Still in my 30s (just)

Well I think I’ve had a mostly pleasant day today. It’s been bloody hot, and still is – 30 degrees at 8pm! But it’s been mostly relaxing.

I’m gonna go watch 30 Rock and The Office with Davo. Restful time today, before the weekend of mayhem! Can’t wait 🙂

And now for December, until Christmas Eve!

What a busy month. Work was ridiculously busy, and so was the social life…

Clubbing
* Luciano at Pulseradio harbour cruise, The MV Starship. This was such a fun and funny day. Musically, not all that inspiring, but definitely fun. Luciano played a “festival” type set. I’d seen him before at Fabric in London and Love Family Park festival in Hanau and thought he was excellent, but he didn’t live up to the hype this time. Lots of fun hanging out with friends, meeting a lot of new people, and getting rather drunk. It was lovely weather for a day on the harbour. There was an altercation on the boat between two people, which has had quite an interesting outcome. It seems that some people with ego problems have now pulled their heads in a bit, and I think it’s making it a nicer scene as a result. Quite a few issues on the boat with toilets closing, horrendous drink queues and running out of bottled water. But had so much fun (or was that due to being very drunk? :P). Thanks to all that I had a fun day with – Davo, Sebastian, Tad, Nataly, Andrew, Becy, Jarrard, Tom, Alex, Josie, Mark, Kimberly, Glen, Dariya and anyone else I may have forgotten. Can’t wait to the next one – birthday shenanigans 🙂 Apologies to Liz for not helping keeping Tad from getting too drunk – I was too drunk myself!

* Andrew Wowk at Home. After the Luciano cruise, we staggered (in our still drunken state) to Home to see Andrew Wowk play. Was a great set, and lots of people too. Pretty good for 6.30 in the evening. Mostly the same friends on the boat wandered down. Spent most of the time amusing ourselves with watching the antics on the podium, whilst enjoying the music. Luciano turned up and danced too! Great end to a great day.

* Paco Osuna and Audiofly at Lost Baggage, The Cross. Had lots of fun. Nicer vibe than usual, and enjoyed Audiofly a lot. Had lots of fun hanging out with Davo, Tad and Dariya.

* A Guy Called Gerald at Future Classic, The Civic. What a great night. A Guy Called Gerald played a brilliant set. After all I’d heard about him, I was looking forward to it a lot, and was really impressed. Danced for ages. Had lots of fun with Davo, Sebastian, Andrew, Mel and Amy. I hope we get to see him in Europe this year.

* Sammy Dee at A Late Night Shuffle, Macquarie Hotel. Having seen him before in Berlin, I was really looking forward to the night. He played a lot of good tracks (mixing a little messy), but made up for it in enthusiasm. Really good crowd and reasonable drink prices. Spent quite a while chatting with Davo, Ant, Piero, Natacha, Cameron, Alex and Jimmi. Dave decided not to wear his “Vinyl kills the mp3 industry” t-shirt, which was lucky, as Sammy Dee was wearing it! Will definitely go back to A Late Night Shuffle after this experience.

High Tea
* Christmas High Tea at The Sofitel. With Davo, Fiona, Alisia, Helen F, Mark, Murray, Roberta, Josie, Jenny and Rachel. It was great to catch up with lovely friends before Christmas, to relax the afternoon away with great chocolate tea food. Service could have been a lot better, but we were all pretty happy with the food by the end. Am thinking of doing Christmas High Tea again next year, if we’re in Sydney at the time.

Lunches
* With Sandra at GPO. Was lovely to see her – it had been ages.
* Christmas lunch with Stephanie, Anny, Helen F and Alison at Doyles, Watsons Bay. We had such a great Christmas lunch here last year, that we decided it would be where we would go this year. What a fabulous afternoon. We got a water taxi from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay. Great conversation, loads of yummy seafood – lobster, crab, oysters, fish, chips, desserts – and quite a few yummy drinks. Oh and the most surprising event was the lawyer in budgie smugglers mooning people from a dinghy near the shore, then coming and having a chat with us – whilst still in his budgie smugglers, dripping with water. Think the character Smith in “Sex and the City” and he’s pretty damn close to it 🙂

Dinners and/or drinks
* Dinner at Tad & Liz’s place, with Davo. Very pleasant evening, yummy food and drinks. And especially company. I love their new place – I want Liz’s study!
* Cocktails and tapas at Sugarmill, Kings Cross. Tad & Liz organised this fun evening at their new local. Met some of their friends from various areas, and spent most of the time chatting with Liz, Dom and Mark. Cocktails were good, nice vibe upstairs, and yummy tapas. Will definitely go back.
* Christmas Dinner at Catalonia, Kirribilli. Had a great night of tapas and cocktails with Davo, Tad, Liz, Ant, Lisa, Murray and Roberta. The service is always great there too so we always leave happy. We should do this again next year!

