I’ve not had much of a chance to blog recently. So I will do a summary of the few weeks since I went to the Blue Mountains:
* Got a promotion. Now am doing my old job as well as doing the Transactional Products area, and am responsible for training another staff member now. This has resulted in me being much busier than expected, as this was done just as we were getting ready just for year end.
* Have had many lovely work lunches with friends – Alisia at GPO, Michael T at David Jones Food Court and Helen F at Suminoya.
* Had a filling replaced, which means no more pain when having cold things.
* Jenny, Fiona, Fiona, Karen, Deborah and Christa came over for a night of nice smelly things and relaxation.
* Went to Ettalong with Sandra, on a beautiful and not too cold day. We had lunch at the RSL (!) and I got a little drunk on Smirnoff Double Blacks. Really enjoyed the ferry ride there and back from Palm Beach. Have to do this again.
* Missed the wedding of Dave & Valli in Brisbane. Have seen the photos and it looked gorgeous. Wish we could have gone.
* Lots of clubbing:
– Lost Baggage at The Cross, with Gaiser and Marc Houle. Gaiser is brilliant and hot, hot, hot 🙂 Marc Houle was the same as every other time I’ve seen him. Enjoyed hanging out with Dave, Tad, Liz, Lisa, Ant, Brad, Hayley, Wowk and Jarrad. But the crowd, as usual at those parties, was appalling.
– Arq, with Stephan Bodzin and Dubfire. Bodzin played live, was amusing (he wore rubber gloves and played with phallic looking things) and was nice to hear a few of my favourite tracks of his. Dubfire was not bad, but was too tired to stay for the whole set.
– We Love Sounds at the Hordern Pavillion, Royal Hall of Industries and The Forum, with Dave, Rowena, Charles and Tad. I had a lot of fun, especially getting to hear (and see 🙂 ) Gaiser again, enjoyed Ellen Alien’s set and thought Dubfire played 45 minutes of good stuff, which he could have mixed with a bit more interest. Was bored to death by Lindstrom, Steve Lawler and Marc Houle. Not too many crappy people. Not too cold. Was too tired to go to the after party at The Cross but wish I had. Dave, Ant and Tad all enjoyed it!
* Many lovely dinners with friends. Been lucky with restaurants lately. Will be going back to all of these:
– Atelier in Glebe with Josie. Excellent company, food, Cosmopolitans, decor and staff.
– RedOak in Clarence St for Vanessa’s birthday. Hadn’t seen Vanessa & Jason in over a year, and was great catching up. Excellent food there too. Lovely tasting plates, of which Dave had a meat one. Will be getting one next time!
– Catalonia in Kirribilli with Dave, Lisa and Ant. More excellent company, tapas to die for, Caprihini’s.
– Ainoya in Kirribilli for Brad’s birthday, with Dave, Brad, Hayley, Lisa, Ant, Sylvana, Ben, Verity and Brad. Even more excellent company, lots of laughs, excellent Japanese, great Lychee Cocktails, and our own private area. I think our noise scared everyone else off though!
* A relaxing facial.
* Sex & The City at The Entertainment Quarter with Tad and Liz. Unfortunately no Cosmopolitans were available at La Premiere, so I had to settle for Frangelico, followed by Smirnoff Black. We had yummy food too. Liked the movie a lot.
* Reminiscing over our late European trip. Right now, a year ago, Dave and I would have been in Barcelona. And tonight we would have been going to the Minus party, with Magda & Rebecca Aff playing. We’ve been missing the warmth of Barcelona, the brilliant tapas, and the fun times we had together and with our friends. Dave and I have since decided to go to as many Spanish restaurants as possible until we find Patatas Bravas EXACTLY like we had in Barcelona. So, after going to Catalonia last week, we went to Raquels in Darlinghurst this week. Excellent food, but we still have to search for the patatas bravas. Wonder where we shall go to next week?
* Met up with a very old friend, Samia. Had a great lunch out in Max Brenner at Parramatta. Got to meet Sam’s lovely children, Audrey and Marc-Antony too. We haven’t seen each other in about 15 years, and had a great catch up over waffles. Am looking forward to our next outing!
* The first lecture in the series of “Monet’s World The Cultural Background to Impressionism” at the NSW Art Gallery with Alisia. This is a brief description of the lectures today:
– The Paris of the Impressionists – Professor Roger Benjamin
Paris was a magnet for the artists of the 19th century. Roger Benjamin, research professor in the history of art at the University of Sydney, looks at how the cultural and intellectual ferment of the city influenced artistic practice.
– Literature and the modern city – Professor Margaret Sankey
In the age of Impressionism urban life formed the backdrop to the work of novelists and poets. Margaret Sankey, McCaughey Professor of French Studies at the University of Sydney and a specialist in the history of ideas, provides a map to literary Paris.
Professor Benjamin was brilliant. An excellent presentation, very amusing at times (Crikey!) and lots of lovely works to see. Professor Sankey basically read off her notes, and I didn’t take in a lot of what she was talking about. Not well prepared to use Powerpoint either. Overall though highly enjoyable.
Afterwards, we tried to find somewhere to eat, and it took us an hour to find something that wasn’t full or closed. High Tea at the NSW Art Gallery wasn’t available until 2pm, and the lunch menu didn’t grab us. We tried the cafeteria at the gallery (full), The Tea Rooms at the QVB (closed for a private function), Glass at The Hilton (closed), Ivy (closed), The Observatory for High Tea (full), and Swissotel for High Tea (full). We couldn’t believe it. We basically were ready to give up, but then I remembered Max Brenner at MetCentre. Thankfully it was open and had seating. We had lovely sweet lunch: Alisia had waffles, and I had Fondue. It was a lovely way to keep out of the cold.
After our experience of full places to eat, I wondered a couple of things. Is there really a recession coming? And what do tourists say when they can’t find a nice place to eat, on the spur of the moment, on a weekend. I tend to book things way in advance, as most of my friends know. But the one time I don’t, it’s almost impossible. A taxi driver we had today told us of a couple of ladies from Melbourne who had a similar problem recently. Why are so many places closed on a Sunday? After my experiences in Melbourne, I can see why they are now the tourism capital of Australia. I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble finding a good place to eat there. Do I have to go to a crappy food court even on the weekend, if it’s a spur of the moment thing?
Anyway, it’s been a mostly enjoyable few weeks, albeit a bit busy with work. I just wish it wasn’t so cold!