Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Muscles

Last night, after a few rounds of trivia at the Drunken Poet, Jessie and I jumped on a train to The Corner Hotel. Muscles had his album launch!

Getting carded as I walked in was a shock, and even more surprising given that once inside it was clear that I was certainly, and Jessie would have too, been older than most of the crowd. A bit schoolies feel to the young crowd, with talk around us as we grabbed a few beers and a spot in the crowd, of finished exams and holiday plans.

Muscles opened with Sweaty, just like the album - and it certainly was given the heat of the day, and the packed atmosphere inside.

His big songs got the crowd singing along, to his delight and surprise, with Hey Muscles I Love You, Chocolate Rasberry Lemon and Lime, and of course, Icecream. Any songwriter that has young, big and tough 18 year old lads jumping around belting out
Icecream
Is gonna save the day

at the top of their lungs is brilliant in my opinion!!

Ending with My Friend Richard, with the lasting lines of ‘what a way to end a night’, the show was such fun! How cool to have seen this young lad from Shepp start out, and now have an album!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Home For A Year

Today marks a whole year since I returned from the UK, touching down in Brisbane for a massive summer. Can’t help but take stock today, looking back and thinking – is this, what I am doing now, what I meant when I decided to come back?

In that year, I watched a whole lot of cricket, and then footy, as the seasons changed. I have been homeless for much of that time, and unemployed for a chunk of time too!

Feeling that I have come back to a world where people don’t usually play on a school night, and it seems so much harder to get people to join you for one and every thing you want to do. And I am so far away from anywhere I haven’t been before, for travel! Much harder to just jump country for a week, or a weekend!

But that said, I am getting into a groove with work, and starting to enjoy it. Has it’s ups and downs, quite severe at times, I admit, which has me totally questioning it all. But recently there was an opportunity to return to the UK….and the promise of summer was too alluring. Still working away at getting that Psychologist registration process started – and procrastinating at the long term commitment – but getting closer and closer to just taking the leap and getting on with it.

Seriously chipping away at that debt monster, too, which is just a small dog size now!

Loving my house, and working hard on the social life. Melbourne is such a great city, with it’s vast array of music, sports, and things to do. It’s all good.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hobart Test

Taking a much overdue day off work on Friday, I had a very early morning flight to catch, down to Hobart. Dropping off my bag at the Central Backpackers, and grabbing breakfast, I then found the shuttle out to Bellreive Oval for the 2nd Test between Australia and Sri Lanka.

This test marked the final first class venue in Australia that I had left to experience, and given the trip around for the Ashes a year ago, the timing of this test meant that I have been to a Test at all seven venues within a year. That’s pretty hardcore!

Belinda joined me on the hill once her flight from Sydney got her into Hobart, and we soaked up Australia’s answer to Newlands, with Mt Wellington hovering over the ground. At lunch we made our way around the ground to join the Waving The Flag gang in the Player’s Guest Stand. Catching up with Bumbles, and Gluv, and the rest of the gang, and also meeting a few familiar names from the group, we settled in for the rest of the days play.

That night, after beers in the dorm, we wandered down to the harbourside for fish and chips, before finding a spot at (pub) for concentrated drinking, talk about cricket, footy, and all things important. Staying in a dorm room with 13 of my established and new Flagger mates, who would have thought!

Day 2 was one of the coldest days of cricket I have sat through, and one which rated a close second to the experienced tour Flaggers around us in the stand. We huddled, and chattered, and shivered our way through till lunch. Belinda disappeared at this stage, and I had assumed that she had decided enough was enough and gone back to the dorm to warm up and sleep off our collective hangover – but no! She rejoined us with pairs of green and gold footy socks, and saved us from the cold!! Top moment of the day!! Hee hee!

That night a group of us went out for Thai, before making our way to Wisden and Bomber’s apartment for a Chardy Party. Many, many refilled glasses of white wine, more chatter about all things sport, with a recurring theme related to a tour of the West Indies next year….feeding a seed that was planted some time ago!! Shane, Meggys and I ended the evening by walking back into the city, stopping for a beer in each pub on the way.

Entertained by Percy in the Player’s Guest stand, who Charles, Ash and I had seen in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and then later soaking in the sun on the hill, the cricket…. After play on Day 3 the group headed to (pub) for drinks, and later dinner, and then later drinks. I had such a ball with the group!

Hershelle and I, being on the same flight, Belinda and James got a very early morning taxi out to the airport before parting ways. A treat for me, to fly Qantas and actually get a feed, Hersh and I parted ways in Melbourne, and it was back to working for me! Watching the cricket score tick over for the rest of the test had me wishing that I had gone for the whole five days…but not to be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christening

On Sunday morning, for the second time in a week, I went to a church service, this time for the christening of Cooper Gregory and Charli Belle. The service was held at St Johns Parish in Ballarat, and I joined the back of the family group as the Father made his way to the front of the church.

