Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sydney: Ashes

One day of the Fifth Ashes test, being in Sydney, completed my lap of the country, and at least a day of all 5 tests. Not a bad effort! Pity the Aussies couldn't impress! Totally disappointing to see them lose on home soil.

Melissa, Greg and I found our seats in the Flag allocation, just making the first over. A very slow session, Aussie batting at it's most dull - just the fear of the tumble of wickets, I guess.

I caught up with Johnny Mac at lunch for beers, and met his mate Dave, who then both joined us at our seats. Bad light soon stopped play for a bit, and then the rest of the day was characterised with play on and off, for rain spells. I blame this for the flow of beer, which was not wise, given that I had to drive home at the end of the day back in Melbourne. Alas, was great to catch up, and how else do you get through rain delays and losing the Ashes?

Meeting up with the birthday girl at the pub after play was called off, Belinda had spent her day in the Member's, and was in for a large night! A great pub, just walking distance from the SCG, The Local has many levels, and we found the crew on the top level beer garden. Eventually dragging ourselves away, Melissa, Greg and I grabbed a cab out to the airport, and flew home, marking the end of the Summer of cricket!

Visiting Sydney

Arriving in Sydney and meeting Melissa, Greg and Nick at the Opera Bar with it's breathtaking view across the Harbour on New Year's Eve Eve, had all the anticipation of the days ahead. Of course, the cricket was the plan first, and then Melissa came to us with the NYE idea. And then the Wilson's helped us out with accommodation, and my couple of days in Syders was sorted.

Drinks in the barmy air, with the House and the Bridge either side, Belinda and Ross came and found us too, for a drink. Was such a beautiful evening!

Melissa and I ventured into town the next day, after Brunch at the Wilson's recommended local, and managed to see the people lining up for hours to grab a spot for the fireworks. We were headed, though, to the Art Gallery of NSW, and the visiting Terracotta Warriors.

Having missed them by 3 minutes earlier in the year, the display in Sydney is of 8 Warriors, one of each of the distinct and enchanting soliders. A full chariot, and several other horses, along with rooms of other artifacts - this exhibit and the main room gives you a notion of what it would be like to see in X'ian....ahhhh, another time...

New Year's Day the 4 of us headed to Manly, across on the ferry, and stayed on the beach and then the pub for the day. Perfect way to nurse a NYE hangover. The next day I went down to Coogee, and caught up with Belinda and Jess at the end of their roadtrip, and the Spry's, for dinner and drinks.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Boxing Day Melbourne: Ashes

Going down to Melbourne Xmas night, picking up Harris along the way, I was joined by Melissa and Greg to get into the MCG the next day, for the highly anticipated Boxing Day Ashes test.

We joined Belinda, painted Harris, Jess and a bunch of others in our row in M1, shivering in the Melbourne cold. The cricket didn't do much to warm us up, with Australia batting, and finding ways to get out all too easily. A long rain delay over lunch was the only break from this English domination.

The Flag group then made our way across the CBD, to the Royal Standard Hotel, which Transport has recently taken ownership of. A great catch up with everyone at the home test, this session led to a lock in at the pub.

The night of Day 2 for this test has become a bit of a tradition, with the pink Sheilas heading to Richmond. First a few pints at the Post Office, before landing at Mexicali Rose, for much anticipated jugs of sangria and little bites of mexican food. A big group, they tucked us away into a room of our own, but I think we got very loud as the jug frequency continued - to the point where we were advise they had 'run out'. The Swan was the next stop, for some classic tunes by the DJ here, who must have thought it was Xmas again, finding a group who would sing and dance to his choices which included The Horses.

I left the group, and taxi-ed out to The Espy, to meet up with Mary and Sandra, for The Basics free (final) gig. Grabbing a spot up the front, I was perhaps a little under the influence, and gave Tim more encouragement throughout the set than I would usually! I had such a great night, and loved the set. It did seem that Wally was holding back a little, vocally, but Tim more than made up for it for mine. Ending the set with an awesome rendition of their cover of The Police's Roxanne, we got the chance to chat to Wally after the gig.

A fragile Day 3 for most of us after our large night, more so for some than others, the cricket continued to be painful for the Aussies - and a joy for Pommy Greg. England piled on the runs, and then took 6 wickets, to end the hopes of the Aussies and the Ashes.

Just the 3 days this year for me, given my over-usage of leave for the calander year, working through the session of Day 4 until England put the Aussie out of our misery, was less than productive!

