Ali and Samuel (Mates)
Outgoing Hobart friends Ali and Samuel are single by choice and love to get loud and have fun.
Ali, 28 and Samuel, 34, run in the same gang of people, who "are similar to us, big, outgoing personalities, very loud," as Samuel, whose nickname among them is ‘Wack’, says.
Adds Ali, "We’re all really full on and out there but Samuel still manages to stand out among our friends. He’s a big fella so he stands out. And he’s lairy.
"We all just gravitated to each other because we’re just really quirky, open-minded people. Our sense of humour is left of field and we’re willing to, for instance, get up and do the sprinkler en masse. We’re more than willing to take the mickey out of ourselves and play the fool. It’s harmless stuff, just to amuse ourselves."
Samuel, a public servant, and Ali, a teacher, both have a nine-to-five life that is high pressure. And personally, life hasn’t always been lighthearted.
Ali just recently separated from her partner of 14 years, and husband of six. "That was our big decision, before we had kids. Being on your own for the first time, when you’ve been with someone since you were 13 is very painful. But it was all handled beautifully. And for the first time I know who I am."
Citing a tough relationship with his mother, Samuel’s Nan taught him to cook. "One of my earliest memories of my nan cooking is her chicken and mushroom pasties," he says. "I’d go to see her and walk in and there’d be a fresh batch in the oven. I’d be up on the table watching her cook and she’d be showing me things. That started when I was seven or eight years old and as I got older she let me create my own stuff."
For Ali, the love of food came from travelling with her academic parents.
"We travelled all through Europe for months on end and Mum and Dad were really passionate about food. Eating snails in France is one of my earliest memories – Mum and Dad saying, ‘Just try it.’"
Ali and Samuel are content to cook with each other now, but both are waiting for ‘the one’ to share the kitchen with.
Says Samuel, "I’m 34 and a lot of close friends are engaged, married, have children, so the next girl I am with I will be looking for those things. The next one will be the one I have children with, the one I retire with."