Octopus, rain and a kitchen table (Or: the work dinner that will happen again)

532035_534912026540235_1661749161_nI admit I was sceptical about my work dinner.  We were from different generations; different walks of life. Outside the teacher-prep room would we have much to talk about?

Our small office group met at a rustic-meets-modern restaurant, just outside town. It was already dark and after a drink at the beautiful redwood bar, we took our seats around a large wooden table, reminiscent of that in a farm kitchen.

The restaurant specialised in tapas, and we gave the chef his head to bring out whatever he chose.

The food was divine. As the night meandered on we feasted on fresh bread, olives, pesto and chorizo, complimented by the most exquisite duck and shitake spring rolls. Our plates were cleared and they brought out squid and lightly crumbed octopus with huge char-grilled prawns, followed by sticky beef ribs and piri piri chicken. We ate slowly, savouring the delicacy of the flavours; the perfection of the combinations.

We laughed and talked about life, and travel and film; and we ate.

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Gradually the restaurant cleared and we sat back contented as they brought coffee. The open door brought the fresh smell of new rain from the darkened street. We were the last ones there and chatted to the owner and chef as they stood at the bar.

After four hours we left, knowing that we had been a part of something special: the harmonious meeting of work and life.