Perth: Ashes

The end of our roadtrip across the Nullarbor led us to the cricket, being the 3rd Ashes test for the summer. We were treated with an Aussie turn-around, and the match of the series from our perspective. The return of Mitchell Johnson's form, the batting of Mr Cricket, gave us such hope for the series.

Drinks at Jess', before Belinda, Jess and I met up with Wizden and Blair for dinner, at GoGos. The best Indian dinner ever, this restaurant was adorned with cricket memorabilia.

With Jess and Dillo having to put in some hours at the office, Belinda, Carl and I made our way to the WACA, and staked out a spot on the hill for Day 1. Surrounded by the Milo Kids, we were soon baking in the sun for the day. The top order crumbled as the Aussie batted, and we soon wondered if the inclusion of Johnson back in the line-up was for his batting!

Drinks after the day at the dodgiest Irish pub, not too far from the ground, before calling it a night fairly late, to do it all again the next day. Day 2 saw Mitchell destroy the Poms, taking 6 brilliant wickets, and bringing the Ashes series to life after the disappointment of Radelaide.

Day 3 was all about a great innings by Hussey, with a well deserved century, to steer the Aussies into a great position. 5 quick wickets from the Aussie bowlers after the change of innings, and the match was poised. This evening we went to the better Irish pub in Perth, and formed quite a large group, and a big night.

Our final day, being Day 4, consisted of 3 sessions - one on the hill at the WACA watching the Aussies win, we then took a swim at Cottesloe Beach to cool off, before a final session at the OBH. Here, I was advised of the weather back home, of which I was returning to that night on the redeye - the news of a return to winter from the glorious Perth weather was the only downer of the day, and indeed week or two.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Groovy Kind Of Love

My first received mixtape through the Love Is A Mix Tape group, was the Valentine's Day mix swap last year. And I totally love it!

Crazy For You - Groove Armada
Sexy Boy - Air
Jealous Of Your Cigarette - Hawksley Workman
She Fucking Hates Me - Puddle Of Mud
All I Want Is You - Barry Louis Polisar
Crazy In Love - The Magic Numbers
Green Eyes - Coldplay
Jolene - The White Stripes
Song to Delia Smith - Aidan Smith
Kissing My Love - Bill Withers
Happy Together - Mel Torme
My Baby Loves Lovin' - White Plains
If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul
I Don't Care - Patti Page
Carrie - Joni Mitchell
Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson
Afternoon Delight - Ron Burgandy
Love Her Madly - The Doors
Sexyback - Corinne Bailey Rae
The Luckiest - Ben Folds
Time's a Wastin - June Carter

Some great covers there! And the mix plays beautifully.

Anyway, it's time to sign up for the next one for this year, so make a committment, have a play with a collection of songs, and send it on! And discover new music in an equally poured over mix in return!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Flood Relief Gig

The story goes that Bertie Blackman sent a text to Megan Washington, who sent an email to a bunch of other Melbourne based artist, and Thursday nights relief benefit was born. I got a text from Michelle about it, said yes, and our tickets were sorted - a gig which sold out in an hour, apparently!

So Michelle and I drove down to Melbourne after work, met up with Ruth and Danny for dinner along Victoria Street, before getting to The Corner in the middle of Clare Bowditch's set. Ending with the beautiful The Thing About Grief, after confessing to having Googled the lyrics after not playing it for so long, showed the depth of her talent, from her infectious smile to a serious and beautiful track like this.

Tim Rogers was next, with a solo set which included an awesome Berlin Chair.

Then Bertie Blackman opened with Valentine, and remained a backlit silhouette as she played a couple of new tracks. Byrds Of Prey and Heart then also showed that she is experimenting with some new sounds, whilst tinkering with the live versions of her album tracks. Following her set, a piece of Bertie's art was auctioned off by MC Julia Zemiro, for a whopping amount.

Megan Washington was next on the bill, and showed me why she has been getting so much attention in the past year - she was great live! How To Tame A Lion and Cement were stand outs. Tim Rogers joined her for her last song, being a cover of That Thing You Do, which was loads of fun.

The commanding presence of Dan Sultan filled the stage next, and enchanted the crowd with his voice, his stories - and keyboard playing, after explaining that he has injured his fingers and can't play guitar at the moment.

Another auction, of a guitar this time raising $2000, a blonde Missy Higgins finished off the night. Missy was great, with new tracks, bookended by known tracks ending with Peachy. She apologised in the end for being so excited to play that she had managed to create herself a bubble of musical experience - which only added to the joy of seeing her live again.