Birthdays
* Libby’s first birthday at Jen & Rob’s place. Lovely morning spent watching Jen & Rob’s little one celebrate her first party. Very impressive Ladybug Cake – good work Jen. Was great to catch up with Rachel (hard to chat at work!), Paul, Nicholas (who turns one in a few weeks), Richard, Mrs Williams, and lovely friends and family of Jen & Rob.

Health
* Hand getting better but not brilliant. Up and down, especially during month end at work.
* Off for my 6 monthly dental check, and all was good 🙂

Comedy
* The Chaser Annual Q&A at NSW University Roundhouse with Davo. This was so funny. The questions from the audience were sometimes completely ridiculous (Ninjas or Vampires?) and other times pretty normal. It was definitely a good way to spend an evening. And they were so nice and polite when autographing my Chaser Annual. And Chas is definitely still the nuttiest of them all 🙂

Trivia
* Trivia night at The Longueville. Had lots of fun – and our team managed to come third! Was great to see Scott and Lauren for the first time since we saw them in London (July 2007!) – wish they were moving to Sydney instead of Brisbane, but you can’t have it all! And great to catch up with Damien, Tim & Nicole.

Work
* Farewell to our CEO of the past 7 years, to his new life in retirement. John will be missed.
* Welcome to our new CEO Craig.
* Corporate Services’ Christmas Party at Strike Bowling, King Street Wharf. Spent most of the afternoon drinking cosmopolitans, and chatting with Richard and Ronen. I can’t play bowls for the life of me, but was highly amused that I managed to get some strikes, followed up by hitting nothing at all. I’m pretty sure I came last, but they didn’t hand out prizes for that this year. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon at work!
* Farewell morning tea’s and drinks for our FC Rodney (who’s heading to work in Saudi Arabia) and Teresa (the other Senior in our team, who is heading to another Financial Institution). They will be missed.
* We have 3 contractors in our team now – Daniel, Lili and Albert. It’s fun having new people around – there hasn’t been a lot of turnover in our team in years. It tends to happen all at once.
* Corporate Services’ Kris Kringle. For the 3rd year in a row, I organised it, but am probably going to leave it for someone else to do this year. I actually got a present that was very useful – a book called “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”. One of those books you can’t stop reading.
* Team and Teresa’s farewell lunch at Sydney Tower Restaurant. Good way to get to know the new contractors as well. And for Ishani to eat!!!!
* The busiest December I’ve had since about 2000 at work. I need a long break.

Let’s see…things I got up to from 10th November to 30th November…

Lunch
Generally too busy at work to even have more than a few minutes for lunch. Managed to go with Michael G to a Thai Place in Wynyard. I have a feeling we were celebrating his birthday 🙂

Clubbing
* Style of Eye and Shonky at Lost Baggage, The Cross. Meh, not inspiring, and the crowd was crap (as usual). And we hardly saw Ant and Piero!
* Oliver A and Pepperpot at Minimal Fuss, The Civic. Bloody fabulous night. Memory a bit hazy now, but I remember enjoying it. Dave, Phillip and I enjoyed ourselves. Was great to see Sameer and Dave C. Although I missed Libby 🙁
* Kraftwerk and The Orb at Global Gathering, The Hordern. Kraftwerk were just brilliant. Had lots of fun hanging out with/bumping into Dave, Rowena, Charles, Sebastian, Peter, Rodney, Andrew, Jarrad, Boris and Pia.

Birthdays
* Tim’s 30th BBQ at Tim & Nicole’s place. A lovely way to spend a summer’s afternoon.

Health
* Hand getting better but not brilliant. Up and down, especially during month end at work.

Anniversary
Went to Melbourne with Dave for 3 days 2 nights. Photos on Flickr, showing a bit more detail. Had an awesome time. Things we did included:
– Stayed at The Hotel Windsor. Fabulous room, pillows from the pillow menu, and excellent mini bar.
– Lunch at Y-yu. Always good there.
– Shopping in the city. I found chocolate – Loads of it 🙂 And Dave was happy as he found t-shirts.
– Dinner at Vue de Monde. Divine. Drool. Drool. Drool. Can’t decide whether I like this place or Tetsuya’s more now. Exceptional food and service. I wanna go baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.
– Breakfast at The Hotel Windsor. Eggs Benedict (Dave) and Pancakes (me).
– Chocolate Walking tour (me) and Chapel St shopping (Dave). Chocolate tour involved Koko Black Bourke St, Haighs, Cacao, and Koko Black Collins Street.
– Late lunch at Bar Lourhina. Tapas and cocktails (Stolen Town Bike).
– Dinner at Movida. Tapas and cocktails (Mojito).
– Seeing “Quantum of Solace”. Excellent movie. Crappy cinema.
– Back to Bar Lourhina for after movie Tapas and more Stolen Town Bikes.
It seems that Tapas was a theme on Saturday!
– Breakfast at Madame Sousou. Eggs Benedict (Dave) and Chocolate Crepe (me).
– Shopping in Brunswick Street.
– Lunch with Quest & Sara at Babka. Babka is no longer good unfortunately.
– Tram to St Kilda and wandered around the shops.
What a brilliant way to properly celebrate our 10th Anniversary 🙂 🙂

Family
* BBQ at my Uncle Joe’s. We usually do this on NYD, but my cousin Mark was getting married on 2nd January, so we had it in November instead. Lots of fun catching up with the relatives. And some who I hadn’t seen in maybe 20 years!

