New Year, New Life

It’s Thursday night and I’m at home watching television. It’s been a reasonably busy week or so, having started work early on most days and having enjoyed a reasonably busy social life.

On the weekend, Yvette and I caught up for lunch at The Trinity. Looking over her shoulder I noticed a bloke who, after a few seconds I recognised as “Dickhead Ben” from Big Brother. Not the bloke who won… no it was the cop from Queensland who was studying law at Bond University. Although at first Yvette disputed my claim it was Ben, she agreed it was when I noticed that he was sitting with Reggie who had won Big Brother that year. It was a big reality tv day for us though, as later in the afternoon, I received an SMS from Yvette, telling me that another reality tv person, Shannon Noll from Australian Idol had been at the Lord Dudley where he lit her cigarette.

Monday, in particular, was a very busy day. After starting work at 4.30, I wandered home for a brief nap before heading off for lunch with John and James at Cafe Sel et Poivre. This was the fourth of fifth (or maybe sixth or seventh) time I’ve been to Cafe Sel et Poivre. On the first occasion, I was taken by Colin for my birthday, tasting snails for the very first time and loving the Braised Beef Cheeks with a Burgundy Sauce. It was so good that I invited Damien to come along to taste snails for the very first time and to savour the Braised Beef Cheeks with a Burgundy Sauce. He also loved them both so much that we returned once or twice more. Suffice it to say, I think I’m an expert on these two meals. The beef cheeks? Simply divine! Apparently they’re as cheap as chips to buy and they need a much shorter braising time than beef ribs. For my money, they are also far more tender and succulent. At Cafe Sel et Poivre, the beef cheeks are obviously marinated for a LONG time. By the time they arrive on your plate, they are well and truly ready for consumption. The accompanying sauce, a rich, thick, almost sickly sweet sauce, provides a terrific accompaniment. I have no idea what’s in the sauce, though, aside from a good red wine which appears to have been reduced several times.

After lunch I went to a birthday party for Merri-May Gill, a terrific singer-songwriter who comes originally from a place called Weilmoringle in far Western NSW. As it was Merri-May’s thirtieth birthday, she decided to celebrate in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane with shows in each city. It was great.

From there it was off to The Pavillion for ABBAMAIL drinks and dinner to welcome Andrew Wilson to Sydney. Although originally from Melbourne, Andrew now lives and works in New York. In many respects he reminded me of an old schoolmate, Geoff… a little serious, but a really nice bloke and not the conventional thinker he might appear on the outside. Graeme observed on ABBAMAIL that James O’Brien noticed that Andrew “can put a few beers away”. Which is just as well when you’re hanging around the Sydney ABBAMAIL crowd. And the drinks were soooo cheap at the Pavilion. Pity they weren’t at the Star Bar. Jeez, what a take that place is. Still, the food eaters enjoyed the food and the fast service so can’t really complain.

Last night, I went to The Huntsbury Hotel in Lewisham for more ABBAMAIL drinks. A large number of people had arrived to make Andrew Wilson feel welcome in Sydney, including Greg Roberts, Judy Sawyer, Christian Deligny, Fiona Metcalfe, Mark Hannam, Grant Whittingahm, Ian Cole, Big Ian, Donna Glass, John “Frida” McKechnie and Trent Nickson. Surpsingly, Michael Kyriagis, an ABBA fan from London was also there. Although I didn’t really get a chance to speak with him, he seemed like a nice, happy kind of guy. As Graeme observed, Dr. Mike was looking tanned, taught and terrific. He only arrived on NYE and he’s already been to the beach more than once. Doesn’t take him long to shake off the sophistication of London and get down to Aussie basics ;-) He might be a qualified lawyer and doctor but he’ll always be a fish shop boy to us.

Tonight? Just a night at home. Earlier tonight, I watched on Pay-TV a reasonably new production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. As a young child I remember the hit songs and remember vividly seeing the 1973 movie at the local cinema in the small town where I grew up. I love JCS. I also couldn’t help comparing this production, filmed in 2000 but which has just shown on Pay-Television in Australia, with the 1973 movie. Although I thought this was quite good, I thought the 1973 movie was better with far great raw emotion. I also didn’t think the actors and singers portrayed the characters with the same level of sophistication of those in the earlier movie production. For example, I didn’t think Glenn Carter as Jesus demonstrated the subtlety needed from the role. Unlike Ted Neeley, who in the 1973 film who portrayed Christ as someone clearly understanding of and in control of his fate, Carter portrayed an almost wimp-like Christ. Oh and Jesus looked like Michael Bolton!

Oh my goodness!