Big Ticket Day

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

It’s always lovely going to the Opera House, and especially so tonight with Michaela.

It was light when we arrived and dark when we left.

We were there to see the “Year In Review” Comedy Gala, hosted by James O’Loghlin and featuring the likes of Wil Anderson (as funny as ever), Fiona O’Loghlin (so incredibly personal in her humour tonight, as she spoke about her demons of mental health and alcohol) and Eddie Perfect who seems to have regained some of his satirical bite post-Shane Warne which I didn’t think was all that great.

It was a mixed evening with some comedians being very funny, and others falling a little flat.

Still, we had a great time, including both before and after the show when we chatted about life, the universe and everything.

And, slightly amusingly as I picked up the tickets, I discovered the producer for tonight’s show was a bloke I met many years ago in Wagga Wagga. and who I haven’t seen in 15 or 16 years.

Speaking of tickets, I did some online shopping this morning, buying some tickets for a few concerts I want to see when I visit Sweden in March.

I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment that I’ll be in Stockholm again in just over two months.

Graeme met Magnus during his trip last year.

As part of this trip I’m also spending some time in Copenhagen where I’ll be attending a work-related conference. I’m attending one in Stockholm also.

But also it’s a great chance to see some fantastic Swedish music.

I’d already bought tickets to a fundraiser concert for cystic fibrosis at Berns which features two artists I know and love, Jessica Folcker and Magnus Carlsson as well as two I don’t. I think Magnus is fantastic, by the way, and can’t wait to see him perform live.

But this morning, I also bought tickets for Sarah Dawn Finer @ Berns, Helen Sjöholm in Norrköping and for the ABBA tribute in Sandviken which features Charlotte Perrelli, Molly Sanden and Magnus Carlsson.

I’m thinking I might get a ticket to see Kent, playing Göteborg on my way back from Copenhagen, though I might hold off on that for a few days.

I’m especially excited about the idea of these day trips to concerts in Norrköping and Sandviken. It will just add to the experience, I suspect.

Two months and counting…

Donald Laing as featured in The Evening News, June 1921
Donald Laing, as featured in The Evening News on June 10, 1921.

Also today, I popped into the State Library during my lunch break and scanned a couple of articles about one of my great-great grandfathers, Donald Laing.

One of his greatest claims to fame is that he was probably NSW’s longest-serving mailman.

According to his obituary…

Mr. Donald Laing of Pambula, a well known identity in the Far South Coast, died in the district hospital at Pambula last Sunday aged 82 years. He was a native of Moruya and as a youth arrived with his parents at Eden by steamer. At the age of 21 Donald took up mail contracting, the first being the Eden-Towamba service on a bridle track over the mountain between the Towamba and Nullica valleys. Later he ran the Pambula – Nethercote mail, which he continued till the end of 1931, thus completing 61 years of continuous mail contracting service, most of it carried out on horseback.

But prior to this, in 1921, he made his first visit to Sydney where he gave evidence in a rather important divorce case.

At least two of the newspapers in Sydney thought he was an interesting enough character to write a brief article about.

You get the impression from the articles he was a bit of an oddity. “A real bushie comes to town”, you might say.

One of the articles says…

Mr Donald Laing, driver of the coach between Pambula on the far South Coast and Nethercote for the last 42 years made his first trip to Sydney yesterday. He didnt bring the mail with him, however, his business being at the Divorce Court where he was called as a witness. He is pleased with what he saw so different to things Pambula way, he said Sydneys an eye opener he told Mr Justice Gordon and men like him had to keep their eyes skinned. This is the first time I ever saw a tram, was his joyful boast.

So overall it was quite a diverse day, and one which was quite enjoyable.

Still haven’t finally decided to do for NYE, but that’s hours away…

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