This fantastic night ended with most of the acts of the night coming together to play You've Got A Friend. This gathering had raised something like $30,000 at one point on the night, for the flood affected Queenslanders.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gotta Love the Aussie Open!

Just one full day at the Australian Open for me this year, looking over the draw the day before, it seemed I had lucked out on the days...which, in typical form, was totally not the case. The Open delivers great matches all over the complex - you can't lose!!

I drove down in the morning, and met up with Melissa, Mum, and Jessie, for our day at Melbourne Park. We first made our way to Court 6, coping a peek at Rafa practicing on the court next door, thinking that it presented with a potentially even match up. The Frenchman had been swapped for a German, to meet the 26th seeded Argentinian, Monaco. Proved right, a couple of us stayed for the whole match, which was a close and entertaining game, with 2 tiebreak sets.

At the end of the 3 sets win for Monaco, Jessie and I changed to Court 7 to sit with Melissa, and watch a disappointing Davydenko lose his first 2 sets way too easily. We then decided we would pop into Centre Court and use our tickets, for a look at Roger Federer before his first round match was all over.

Next, finding James as we left the big court, we went to Show Court 2, for Berdych's match against an Italian qualifier. The crowd made it more interesting, with a bunch of Czech Aussies singing and chanting for their countryman.

Monday's bonus was the music act scheduled for the Heineken stage, being Clare Bowditch. We ducked back to the beer tent, grabbing a beer, and took in Clare's talent. Charming the crowd with her stories and chats, and also interacting with the kids up front dancing, and the tennis clad beer-carrying lads walking past the stage, she played from her new album, and also some of the gems of her back catalogue. Lips Like Oranges and Divorcee by 23, plus the sexy You Looked So Good. I Thought You Were God, and Running, in an ode to sport, ha! The beautiful Lucky Life and Your Own Kind Of Girl, and ending with Bigger Than The Money. Clare is so amazing!

Back to the tennis after her hour set, we grabbed dinner and watched a couple of sets of Luczak against commanding Croatian Ljubicic. The fun police kept a watchful, unnecessary eye on the Ivan's fans. As the temperature dropped, and the Aussie's hopes dropped, we called it a day. And what a great day!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

Meeting up with Nicole and Mary, and the work crew for drinks at The Mint, the 3 of us soon escaped the city to find the National Theatre in St Kilda, ready for our night of music treat!

Taking our seats in this beautiful old theatre, we were ready for the start of the support for the night, being Tash Parker. Showcasing her debut album, she commanded the stage and venue with her voice and talent. Joined by Wally on stage for the last 2 tracks, he told us all that they had recorded one of them in an old church down on the Mornington Peninsular. The final track, Not Unprepared, also featured Wally on percussion and harmonies. She won the hearts of many in the crowd, as she has clearly won Wally's!

The Gotye set opened with his new track, Eyes Wide Open, with Wally at the front on standing drums, and the images of the video clip filling the back of the stage. The sound, in this cavernous stage, was incredible. Moving into Coming Back, before playing a new track, later introduced as Smoke and Mirrors, which seemed to have a very strong message for someone!

Starting Heart's A Mess by mentioning a few people had thought something of it a few years back, Wally wowed the crowd by reproducing those sounds and samples on stage - including bouncing from instrument to instrument, across stage. Another new song was dedicated to a couple of people in the audience, Bronte is about loss, and was sad and beautiful.

The Only Thing I Know was a treat from the back catalogue, before the final new song of the night, being The Light (maybe!) - which is surely destined to be big this year! Very exciting! Ending with the brilliant Learnalilgivinanlovin, this night was an little glimpse into the music and performances ahead. Such a talent!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Esperance – Denmark – Margie – Perth

Taking a day of rest, and beaches, at Esperance, we drove out to the Cape Le Grande National Park, and spent much of the day lazing on beautiful white beach with clear blue water - Lucky Bay, Thistle Cove, Hellfire Bay - tough day! We would have been playing beach cricket, but a seagull took off with our ball at the first stop.

Back into town, we had a BBQ on the seafront of Esperance, before further drinks back at the Motel to see out the night. The next morning, we were back on the road, for a big day of driving. Covering a large section of the map, we stopped for lunch somewhere in the middle of nowhere, before heading further south, and making it to Albany.