Movies
* Brideshead Revisited with Juliet at Roseville. Very well done, but still such a sad story.

High Tea
* At The Sofitel with lovely old school friends Lisa, Bronwyn, Kate and Angela. The last ever Le Notre high tea there. All very good!

Miscellaneous

* Got my iPhone. Yay! After serious bad delivery service from Optus. Grrrrr.

Work
* New Financial Controller started. He’d googled me!
* A number of finance staff left or went on Maternity Leave. To say goodbye to the leavers, and celebrate with the maternity leavers, we went to the Guylian Cafe at Circular Quay and to James Squires Tavern.
* I can’t remember the last time when things were slow at work. Seems like more things happening day after day.

:)

I think I’ve enjoyed Christmas a lot more than usual this year. Lots of great time with Dave, family and friends. Yummy food and alcohol. And movies!

Will write more when I get a chance. Have to catch up on the last few months. Especially Dave and my long weekend to Melbourne for our 10th anniversary – best trip to Melbourne we’ve had together I think.

Hope you’re all enjoying the public holidays. I’m off to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona soon. It was being filmed while we were there last year – I want to be reminded of the sights! (hopefully there are some).

A pretty good weekend

Friday
Didn’t start well. Missed my brother’s BBQ due to working back. Went home afterwards to relax, and ended up getting sick. Great. Not a lot of sleep as a result.

Saturday

Morning: “A Day in Paris” seminars at the NSW Art Gallery
“Everyone loves Paris, and this special day looks at the City of Light from three perspectives. Popular lecturer Christopher Allen looks at the extraordinary collections housed in the Musée d’Orsay, in particular its Impressionist paintings. Joanna Saville, author and presenter of SBS TV’s The Food Lovers’ Guide to Australia will entertain you with a feast of food tales – including some Michelin star ones…And dynamic young artist Ben Quilty will tell of his experience of Paris, after winning the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship. Morning tea and light lunch included”.

Alisia, Marg, Emma and I were there. It was great fun. 3 brilliant lecturers, who kepts us laughing throughout. I’d seen Christopher Allen talk a few times before. He never ceases to impress me with his knowledge, and he was on fire this time. Joanna Saville was very interesting, making us drool about the food she’s eaten in Paris. Thankfully, this was followed by lunch! Then onto Ben Quilty. His talk was excellent. It was funny, I’d seen him wandering around the lunch area, and thought, that’s not the usual sort of guy we get there! Wasn’t really surprised when he ended up being one of the lecturers.

Have to look at upcoming things at the gallery, as I enjoy them a lot. I think Alisia, Marg and Emma would agree!

Afterwards, signed up to do volunteer work at the gallery. Fingers crossed. And bought a lovely Monet umbrella, to replace my crappy one. Yes, it isn’t black!!!

Afternoon: Ant’s 30th
Ant had a BBQ for his 30th in the park near their place, with Lisa, Dave, me, Rob, and Bianca. It was a lovely afternoon (not too hot, and didn’t rain). Was lots of fun just chatting and drinking (especially Dave), playing with the various dogs in the park being walked, and eating yummy food (THANKS GUYS!). Must do this again soon 🙂 (And thanks for the lift Rob & Verity).

Night: Nada
Well it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We arrived home around 8pm, and proceeded to crash out (Dave drank too much beer, and I was still overtired from last night). Unfortunately, we didn’t wake up until morning. Which means we missed Marshall’s gig 🙁 Sorry Marshall and Lucy. We’ll have to make it up to you.

Sunday
Day: Nothing
I was going to head to Juliet’s for the afternoon, but unfortunately this co-incided with track-work. So we’ll have to meet up soon for movies.
Instead, we did nothing. Which I suppose is a nice change from usual! Dave mixed records, whilst I cleaned up a bit, and then watched some TV.

Evening: Early Dinner with Dave, Charles & Rowena
Charles and Rowena came over for a little drink, and then we headed to Sky Bar in Roseville for dinner. Great Thai food. We just sat around eating and chatting, it was nice and relaxing (and thanks for the lift guys – can I sit in the front one day? :P).

Night: TV and sleep
Watched some of the Office (US) and Pushing Daisies, and actually went to sleep early for once.

Monday
Will try to get to sleep earlier from now on. Woke up feeling not so bad, and early! New Financial Controller starts today, so time to get to work!

Cranky skirts…and Happy Happy Joy Joy

So, these things make me Cranky skirts (as opposed to pants):

* L’Occitane have discontinued my favourite product, Shea Butter Exfoliating Foot Care. To buy it anywhere on the web, it’s at least $15 more expensive, not including postage.

* Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is “dumping its deal to push Frances’ famed Lenotre brand in Australia”, per the SMH. So there goes my favourite indulgent Lenôtre Afternoon Tea 🙁 I rang on Tuesday and found out it will probably still happen until the end of the month, so a high tea I’m having with old school friends can still happen this month. But I’m planning a Christmas High tea there too, so will have to see what the new menu is like before deciding.

* The first 3 working days after month end are the most important days for our team. The second working day fell on Melbourne Cup day, and a certain department went out for an entire afternoon lunch, thereby making things very difficult. I have worked out that the next Melbourne Cup that does not fall in our month end process is 2017.

And these things make me Happy Happy Joy Joy:

* I got 3rd prize ($15) and last prize ($2) in the Melbourne Cup sweeps. I only spent $12, so I made a 42% profit. It’s only $5, but I usually make a loss.

* We get to see Rhythm & Sound (the rest of the Sydney Festival line-up is crap for me), and Danny Bhoy next year.

* Obama won.

The upcoming weekend is hectic. I need a nap.

I had a bloody great weekend!

Friday

* Phillip’s 18th Birthday Celebration (the start)

Started by getting everyone turning up about 45 minutes late, being rejected by 360 Bar (as all the males in our group were wearing jeans & trainers) and then not being able to go up to the Centrepoint observation deck as the lift stopped working. I was RATHER hungry by this time, so luckily things got better quickly.

Dad, Ros, Alex, Kate T, Phillip and I headed to the GPO for food and drink instead. Excellent tapas, seafood, pizza, and alcohol to be had by all. Although Phillip was on a mission to get kicked out (!), thankfully it didn’t happen. Basically sat around chatting and eating. Skye turned up about 8.45, and I headed off 10 minutes later to meet Kate.

* Sugar Hit with Kate R

Kate R and I met up at Swissotel for Sugar Hit. Very very yummy. “Three Treats with Chocolate” Milk chocolate velvet cheesecake; Dark chocolate with caramel & pear; White chocolate with coconut sorbet Served with a glass of “Hennessy Strawberry Mint Cocktail”. Followed by mojitos 🙂 Was great to see Kate – got to hear all about her boy Benjamin (now 5.5 months old), and caught up a bit on other happenings too. Will see you at the Sofitel in a few short weeks Kate!

* Phillip’s 18th Birthday Celebration (the continued)

Rang Dad and found out they were all still at GPO. So went back and joined them all. Rowdy buggers 🙂 Was fun hanging out, chatting and drinking. Phillip got the most pissed (surprise surprise). Then we went upstairs to the lounge of the Westin hotel for coffee, tea and cake. Served by a lovely waiter (Michael) who had to put up with our antics. And Phillip kept accosting randoms – this is what happens when you turn 18, are drunk, and are from the country!!!!

I happily went home a bit tipsy, but not too bad. I’d lost track of time though. Thought I’d do a load of washing when I got home, then realised it was midnight!

Dave and I watched In Treatment, which I fell asleep to in parts. I woke myself up snoring!

Saturday

* Breakfast and loitering (without intent) with Dave, Tad & Liz

Stumbled out of bed to get ready in a hurry. Dave and I were meeting Tad & Liz at The Fountain in The Cross. We went to breakfast at Dov, where unfortunately my order was stuffed up, but they were nice so I coped. Wanted pancakes, but they poured maple syrup all over them (no, it was not written on the menu). Then found out they had no more left, so went for the fruit salad. Happy about that when we went back to the markets near the fountain, and I found Nutella Crepes!

We did a little bit of looking around, whilst Tad and Liz did some grocery shopping, and then went back to check their new place out (very nice :)). I want Liz’s library – it’s AWESOME. Sat around chatting for a while, then headed home. Was a fun morning 🙂

Got home, did a few bits of housework, then napped for 3 hours. Dave woke me up to make me eat dinner, then we got ready to head out.

* Tom Clark at Nevermind

Got to Nevermind on Oxford St about 11.30. Man, there were lots of scary beefcakes wandering around Oxford St. Thankfully not many of those in the club.

We hadn’t been to Nevermind before. It’s a well laid out club (smokers not shoving everyone out of the way to get outside), but unfortunately didn’t stay busy for long. The dancefloor was reasonably filled when we got there, but emptied out about 1.30. We were probably the oldest people there by far (not unusual in Sydney really). Nice people though – people actually apologised if they bumped into you, which was a nice change from the messy, rude crowd I see a lot at Lost Baggage.

Tom Clark came on about 1.15, and played for 2 1/4 hours. There was problems with the soundsystem. Dave thought it was set up for CDs, and as Tom Clark was using Vinyl, there was a feedback problem at first. He can’t figure out how they fixed it. I think Tom had to give up on using vinyl, and use his laptop instead, with either Traktor or Serrato scratch. His mixing wasn’t brilliant, but the track selection was nice. Not the best gig of the year, but I enjoyed what I heard.

