Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wedding of Charmaine and Pascal

Thsi weekend just gone, Jane and I flew to the Gold Coast for the wedding of Charmaine and Pascal. On Friday night we left work and got out to the airport, ready for our flight to Coolangatta. We located our hire car, feeling very Amazing Race, and started working our way through my dodgy directions to find the Lamington National Park.

Driving in the dark up the mointains, with steep drops to the side of the road, hairpin bends at every turn, and strange signs about falling rocks, I am glad I passed on drinks on the plane! We amazingly made it up to Birra Burra Mountain Lodge in one piece, ready for a big weekend.

Saturday morning we headed to the dining room for the promised 'hearty breakfast' and were not disappointed, as we caught up with the bride to be, groom, and their friends and family.

Jane and I filled our gap in the middle of the day with a drive, before joining the bride in her room for preparations, and then getting ready ourselves.

Surrounded by family and friends, and to the beautiful backdrop of the mountain ranges, Charmas and Pascal exchanged vows, while a friend of Charmaine's, Melissa, sang and played guitar, and Pascal's mother played the pipe organ, at different moments. A lovely ceremony, which finished with Pascal lifting Charmas up for the kiss - cute!

Champas and canapes in the blazing sun followed as pictures were taking and guest mingled. Eventually the very organised MC rounded up the guests and provided instructions for seating - find your photo on your place card....hmmmm!

Wine and champagne, surrounded by an amazing selection of menu. A quiz as a room ice breaker, and teary and moving speeches, including a slide show from Swiss father of the groom...hee hee! Always gets a laugh!

The weekend was gorgeous as we witnessed Charmaine and Pascal formalising their relationship - sunshine, fresh air, breathtaking scenery, good food and wine, and a great bunch of people (from 14 countries all around the world - wow!!).

Although the hangover coming down that mountain wasn't so pretty! Oops!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Today in an attempt to spice up my worklife, and because the boss asked me to, I traveled up to the Albury office. I'm really going places with this job! I'll be in Dandenong tomorrow!!

So I leave my current homelessness solution in the morning, before I am usually out of bed, and arrive at Melbourne airport to find my flight not listed on the screens. Strange, but thinking that I am flying by light and tiny plane, I just thought that maybe it was too small time to be announced!

I go through security, with the usual your-surname-is-the-same-as-the-shoe-bombers "random" checks of bags, shoes and person, I approach the Rex desk...and find that my flight to Albury is delayed by an hour and a half. Good start.

I churn out a report in the airport like a diligent worker in my idle time, before eventually boarding the plane - which was like a crop duster, with propellers and all!

Was served complimentary coffee and a biscuit though, which kicks arse on all other flights these days!!

Anyway, two hours late to Albury my first appointment has been waiting around the office for me for an hour, but we do what we have to do, and it's all good.

I wander around cold Albury looking for an ATM and then something edible for lunch, before returning to the office to await my second appointment....and waited, and waited. Yep! No show!

What a fun day on the road! I guess I can't complain that it's uneventful! And I did get a coffee and pretzels on the way back!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Katie's B'day

With the footy being more interesting, Katie allowed us all to attend the Hawthorn/St Kilda match on Saturday night before driving up to Ballarat to met up with her for a night on the town for her birthday. We really shouldn't have bothered with the footy!

But Heath and Jessie and I loaded into the car, a six pack at the ready to guzzle up the kilometers to get home in time to join the birthday girl for jelly shots, pizza slices and more beers, before bracing ourselves for the trip out in the cold in the neverending quest to find somewhere decent to drink in Ballarat.

Our first stop was Side By Side (which was Cincotta's back in my day!). One dodgy side, one pub with beer side was the consensus, although we only stayed long enough for a pot before the birthday girl decided we would check out somewhere else.

In the actual 0C, we walked the all too familiar downhill slope to Camp Street and Haida Bar (was Extremity back in my day!!). Another beer here in the too cool atmosphere of leather couches and try hard lighting - I do think they still had the old crusty wine barrels and pool tables towards the back - before it was time to hit the line for the Regent (was Victory, if I am really showing my age, but has been Regent in my time too).

Brrrr, lining up and laughing that I wouldn't be asked for ID - no surprise there. Free to get in, so I guess it's the dregs of the nightlife action in the 'Rat these days, we drank, and downed jager bombs, and drank beer some more, before drunkenly pretending that we thought we could dance.....

Leaving the Regent and then thinking of having a toilet stop at the George on the way to the trusty taxi rank outside Myer, I was reminded that the curfew was still in place!! No way! I thought that was an experiment!! They wouldn't even let me in when I said that my (imaginary) husband was inside with the hosue key! I have heard that work before, but the curfew is serious, apparently!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hawk Wine Night

Somehow the Hawthorn Football Club has 'drinker' next to my name in the membership list, and so I was invited to a Wine Night on Tuesday night to taste! Wow!

Not to feel like I have leaped back 12 years in time and renewed my groupie status, I got Jenny, Justin and Jo to come along, and we all trekked from the city to Toorak after work in the cold and wet.

We arrived at Zanuba Restaurant, and tucked into the tasting, personally opting for the red options. We started with the advertised draw card, the Hudson Estate shiraz....and worked our way up!! The liquid gold taster at the end required a repeat!

A couple of players were in attendance to allow for some eye candy, although the four of us focused on enjoying our money's worth before having dinner in the restaurant. Daddy Hudson talked up the absent Paul's new wine endeavours, Croad was looking very good, and the risotto was ok!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Last month the group at our BookCrossing Meet Up laughed at me when I said I was working on my dowry, but it's not funny! I am approaching 30, and it's time to get my life in order. Right?

I have set myself the task of paying off my debts...by the time my 20s leaves me. Not long now! The old 'buy now, pay later' scheme has suddenley caught up with me, and it's 'later' now. Boo! Anyway, making good progress, and the debt free status (not including my over prised education, of course...never going to pay that off!!) should kick in for my next decade. Will let me focus on other things...like travel, I mean stability!! Hee hee!

And I have also been making myself learn how to cook. Well, not learn really, I mean, I did go to a girl's school, where Home Ec was a compulsary subject so that we would all learn how to be housewives...but at least making myself actually do it, and enjoy doing it, and actually liking to consume the end product. Recipes, shopping lists, and spending time in the kitchen! It's a new world!

I was also thinking on working on getting rid of my pot belly....but I think I should just focus on things that are achievable!! No setting myself up to fail! I mean, how can you find sustained motivation for that!!??

Will all this lead to the end of my single status? Doubtful! But at least I am taking care of myself!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Crowded House

On Monday night I went along to the Corner Hotel with Nicole, to see Crowded House! How massive is that! Their return as a band, at a little pub gigs, for the hard core fans - wow! Felt like such a treat!

And they were awesome! I have never seen them live - and they did not disappoint! In fact, impressed...a band that already impresses!

Nicole got down to the Corner the moment she finished work, and joined the line - as a true "Crowdie" should! I joined her a little later, and we managed to get three rows from the front....good start!

Liam Finn was support, Neil's son, with EJ Barnes (one of the Tin Lids!!! All grown up, and amazing!) on backing vocals.... This set the bar high, cos they were really great.

The band opened with Recurring Dream, and played a collection of their new album and of course a selection of their back catalog...Mean To Me, When You Come, Fall At Your Feet, Distant Sun, Four Seasons In One Day as a Melbourne tribute for the late Paul Hester. Their new song, Don't Stop Now....

They were awesome! I was blown away by the treat of seeing them in such an intimate show....and Neil is still so good! Can't rave about it enough!! Hee hee.
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