Still driving, we reached our planned destination of Denmark, and checked into the YHA Backpackers. Going out for a pub meal, we returned to find our fellow travellers all seated around the big dining table....all buried in their laptops. Belinda, Dillo, Carl and I decided we needed to take matters into our own hands to stir things up for ourselves, and unpacked the blender we were carrying for Jess (of Blender Party fame). A bit of rum, pineapple, coconut milk, ice, a bit of noise, and our balcony card game was mixed up with pina coladas!

Morning had us heading out, stopping outside Walpole to visit the Valley of the Giants, and walk the Treetop Walk in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. Being up amongst the canopy of the forest, before walking at ground level pass some of the biggest trees, and a tour by a very enthusiastic Ranger.

More driving had us reach the most south-westerly mainland point, being Cape Leeuwin. Here, it's said that the Southern and Indian Oceans meet, and it is also the site of a pretty impressive lighthouse.

Reaching Margaret River with just a half hour before the closure of the cellar doors, Carl, Belinda and I managed to squeeze in a visit and tasting session at both the Leeuwin Estate, where our wine presenter impressed us with his honesty and humour, and then down the road to beautifully manicured gardens being Voyager Estate.

Our last night of the roadtrip was spent at the YHA in Margie, where Carl cooked for us, and over more card games and drinking, Dillo finished his barrel of port carried across from Adelaide.

The next morning we stopped off at the beach at Yallingup, where Carl and Belinda took a dip, before starting the last portion of our trip, up to Perth. Running the gauntlet with the petrol tank, we found a stop to fill up just before we were in real trouble, and then reached the city outskirts.

Reaching Jess' new place in the early afternoon, we had covered just over 4000 kms since we saw her last, in the carpark of Adelaide Oval. Such an awesome trip!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nullarbor – Cocklebiddy – Esperance

Completing the Nullarbor Links hole at the back of the roadhouse the next morning, an easy way to walk off a hangover. I am quite sure Belinda and I couldn't have done this with anyone other than the two blokes on our roadtrip, who clearly knew what they were doing out on the course. They would send their ball flying from the tee, and then patiently and encouragingly walk with us alone the fairways as we grubbed our balls all the way up to the green. Course, it was much easier to find ours, just meters every time, rather than the longer search for theirs. Ha! This course is a great idea, to ensure the drive across the country is broken up.

Ducking back after the hole was complete, on the highway from Nullarbor, to the Head of the Bight - that's the Great Australian Bight, we took in the awesome Bunda Cliffs from the viewing platforms. Along the road some several hundred kms later, we found a cliff side spot for lunch, before making it to the Border Villages. Here, alongside the Big Kangaroo, we played another hole of golf, interrupted by a group of emus on the green. No kidding!

Crossing over from South Australia to Western Australia, we stopped at Eucla to check out the Telegraph Station, now engulfed by the sand dunes. The Roadhouse here led us to another golf hole, named after the tale of the Nullarbor Nymph.

Two more golf holes, and the completion of our front Nine of the course, we stopped for the night at the Cocklebiddy roadhouse, for an ordinary feed, and a hotel room that we had probably expected all the way across.

Back on the road the next morning, we covered the 90 mile Longest Straight Stretch of road in Australia, before making it to Norseman and turning left. Our long day of driving ended at Esperance, checking into the Motor Hotel, and then getting stuck into some hard earned beers, and more port for Dillo.

We had talked about having a big Saturday night here, and we certainly attempted it at the 2 main pubs in town. Both having karaoke, we were treated to the locals belting out all sorts of old tunes and unrecognisable tunes! Ha, ha. A great night for us, though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Streaky Bay – Nullarbor Links – Nullarbor

Having heard about the West Coast Whopper through a DVD of Dillo's mates', who had done the Nullarbor roadtrip last Ashes series, we put in an order the night before for the biggest burger in the world to be our breakfast/brunch the next day, as we prepared to head out of Streaky Bay. Getting to the Clearwater Cafe in Streaky Bay, they were just in the last stages of construction of this mammoth meal. Carl originally claimed he could eat 2, but upon seeing the size of the buns alone, the 4 of us ordered 1 between us, and then found a seaside spot to make the eating attempt.

Leaving all but scraps, the 4 of us completed our quarter each, before we climbed back into our Sportswagon to continue on our way.