The bathrooms were weird – bright red, and 2 of the cubicles had no toilet paper dispensers in them (note to club: girls like toilet paper). But the staff were nice. The owner was out the front when we arrived, nodding at the patrons (I found out it was the owner later), and the bar staff asked if we were having a good night. Drink prices were more reasonable than Chinese Laundry too.

Was a good night, and was fun to hang around with Dave and Seb (welcome back again!). I got in trouble for smiling too much whilst Tom Clark played. I was happy! Nice music, space to dance, and not being bashed into every few seconds. Unfortunately, Tom finished early (probably due to the mostly empty club), so we left at 3.30 when he finished.

I originally wasn’t thrilled about going there – considering it was the old Kink. But after seeing what it’s like, will go back there again if there’s someone I really wanna see now.

Sunday

* Yum Cha and drinks with Dave, Lisa & Ant

Went to Yum Cha in North Sydney. Didn’t get a lot of sleep, so felt a bit rough, but was fun to eat lots of prawn dumplings and catch up with Ant and Lisa. It had been ages! We ended up heading to The Union pub, which had recently been renovated, for cocktails. Could tell they don’t do cocktails that often during the daytime!

Think we’ve talked them into coming with us on NYE. Fingers crossed!

* General crap

Went home and decided to watch a bit of TV, followed by crashing out. Unfortunately, I slept for 3 hours instead of 1, and woke up at almost 9pm. Didn’t make it easy to sleep last night.

And now I’m up at bloody midnight again. Time for sleep, in preparation for more for month-end mayhem.

Godiva

* Monday night I forgot they were having an auction at the NSW Art Gallery, in order to raise the last millions they need for the new Cezanne. I was really annoyed, as they had 3 Jeffrey Smart’s for sale. Which were actually in my price range! Like between $3 and $15k. Yeah, I probably would have got the $3k. Even if it meant starving for the next month.

I suppose I’m exceptionally pissed off as Jeffrey Smart donated it all, and I doubt that happens a lot. ARGH.

Mel went, but didn’t buy anything. I would have tried!!!!

* The last Good Food Month “Let’s Do Lunch” with Stephanie, Anny, Helen and Alison at 360 Bar & Dining in Centrepoint tower. It was a lovely lunch of Chicken Galantine with braised shallots, shimeji mushrooms and asparagus, followed by all of us getting dessert (Chocolate things for Stephanie and I; Panacotta (which I can’t stand) for everyone else). Was great company, great food, great service, but unfortunately it was raining, so our view wasn’t brilliant. Oh well, going back there in a few hours, hopefully it won’t be stormy by then. Looking forward to our Christmas lunch together 🙂

* Dinner with Dave, Murray & Roberta at The Longueville, and then going back to our place. Was great to find out that Roberta loves books too! Great company, good food, a fun night. Hoping we do it again very soon.

* My youngest brother, Phillip, turned 18 this week. Happy Birthday Phillip! Not that he reads this. Anyway, it’s funny, as I remember the day he was born very clearly, and thought how old I’d be when he turned 18. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! And now I am.
We’re going out to celebrate shortly. He just wants to get drunk! He bet $5 on poker machines, just because he could now, and doesn’t want toever do it again, as he lost all of it. Which he could have better spent on alcohol.

The birth of Phillip was sort of chaotic for me. I’d been out, and got home around 2 or 3 in the morning. I was woken up about an hour later by someone telling me that Ros (my step-mum) was going into labour, and that I needed to look after all my other brothers and sister (who were about 8, 5 and 2 at the time) until Ros’s mum turned up to babysit. I have vivid memories of trying to stay awake by doing ironing! And Ros having a shower before going whilst Dad freaked out. Ros had been through birth 3 times before, so she knew what she was in for. I think Dad thought Ros would have the baby in the shower! No, that didn’t happen. Phillip was born in the hospital.

So Ros’ mum turns up about an hour or so later, and I go back to bed. But not for long. My car was being fixed, so a friend was picking me up at something like 8am to take me to uni. Yes, that was a LONG day.

Unfortunately, there are no memories like that of Chris (who will turn 20 soon). He was almost 2 weeks late, so he was induced, during the day time.

Ah, all my brothers and sister are adults now.

* I think I’m addicted to “In Treatment”. And Godiva chocolate. Hmm, “In Treatment” is less expensive!

Counting down until the weekend. Lots of fun things happening. Tschüss!