Nothing like a good telling off in church, and that’s certainly what it felt like as the Father told us about the importance of baptism, and that it shouldn’t be entered into for any other reason than for the children to be raised under God, and then he proceeded to tell the christening guests the process of the Mass, and the parts that were to do with the baptism. Felt just like all those dreaded school masses we were forced to sit through!

The babies were such treasures through it all, and complying with the wetting of the head, and then being passed around for a kiss from each and every member of the congregation. A very old and small gathering, it makes you wonder what will happen to the little church groups like these in years to come.

Following the formalities at the church, the group headed back to Andrea and Dean’s for coffee, cakes, and beers (in that order!), and a chance to catch up and also marvel at how much these two little bubs have grown!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sculpture By The Sea

On Sunday, Belinda and I headed to Bondi to take in the brilliant sunshine, and for a yummy brunch. We walked the length of the beach, swarming with locals and tourists alike, soaking in the iconic white sand and blue ocean, with cresting waves and surfers.

We found the Bondi Sunday Market, and wandered through, buying bits of jewelry and clothing, before heading to the south side of the bench for a few beers at the Bondi Icebergs Club, with big bad Barry! (Always a celebrity spotting when I am in Syders, it seems!)

We then headed along the trial from Bondi to Tamarama, for the Sculpture By The Sea. A big oversized twisted spoon, a ring of fairy stuffs, a Mercedes dismantled by some ants made of it’s parts, a river of flowers, a lighthouse, faces among tresses made to hold up the cliff face, and a whole bunch of other weird and wonderful creations, dotted the coast.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Leilah and Vincent’s Wedding

With a dash of red and formal attire, as per our invite, I joined a crew of family in a cab into the city and St Mary’s Cathedral for Leilah and Vincent’s wedding on Saturday afternoon.

Held under the main chapel in the Crypt, the bride arrived attended by her sister Alizah and little cousin Aimee, and walked down the aisle by a very proud Dad. The service, a full mass, was lovely, as we witnessed the joining of Miss Leilah and tall and sweet Dutch Vincent.

At Last! was the final church song, before a group photo outside, and the move to the foot of the bridge to The Waterfront for champagne and canap├ęs, to await the arrival of the bridal party.

Dinner was delish, with tandoori lamb cutlets and then barramundi for my seat. Wine, and chatter, before speeches, with Vincent impressing us all with his humour, and his thanks to Herma, his mum, for making the trip from Holland for the day.

The bride and groom managed to mingle through the crowd for the night, with the large windows of the Waterfront showing the harbour, the bridge and the Opera House, via large sheets of lightening.

An acoustic version of Grease’s You’re The One That I Want was the bridal dance, so cute! Congrats Leils and Vincey!

Bollywood Hen’s and Tim

Taking a long overdue long weekend, I flew to Sydney on Thursday afternoon, to join Leilah for the Hen’s Night at the Bollywood Restaurant in Double Bay. Champagne and a bindi upon arrival, I caught up with Nicole and Hayley, from our London meetings, before the bride to be arrived.

Indian be-coined skirts for all, the group was lead through their paced in Bollywood style dancing, only proving to me how uncoordinated I am! Hip shaking and arms swaying away, before our three course meal, and drinks, to see off one of Leilah’s last nights before marriage.

My much anticipated sleep-in the next day interrupted by deafening thunder and rain, I wandered along the bench and took it easy during the day, before boarding a bus into town to meet Belinda.

After some two hours on the bus, I found Belinda at the Quay, ready for a beer and a gig at The Rocks. Having not fully knowing who was playing at the Markets for the night, upon my arrival and to my delight, Belinda informed me that this night was to be Tim Freedman! So exciting.

A beer out of the rain, before we headed down to The Rocks, and another beer before Mr Tim graced the stage. Such an unexpected treat!

No Aphrodisiac, She’s Moving In, Kate Kelly, God Drinks At The Sandro and Blow Up The Pokies. Fall For You, Gough, Ease Of The Midnight Visit, and the double of White Horses and Keep The Light On for crowd voting for a Labor gig he has coming up.

Thank You and The Curse Stops Here, upon crowd requests. And then Duffy’s Song was the encore song, one of my personal anthems! He was great, as always!

We carried on for the night, through the market, with pub and schooner stops every few stops, with our last being the pub at the top of The Rocks at the foot at the bridge, with the view of the coathanger and bay.
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