So far I’ve managed to avoid “Sardine Sunday”, as they’re calling it: the day when there are half a dozen major events happening in Sydney, including the Mardi Gras harbour party, the arrival of two cruise ships and cricket at the SCG. I don’t have the television switched on, but I can hear the cheers just by opening my window, With fears of transportation crisis, the RTA issued a really strong wording, almost imploring people to use public transport and to prepare for delays. No, after getting up and having breakfast, I’ve just been sitting quietly at home practicing my Swedish lessons, chatting on the phone, and reading some email ahead of going to see a play at the nearby Belvoir Street Theatre. My strategy for “Sardine Sunday” is stay close to home, stay very close. It’s been a terrific couple of days though. And it occurs to me aside from a few photographs here and there I haven’t really blogged properly for about a week, so this is definitely a catchup post.
It all started on Tuesday night with Swedish class. On leaving the class and heading up towards Oxford Street for a bite to eat, I got to talking with one of my classmates at the traffic lights. “I feel like a beer after that”, he said to me. “Well let’s have one”, I said and we headed off to the Gaslight where we talked about our interests in languages, and in Scandinavia in particular. And then on Wednesday night, it was the usual catchup with mates at the pub.
Fruits in Suits on Thursday was quite good fun, as I chatted for a while to an older man who was sitting next to me. “You’re the first person who has spoken to me”, he said. “Twenty years ago”, he told me, “I would have known 90 percent of the people in the room. But that’s all changed. I am old and invisible”, he said, without any sense of pity, just one of recognitionm and definitely with a smile on his face. “I am 70 plus GST” he told me. He seemed like a nice man. The fabulous Shauna Jensen also sang a few songs, which was excellent. Unfortunately, the philistines who made up most of the crowd in attendance just treated her like background noise. You could tell she was a little pissed off, as she said her goodbyes and thanked with a lovely direct smile the half a dozen of us who actually listened and enjoyed her work. As Fruits In Suits went on a bit longer than expected, I missed the Bloggers Meetup.
On Friday night, my mate Michaela and I caught up for dinner at Bird Cow Fish, followed by a couple of glasses of wine at La Sala. As usual, the conversation and meals were excellent. The entree, a plate of cured meats in particular was excellent. We also had a really great bottle of wine, a pinot noir from Tasmania, though I don’t recall the name of it.
And yesterday, we had an informal meetup for visiting ABBAMAILer, Neil Hopwood who is from South Africa. “The usual place, the usual bunch”, as Agnetha once sang, we had a lot of fun. By about mid-afternoon my mate Patrick arrived from Canberra.
After the ABBAMAIL drinks, we headed off to a series of short films (part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival) about life in country towns, farewell drinks for Mark, and then finally a couple of bevvies at Stonewall, which I haven’t been to for quite a while. Mark’s farewell drinks at the Strawberry Hills were loads of fun, and I got to meet a couple of people whose blogs I’ve read, including Nails, Mish, and Rina.
After breakfast this morning, during which Pat and I talked about our respective holiday plans for the year, he headed off “over the bridge” to catch up with some other friends. Driving back this afternoon, I hope he avoids Sardine Sunday.