What’s been happening…

So a quick catch up on what’s been going on since mid-September…

Lunches
* Helen F at MetCentre coffee shop.
* Jenny G’s birthday lunch at Verandah with Alisia, Richard and Michelle.
* Josie at Bungalow 8 for Good Food Month. Great lobster, average service.
* Josie at Cruise for Good Food Month. Good spatchcock, absolutely TERRIBLE service. Will never go back.
* Stephanie, Anny, Helen and Alison at The Tea Rooms for Good Food Month. Awesome fish and desserts. Excellent service. Must go back!
* Sandra T at Kables for Sandra’s birthday and Good Food Month. Awesome fish and desserts. Excellent service. Must go back!
* Michael G for his birthday at a little place in an arcade near Wynyard. I think he enjoyed his day more after a relaxing (short) lunch.
* Dave at North Sydney Yum Cha place. Hadn’t been there together in ages. Was very yummy and quick service. Then we went to Aldi, as everyone raves about it – I don’t understand!
* Jenny G, Alisia and Richard at 41 for Good Food Month. Much better than expected! Again, yummy food and quick service. I’m going to miss Good Food Month!

Dinners
* Dave, Marshall & Lucy at Redoak. Was lovely to see them – as the last time was in London in July last year.
* Thai with Dave at Rowena & Charles’ place. Was great to see them. They’d just gotten back from the States. Had a great catch up and watched “Office Space” on a wall projector!
* Dave, Murray & Roberta at Catalonia. Think I got too drunk on yummy mojito’s. Sorry for being so noisy all.

Clubs
Not very much recently. This will change very shortly!
* Dave had a gig at Chinese Laundry. Really enjoyed it. Was happy that we had a few friends come along too – Tad, Murray, Josie, Heath, Lee (and apologies to anyone else I have forgotten). Hope he gets another gig there soon.
* Paul Ritch at Lost Baggage. Well it was the Sunday night of the long weekend. There were loads of EXTREMELY messy people. Typical crowd for Lost Baggage. And so I didn’t really get to enjoy a lot of the night unfortunately. Paul Ritch was good, but no matter where we were, got pushed and shoved and trodden on. I ended up wanting to leave before Paul Ritch left, and I was lucky that Dave wanted to go home too. I just wish the crowd were not so bloody thoughtless at Lost Baggage parties, as they get great internationals that I want to see. These problems rarely happen in Berlin!
* Deetron at Chinese Laundry. Not as crowded as usual, which made it much easier to dance. Unfortunately Deetron wasn’t inspiring. I’d been really looking forward to hearing him, but he played like he wasn’t sure what to play, and it was very obvious. It just lacked flow. We ended up leaving after an hour, and having a very early night.

Art
* Went to the Japan travel talk at NSW Art Gallery with Helen F. Was interesting, but it was not exactly what I wanted to do in Japan. Will have to go sometime though.

* Went to the remaining Monet’s World The Cultural Background to Impressionism lectures at the NSW Art Gallery, with Jenny and Marg on 21/9 (followed by a lovely lunch in the café) and Alisia on 19/10 (followed by a lovely Monet tour & High Tea with Alisia, Helen, Mark, Oksana and Philippa). Topics were:

21/9 Proust and Impressionism – Terence Maloon
The madeleine is the moment. More than any other writer, Marcel Proust embodies Impressionism in literature. In preparation for the exhibition, Terence Maloon has been re-reading him and gives us a taste.

21/9 Impressionism and modernism – Professor Roger Benjamin
Monet’s long life as a painter encompassed the transition to modernism. Roger Benjamin has long studied the changing schools of French painting, and presents the historical perspective.

19/10 The moment: a quest for reality in Monet and Woolf – Professor Russell Meares
Monet represented a great change in Western consciousness, when the nature of reality became the issue. Woolf, like Monet, attempted to grasp the experienced moment. Russell Meares, emeritus professor of psychiatry, explores the theme of consciousness, reality and art.

19/10 Monet and the Impressionists: an introduction – Terence Maloon
The exhibition’s curator concludes the course by talking about the paintings in the newly-opened show at the Gallery.

* Monet and His World Symposium with Ros and Marg at Art Gallery of NSW. This was a great day. Started off at 8.15am to see the new Monet exhibition, before it opened to the general public. Ros and I were very happy! Lots of great talks by various people, the one I liked the most being Dr Shackelford from Boston. Great light lunch, great stuff to buy at the exhibition and great company. I hope I get to more of these in the future. Specific details about the Symposium:

This symposium is structured in two thematic parts. The morning session focuses on Monet, his impact in America, Japanese influences and fascination for water; the afternoon considers his precursors and his legacy.

Speakers: Dr George TM Shackelford, chair of the Department of the Art of Europe and Arthur K Solomon curator of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Prof. Emeritus Virginia Spate, formerly Power Professor and chair of the Department of Art History, University of Sydney; Terence Maloon, senior curator of special exhibitions, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Dr Christopher Allen, lecturer in art history, National Art School, Sydney; Dr Chiara O’Reilly, lecturer in Museum Studies, University of Sydney; Dr Roger Benjamin, research professor in the History of Art, University of Sydney.

Health
* Got an ergonomic assessment at work. Doing a lot good, but not with my hand. Have had to change quite a few things – no shortcuts on the keyboard or alt-tab.
* Did a seminar at work on how to get a good night’s sleep. Quite interesting really. Trying to do more of what they suggest.
* Went back to my Hand surgeon. It appears that my hand is getting better – yay! I’ve had to change how I type and make sure I take more regular breaks. Still am not 100%, but hopefully will be eventually. Gotta go back in 3 months if it’s still not good.