Getting to Ceduna, we found the Tourist Information to gain details and a playing card to start the Nullarbor Links golf course. Hiring clubs here also, we got to the Ceduna Golf Course, and played the two holes (being 1 and 18 of the actual Course), to start our game. Finding black greens at the course, and fairly green fairways, Belinda and I found out that perhaps golf wasn't our olympic sport - but we'd have loads of fun figuring this out in the next few days!

Finishing the two holes, we returned the clubs, and stopped at the Big Oyster on the way our of town, and back onto the Highway. Two more holes for the Links, at Pedong and Nundroo, some 150kms apart, we then reached the Nullarbor Plain.

Pulling into the Nullarbor Roadhouse for the night, the family room turned out to be one half of what can only be described as a shipping container. We parked, and played a bit of Nullarbor carpark cricket to get the legs working again. Here we met several campervans full of Poms, also making the trip from one test to the other.

With nothing in view all the way around us, we watched the sunset, before we made it to the bar in the Roadhouse, for beers, mingling with the Poms and the locals, Ginger Wine, pool...and what turned into a very big night. Too much fun!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Adelaide – Clare – Streaky Bay

At the end of our pub lunch, after the Radelaide test, Belinda, Dillo, Carl and I climbed into the car that would take us across the Nullarbor to the next Ashes test, and farewelled the rest of the crew. Stopping on the outskirts of Adelaide to get some supplies for the start of the trip, like a cricket set and an esky with beer, we set off for our first stop.

Belting rain for the next hour or so teased us, knowing that our tailend batsmen had just needed to hang in till lunch. Alas.

As the rain started to ease, we reached Clare Valley, and plotted a couple of cellar door visits, close to winery closing time. Annie's Lane was our first stop, for a full tasting selection, and then we were entertained by the presenter at Skillogalee, and impressed with their wines. The Cabernets my favourite.

Reaching the town of Clare, we found the pub where our first accommodation was planned, and made it to the front bar just in time for happy hour. A few rounds to mark the beginning our this trip, planned for months, before dinner in the restaurant of the pub.

An alarm interrupted sleep, we hit the road the next morning, with our sights on Kimba and the big Galah. Through Port Augusta , we popped into Iron Knob for the laugh, and considered the tour of the quarry there. Discovering a whole lot of nothing, we kept driving and then made it to Kimba, which claims to be the halfway point across Australia. Here we stopped for lunch, and our first game of cricket, roadside.

Further down the highway, we ducked back to the coast along Anxious Bay, through Venus Bay as our first sight of the sea, and then up to our next night stop, Streaky Bay. Fish and chips on the beach in front of our cabin at the caravan park, making friends or enemies with the pelicans, and then some beachside cricket, we then entertained ourselves with card games, lots of beer, and Dillo's next installment of port consumption.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Arriving at Beijing airport the next morning like contestants on The Amazing Race, we needed to figure out the best option to get to Shanghai, so that I could still make my flight home in a couple of days. Checking both terminals, and eventually settling on a flight direct to Shanghai, we made our way to meet Dom a little earlier than originally planned.

Greeted by Dom, with little Sabi baby, was so exciting, having not seen her since her wedding. Meeting the new addition to her family, possibly the cutest baby ever, and then getting a picture of her world here in China, was very special. It was also such a treat to stay with her, in her lovely home, after our big trip, and Belinda, Jess and I were delighted.

Dom took us out to one of her favourite spots for lunch, and then we wondered through the laneways of cute little shops, catching up. Popping back to the house, and picking up little lady Jazzy on the way, we then prepared to go out for the evening. Dom took us out for Teppanyaki, before we wondered along the Bund taking in the lights and sights of Shanghai.

The next day, the very last day of my big trip, the 4 of us went in to visit the Yuyuan Garden, and the surrounding bazaar. Such a little piece of peaceful, beautiful Chinese garden, in the middle of the bustling city.

Having to say goodbye to the girls, after such an amazing trip, as I prepared to get out to the airport to go home, and then to Dom, Jasmine and Sabien, marked the finale to this most amazing time away - starting in Paris, and covering such a large scope of the world.

I caught the Maglev out to the airport for my flight home, which travelled up to 300 km/hour, making the trip from right in the city of Shanghai to the airport fly by in about 8 minutes. Wow!


Arriving in Beijing as our final stop of the Vodka Train, back in June, it was both exciting to be in this much dreamed about city, and sad to be near the end of this totally incredible trip. The 7 of us, Belinda, Jess, Jonesy, Mark, Karl, Harris and I, had had such an amazing and enriching trip....and had such fun doing it!

