School Reunion Planning

It’s Sunday afternoon and I think I’m still getting over last night. We had a planning afternoon/evening for our School Reunion which involved a fair amount to eat and a fair amount to drink. Although I went to bed reasonably sober, and I don’t feel as though I’ve pushed by body to extremes, it was a full night, nonetheless.

The last week has been reasonably interesting.

On Monday night, Graeme and I went to see a movie called, “Spellbound” which was about the National Spelling Bee Competition held annually in America. Although I was never really “touched” by the movie, I did find it fascinating and found a couple of the characters to be genuinely endeering.

Tuesday was spent mostly at home, and doing a bit of cleaning here and there in preparation for this weekend’s School Reunion Planning Meeting.

On ABBAMAIL this week some of the discussion has centred around media coverage of the Agnetha story and in particular a newspaper article in the UK which many have labelled as indicate of the “worst of the British press”. Yawn…

So I wrote to the list

I’d just like to offer a brief word in defence of tabloid journalism.

Although I work at the so-called “quality end” of journalism, I have a great deal of respect for tabloid newspapers for several reasons.

1. They’re usually packed full of news. Most of the articles are very brief and to the point. If you’re just looking for the basic facts so you can make up your own mind about an issue they have a lot to offer.

2. They’re usually very entertaining. Many of the articles are written with toungue-firmly-in-cheek and with a great deal of humour. They’re also usually the stories that get people talking.

3. They cover entertainment news. The so-called “serious press” often considers discussion of ABBA, Kylie etc. to be very low-brow. When they do write about some of our favourites it’s usually in a sneering tone, unlike the tabloids who generally write about our favourites with a degree of fondness. For example, my ABBA scrapbooks contain countless articles from the so-called tabloids, yet very few from the so-called quality press.

4. They’re very widely read. Just because someone reads a tabloid newspaper, it doesn’t mean they’re an idiot who unquestioningly accepts everything they read. The figures indicate tabloid papers are read by a very wide spectrum of the public for a broad range of reasons.

That said… I recognise there are some problems with tabloid journalism… and that’s why I don’t work in the industry. But I’m not about to generalise and say it’s all trash, when there are many good things about tabloid newspapers.

This ambivelance that some ABBA fans feel towards the tabloid newspapers reminds me of a scene from Absolutely Fabulous… the one where Patsy is being hounded by the press for her affair with the politician. To Edina and Patsy’s comment that the press are scumbags, Saffie responds: “One minute they’re scum and the next your pouring booze down their throats in the name of PR. Which one is it gonna be?”

On Thursday and Friday, I mostly stayed at home, not doing very much at all. Just enjoying my holiday. Sue and I went to the video shop earlier in the night to pick up a few movies, since we have now entered the non-ratings period for television which is now total crap.

Anthony arrived from Canberra on Friday night and we spent most of that evening just hanging around at home watching episodes of “Tales Of The City”. While Sue went to university on Saturday, Anthony and I spent most of the day hanging out around Darling Harbour, having a beer or two along the way which was fun before finally coming back, watching more Tales Of The City and then preparing for the arrival of Jacqui and Louise.

We had a lovely afternoon/evening of chatting, reminiscing, eating, boozing and watching “Muriel’s Wedding‿?. Present were Sue Bazzana, Anthony Baker, Louise Brooks (and her partner Don), Jacki Muir (Podd), James O’Brien (and via teleconference link – Pat Ryan).

We decided on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend (June 12/13) so that people have time to travel, but it’s a weekend that people don’t often go away. Drinks on Friday night, Activities/Tourism on Saturday, Dinner/Disco on Saturday night, Family Picnic on Sunday at venues in one town so that people can book accommodation themselves if they want to stay over.

We discussed a range of ideas including a disco, a power-point presentation of old photographs and trivia questions on programs for the night.

Locating Students: Thanks to Year 12 Yearbook, we have a list of all of those who completed Year 12 and many of those who left earlier. It was agreed we’d set December 14 as a cut-off date to get the list as complete as possible. We also compiled a list of all of our teachers.

On Sunday morning, Anthony , Sue and I had an informal discussion about the importance of having money for dinner etc. early and raised the possibility of someone who works in a bank/credit union etc in Lismore being the main point of money collection. Janelle?

Anyway… we have an action plan which we intend to implement over the next four weeks, so by Christmas we should be well on our way.

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