Comedy
* Dinner at the Arthouse (including cocktails :)), followed by seeing Bill Bailey at The State Theatre, with Juliet, Lisa & Matt. Bill Bailey was hilarious. Dave should have come, but he didn’t think about it until it was too late. So much music, so hilarious. Would definitely see him again.

Anniversary
Dave and I celebrated 10 years together 🙂 Dave just reminded me of our first date, where we snuck an entire pizza (in a normal pizza box) into George Street Cinemas, and watched an awful movie (Last Days of Disco). This time, we went to Marque for dinner, which was good, but not awesome. Will try and put the menu for the night up shortly. The first 3 dishes were questionable. The rest were lovely, but it wasn’t an experience like we had at Tetsuya’s earlier this year. Will be going to Melbourne shortly for more celebrating.

Travel
Went to Adelaide to visit Dave’s family. The weekend involved:
· A horrid flight to Adelaide (over an hour late, and people who talked at the tops of their voices the whole way).
· Dinner at Belgian Beer Café (food really yuck too) and then tried to cheer ourselves up with our favourite gelato (not our favourite anymore).
· Dessert from my favourite Chocolate café (yum!).
· Dave’s niece’s first birthday in the (very cold) Belair National Park. Was great to hang out with Dave’s relatives and friends. A bit of warm weather would have made the day perfect! Thankfully a gourmet ice-cream van turned up (I kid you not) and I had a peppermint tea to warm me up 🙂
· Dinner at a place that Paul recommended. Best rabbit I’ve had in Australia yet. Yummy desserts. Awesome service too.
· Breakfast at the same place. Best pancakes ever. Dave had the best Eggs Benedict ever. Will definitely be going back there.
· Shopping in Rundle Mall and beyond. Loads of walking, found some books and chocolate.
· Hanging out with Dave’s mum at her place, and with his sister and niece too.
· Much better flight back home.
All in all, a fun weekend. Hope to get back there soon.

Movies and TV
* “The Tender Hook” at Roseville, followed by dinner at a noodle place with Juliet. Not a bad movie, but not brilliant.
* Tried to go to Night Noodle Markets for dinner with Dave and Josie, which didn’t happen as the queue’s were ridiculous. So we had dinner at a Japanese place on George St (Dave and I both had a horrible reaction to the food later that night), then dessert at Passion Flower (yummy Green tea and Lychee ice-cream with crepes for me) followed by “Burn After Reading” on George St with Josie. I thought the movie was very funny, and Dave was not that impressed by it.
* Dinner at The Mandarin Centre in Chatswood, followed by “The Duchess” at the Mandarin with Fiona, Juliet and Lisa. Was great to catch up with the girls, but the movie was SO depressing. Great acting and great costumes but what a MISERABLE story. I think I like stories with some element of hope in them – there was none in this.
* Watched lots of great shows with Davo this month. In Treatment, Dexter, Entourage, Little Britain, Pushing Daisies, Breaking Bad, The Office (US), House MD and 30 Rock.

High Tea
* The High Tea Party at Stamford Plaza Double Bay with Juliet and Lisa. Now this is my type of day! Apparently it’s a yearly thing, and I’m planning to go back next year. Got so many things included in the very reasonable price – hairstyling (Yep I did), hand massages (Juliet and Lisa did), manicures (not this time), fake tans (nope), lingerie model shows (we all went to one), yummy high tea, whilst we had a mini fashion show (although it would have been nice to have had more than 2 choices of tea, but the German sparkling wine was great), Kinder Bueno’s, photos with your friends, and a bag of goodies (including the German sparkling wine) to take home with you. They also had mini markets – I got some tea, some hot chocolate and a fridge magnet about chocolate. You could buy clothes, jewellery, bedding, and various other bits and pieces. Thanks to Juliet for suggesting this!
* At The Westin as part of Good Food Month with Josie and Alisia. I have to say, this is a great value high tea. The cost is a bit more than usual, but there is SO much food. I got the Moet high tea – I’m getting a taste for champagne lately! The food was brilliant – it was a strawberry theme for the dessert part. And it was in a lovely part of the Westin, although we were originally worried about sunburn, as it was 2.30pm and under a glass ceiling. Thankfully, we got some shade pretty quickly. We said goodbye to Alisia, and Josie and I headed to the Hippo lounge for a few drinks, and then back to the place she’s housesitting for a short time. Got to play with a gorgeous cat, Miso. The other cat, Vivian, is too cool for fun!

