mobile phone and her frequent trips to the Botanical Wine Wall™ because she kept bringing back killer bottles of New Zealand white, and she was paying the bill. It started to get nerve-racking when the name Grayam fell from Pip's lips, like every few sentences. By the time we'd had our main course (Miso caramelised Patagonian toothfish with fried oysters, crab & seaweed salad) it became apparent that Pip had been seeing Grayam for sometime and we hadn't told Claire. Our paranoia was unfounded as Claire seemed okay with it, she's progressive in that old school way. Just as we started to relax Pip screeched "The Tram!, The Tram!" as Grayam's stupid pouting face one and a half metres high on the side of the Number 8 passed by. Claire stiffened in her chair whilst Pip who seemed oblivious skipped off to the Wine Wall™ again. Her face redden and as tight lipped as Arki Busson with tears welling in her eyes Claire looked at us and said, "My grandson is a model and you didn't think it important enough to tell me. Grayam has no future". Sobbing, she got up and left taking one of the Botanical™'s linen napkins with her. We were shaken but clear headed enough to tell the waiter to charge the napkin to Pip's account because stealing is wrong. While we were waiting for our dessert (24crt gold leaf Valhrona chocolate nemesis with wood roasted, caramelised figs) Pip's phone beeped yet again. We know it is unethical to invade someone's privacy but curiousity and resentment got the better of us. The message read, "dear little red riding hood I want to eat your basket of goodies love the big bad wolf", and it was from 'footballer'.
When Pip came back to the table she asked us where Claire was and we told her she had left because of the male model business. Breathing Malborough Sauvignon Blanc Pip starts yelling at us for not informing Claire of Grayam's rising star. We retaliated by asking her who 'footballer' aka Big Bad Wolf was. Silence engulfed the table as Pip gathered her luggage style handbag and cheese cutter hat. With nostrils flared and bulging eyes she spat, "Going through someone's inbox is the lowest of low. You two are nothing but self-righteous know-it-alls who live vicariously through your friends". She then left, leaving us the bill.
Grayam (centre, with raven) on the trouble causing tram
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