Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Little Bay, Capote and Fame!

On Saturday night Nata and I headed south of the river to see Nat off in style. She's off to Copenhagen for work, and whilst she be back and forth fairly regularly, the big move still needed a night of recognition! If only to signify her return to the world of work, and leaving her bum existance behind!!! We meet up with Kimberley and Cam, and then headed to a restaurant nearby, where Caitlin and Jack met up with us.

We went to Little Bay, where whilst you sit and eat and drink, the room is serenaded by a wandering oprea singer!! Hee hee. Very funny! As you can see, Nat and Nata got the full, special treatment!! (More photos from that evening)

Sunday afternoon, I met up with Heather and some of her mates, and Charlotte and Matt, and Di, for Capote at the Electric Cinema. Wow. I can see why Heath is not winning any of the best actor statues this year - from the man once mainly known for his "sharted" comment in that horrendous Along Came Polly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman was brilliant as Truman Capote!

Last night the girls and I headed out for a girlie night of dinner and the theatre. Laura, Charlotte, Niny, Heather, Bea and I went along to Maxwell's for dinner, and then to see Fame. Full dancing and singing show, this production has been running for 10 years here in London.

With the song in our head, we left to walk across Waterloo Bridge, and see the London city at night along the Thames.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Snowing at work!

We are all working very hard here at the office, and have also just suffered the cold and hail soaked walk out to get some lunch. Just settling back into staring at the computer screen, and hoping the phone doesn't ring...when...

Big commotion to the windows!
It's snowing!

At least that makes up for just how miserably cold it is!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Resurrection Blues

Last night I went down to the Old Vic to join Caitlin and Jack, their friends Dom and her husband, and Nat to see Resurrection Blues. Knowing very little about it, except that is was being played in Kevin Spacey's theatre (!!), and it was starring Neve Campbell, I have no real expectations.

The opening scene features Neve in a wheelchair, supposedly having survived a suicide attempt, and thus suffering some paralysis. Interesting dialogue here, with the rumination about failing at taking action about failing life, her physical acting didn't quite hit the mark for me. I guess I am way too critical about non-disabled people playing someone with disabilities or such injuries as these were meant to.

But then in the next scene, the main character forgot his lines. To the point of needing prompting. Three times!! A voice from off stage had to prompt him through three different lines in this scene. Horribly uncomfortable, and embarrassing. There was also some odd tension on stage, with the co-actor of the scene not helping out at all!! It was almost an air of can't-help-you-mate-cos-you-didn't-turn-up-to-rehearsal!!

Ohhhh, trouble. The play looks at faith, government corruption and commercialisation...and then ends rather abruptly!! Probably just as well!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Coupe Davis, Geneva

Jumping on the train from one end of London to the other on Thursday afternoon, I only just managed to make my flight to Geneva. Trains delays (same old), and narrowly avoiding a no-ticket fine at the station (Aussie accent still works!), I made the check-in with 5 minutes to spare....ohhh! Lucky. Not sure I have been that close to missing a flight before...well, maybe in Colombo, but I was blissfully unaware!! Hee hee.

I met Nat at our hotel, ready for a huge weekend. We were in Geneva for the first round of the Davis Cup, Australia verses Switzerland. Now when we booked, this had promised to be a clash of the tennis kings, but since the Australian Open, both Hewitt and Federer had opted out of the clash, leaving both teams sporting their up and coming stars - and they did not disappoint!

Our hotel was situated across from the main train station, and all other transport connections, and walking distance to the lake. Very good! Overlooking the Basilica of Notre Dame - and facing the snow capping mountain ranges from our window!

Actually the city is surrounded by snow capped mountains, making our wander down to Lake Geneva on Friday morning very pretty indeed. Crossing the Rhone which flows from Lake Geneva, we walked along the edge to await the late winter start time of the Jet d'eau - to no avail! Must have been too cold at that time!! We wandered along the Jardin Anglais and found the Flower Clock eventually - which wasn't in full bloom, but impressive nonetheless. We then walked though the Old Town, through the cobbled streets, past Saint Peter's Cathedral, before finding the big chess boards in Bastions Park. Had to have a quick game!! Was very funny playing chess with big pieces, in a park surrounded by mountains!

After city exploring, it was time to get the train back out to the airport, where the Geneva Arena is - for the tennis! This venue was situated right next to the runway for the airport, with the snow capped mountains over looking it! Very sereal!

Day one saw the first two singles matches, with Peter Luczac and Chris Guccione playing for Australia. The new up and comer, I have watched Pete in one of his first 5 setters back at the Open...last year, I think. And he had a good Open this year. I was looking forward to seeing him step up. And he did well - after a very shaky first set. The Gucc lost the second match of the day, despite serving up a storm, which left the tie at 1-1.

Saturday morning we headed out on the tram to see the UN buildings. Closed to tours on the weekends, we did get to peep through the gates - much like Jenny and I did at the NATO! Across the road however, was the Musee International De La Croix-Rouge Et Du Croissant-Rouge, which was amazing. The boxes at the end of the walk through tour, covering what the Red Cross does today, was really good.

Following this, we headed back out to the tennis for the doubles match. Arthurs and Hanley did so well in this match, and we left the stadium with a 2-1 lead for the tie. The crowd was, as expected, very one sided, and very red and very loud!! The Swiss were quite amusing, although I have to admit that their "Hopp Suisse!" sounded a lot like "Aus-sie" to me!!

Catching the sunset behind the mountain range by the lake, Nat and I caught a boat across the lake and walked along the shore, before defrosting with hot chocolate to die for and dinner at a posh restuarant by the lake. As the sun set, and the lights came on along the lake - how romantic for Nat and I! Hee hee.

Sunday morning we caught a bus out to the outskirts of Geneva, where we could walk across to France (!!) and get a cable car up to see the city from the top of the mountain. Cool! The Téléphérique du Salève took us up the 1125m to the top of Mont Salève. Not much of a view in amongst the clouds, but we got to marvel at the snow up there - and freeze!!

Pumped for a nervy final day of tennis, we traveled out to the Arena with a group of Fanatics, who were in their usual full vocal force for the weekend. Taking our seats and feeling the tense atmosphere around the arena, we stressed our way through the first match, which saw the Swiss even the tie at 2-2.

And then The Gucc played the game of his life to win the tie for Australia! Was awesome! So tense, and with 39 aces Chris Guccione powered through to win in three sets. The Swiss crowd started to get very nasty as the loss seemed evident, with even a few boos for the last couple of aces! For a time there I did start to wonder whether my newly purchased travel insurance would cover a missed flight due to the in completion of the tennis - but didn't have to worry in the end! Guccione's win topped off an amazing weekend! (More photos)
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