Miscellaneous
* Managed to start cleaning up my mess at home. I can now see my desk!
* Alisia, Sue and I tried to go to the book-club at Sydney Community College. We were mostly prepared. Started by having cocktails at the Grace Hotel, and walked up York St. On getting there, we found that it wasn’t on. I wandered up 4 flights of stairs (as the lifts weren’t working after 6pm), to be confronted by the head of the GEOS school, who knew nothing about it. Apparently, it wasn’t term, so nothing was happening there. We didn’t have a contact number with us, so we gave up. Sue ventured home, and Alisia & I headed up to the Night Noodle Market instead. Which were closed due to “uncertain weather”. So we decided to head to the Sofitel, and had a lovely dinner (sushi for me and scallops for Alisia), followed by the Good Food Month dessert (Tasting plate consisting of a dark chocolate creme pot, white chocolate cheese cake and chocolate macaronade, served with a glass of Brown Brother’s dessert wine). Yum Yum Yum! Terrible start, but great end to the night. We since found out that it was at Leichhardt! Not sure why the information originally said York St. So the lady was nice enough to give us a refund.
* Dave & I went to Dad’s overnight. Got there very late, but made the most of it. Dad, Ros, Dave & I drove to Robertson in Dad’s new car. He’s SO proud of his new car. It’s a Ford XR6 Turbo, and he’s put white stripes along the side. Yes, it’s not my cup of tea at all, but Dad loves it. He made me drive it, and I felt ridiculous. The funny thing was, it handled very well, was very smooth to drive, and very comfortable. I just wish it was a cool car – like a classic Porsche or Mercedes or something. I don’t think Dad would agree!
In Robertson, we went to the World Famous Pie Shop. Not sure about the pies you eat there (they were pretty ordinary), but the ones we took home were great. Then we went to the cheese factory, where Dave & Ros found some great cheeses and related foods (muscatels, tapenade, marinated olives, breads, crackers, etc), and I found some great lime sorbet and rocky road. We looked around at some of the shops near it, and Dad was fascinated by the gothic shop, where you could buy gothic bridal gear. Dad’s just become a marriage celebrant, and he doesn’t mind the sound of marrying goths 🙂
On the way back, we drove through Bowral to pick up more supplies (food and wine and Frangelico and other alcohol). It involved stopping at Dan Murphy’s – that place is HUGE. It’s bigger than our local Coles. Found loads of good beverages in there. We’ll never have to race to buy wine locally before we go to Dad’s anymore!
On arriving at Dad’s, we ate, drank and were EXTREMELY merry, whilst watching episodes of Little Britain. I’m very happy that nobody convinced me to mix drinks though – as I didn’t wake up with a hangover. Poor Ros, she was the worse for wear.
All in all, a very fun night. I’m gonna miss Phillip’s antics when he moves out – not long now.
* My beautician and hairdresser are both part of the same business. They are both very reasonably priced, especially for the centre of the city. But lately, everytime I go to the hairdresser, it takes absolutely ages. I had an 11.45am appointment on a Saturday morning, and needed to be out of there by 2.20pm. In that time, they should have been able to do my colour, protein treatment, cut, wash and style. But they kept me waiting a WHOLE hour, before they were even ready to start. So I only had time for a wash and style. I was REALLY REALLY mad. At least they charged me a lot less than usual, but this sort of thing should not happen. So, I’m looking thinking of looking for a new hairdresser, something I really hate doing. Will see how the next appointment goes.

Work
* Quarter end, so EXCEPTIONALLY busy.
* New contractor, Daniel, to assist whilst Kelly is on maternity leave.
* Financial Controller, Rodney, is leaving us to go to Saudi Arabia to work. And the head of Finance Systems is leaving us too.
* Got a great pressie with the Annual Report this year – a $150 Greater Union gift card. Last year was a 4gb iPod – nothing was going to beat that (well, we can’t expect more costly gifts in this climate).
* Corporate Services Pizza lunch, near the CFO’s desk. Was happy with the Gaytime I got for dessert. Not a fan of pizza though. What is it with guys and eating meatlovers pizza? BLEURGH!
* Went to the CPA Congress for a seminar (Extending insight session – the essential accounting standards update), and two master classes (Excel Macros – beyond the basics and New manager’s toolkit). I really like the master classes – very interactive, and very informative. They were at Darling Harbour, so Teresa and I had lunch there each day (Meat Food & Wine Co the first day, and a Thai place the second). Will definitely go back to Meat Food & Wine Co again! Caught up with Alfred, someone who used to be in our department. And ran away from another person I used to work with.

Not easily contactable

There’s a few things going on at the moment that are making my life a bit full on. Inclusive of the ongoing issue with my hand. Work is non-stop, so I’m finding it hard to get even a few minutes to myself during the day.

I tend to not answer a lot of emails or sms’ at the moment, as I still have to take quite a bit of care with my hand. I have to go see the surgeon next week (oh, if it was only THE Surgeon), to find out the next steps, which is a bit on the worrying side. And if you call, I have to wait until work is over.

I’m not answering a lot of questions about my hand, as I find pain boring. Will try and think of the next Europe trip instead. It worked for me this evening – I’m a bit more cheerful!

So bear with me.