Taken to our hostel by our Honcho, we discussed and plotted our last couple of days, before going our for dinner and the most delicious Peking duck ever. That night we met another Vodka Train group, preparing to head back the way we had just come, and we all trekked out to the bars along Lake Hou Hai.

The next morning was our Great Wall of China experience, before continuing the day with a tired, but awe-struck walk through the Forbidden City and then Tienanmen Square. Climbing to the top of the temple at the north of the City, we took in the smoggy view of Beijing, and the vast City complex of palaces, before walking through it. Arriving at the front of the City, and the Square, we took in this much famed space in the middle of the bustling city.

Heading our for our final big night together as a group, we found a bar strip in Old Street, where we could watch the second of Australia's World Cup matches. Soon ditching the over-priced beers on the main strip, and seeing another loss, Harris found us a little club where our night really kicked off.

After farewelling the Irish lads, who flew home the next morning, Belinda, Jess and I trekked out to see the Summer Palace. Although given the state of us, we are each lucky for camera-memories captured! We were out in the outskirts of the city, and thus, got to see blue sky for the first time in a couple of days, and take things very easy wondering around these grounds.

Back into town, and a final glimpse of Tienanmen Square, we met up with Harris at the hostel, and walked down to take in the weird and wonderful smells and sights of the Night Market.

We had a final dinner with Harris, to include Peking duck, before Belinda, Jess and I had a thwarted attempt to get the train to visit the Terracotta Warriors. Alas, missing the train by 3 minutes, we encountered our only real hiccup of the trip - and as experienced travellers, coped with it exceptionally well!

Having an overnight train booked, and then a flight from Xian, with the missing link we needed to investigate the options - but finding no trains for the rest of the night, and the offer of a standing train the next day, we returned to our original hostel, to the shock of Harris, to figure it all out the next day.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Sydney New Years Eve Spectacular

This New Year's Eve was spent on the edge of the Sydney Harbour, for an indulgent but special night, with front row spots for the world renowned fireworks seeing in 2011. Being right there for the always-heralded aerial spectacular was very exciting, even for me, who is not usually enchanted by over-the-top expensive fire crackers!

Preparing for the evening, we then took the train into Circular Quay from Casa Wilson, which was all too easy, and made our way to The Rocks, and the entrance to the WaterFront for the evening. The Harbour was basking in sunshine, for a crisp, warm, gorgeous evening, with much of the people in the public areas staking our their spots since the morning.

Shown to our table for 4, located next to the dance floor, Melissa and Greg, Nick, and I found our places, each with a silly party hat at each placement. The Moet was soon flowing, as was the wine, and our menu selections from the amazing choices, were taken. Australia seafood sampler for entree, after our antipasto plate, followed by Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Tail, plus Chocolate treats for dessert - wow!

The 9pm fireworks above the Opera House were impressive enough, which happened between courses, and proved to us that we had the most impressive vantage point. The dance floor was also kicking by this stage, with much of the restaurant up dancing to the cute little cover band.

More Moet, and a random Brazilian dance display, we started preparing to be at the fence between restaurant patrons and the general public, for the big countdown and fireworks display. Penned as a $5 million effort this year, Melissa, Greg and I found our vantage point, bottle of bubbles at the ready. The anticipation in the Quay was electric.

The full
fireworks display got underway, and to be honest we were so engrossed, we didn't really notice a countdown. Colour and light from both sides of our view, being the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, were awe-inspiring, and such a great way to see out a cracker of a year...and see in the new, which has oh so much to live up to!

More dancing and Moet saw out the evening, being such an extravagant once-in-a-lifetime experience - so good! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2010: What A Year It Has Been!

Borrowing a line from Alex Lloyd's track, What A Year, 2010 has to go down as one of the best for me.

Starting in Broome, and ending in Sydney - with loads and loads of travel in between! My most amazing trip, which I haven't finished blogging about, plus a roadtrip to close my coverage of Aussie travel (again, still to be blogged about!) - plus a visit to New Zealand. Not bad in a calender year!

So many awesome gigs, some great MIFF films...but most of all I managed to get to some great places, and meet some totally awesome new people. And of course, travel with some great mates.

My sports obsessions were fed with the pinnacle of getting to the French Open, but also footy including finals, and then the lap of the country for The Ashes.

I also started, and got through my first year, of the MSW, and impressed myself with my results, despite the hell it took to get it all done. Plus full time work, covering most of Victoria.....whoa!

Going to be hard to beat!
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