horn bag tastic

yipes – I must go to the cafe more often. okay the food is unhealthy but where else can you go for lunch and be surrounded by horny builders and workmen?
So trying not to obsess about the one guy who was really nice and then two guys come in in trackie bottomes, shaved heads and one had an eye brow piercing. I almost took a stalkerish photo with my phonecam but decided better of it.

waterford – more than crystal

So work have a warehouse call centre based in Waterford, Ireland and Nick and I came over to offer some training to one of the teams here. Sadly there is only one flight a day to Waterford from London Stanstead during the winter months so we opted to fly into Cork for a more convenient flight time. This meant flying easyjet – something I have never done before and was a bit concerned about. The more convenient flight time was 7am which meant getting to Gatwick for 5:30ish which is no mean feat on a Sunday Monring. Check-in was shambolic with no real system in place and people having no idea where they should be or when their flights left. Once checked in though it was actually not that bad. No seating means the plane fills up quite quickly and people tend to group together anyway.

Cork airport has open fires when you arrive. Making you feel like you have just entered someones living room – still I guess with so few flights a day there is little need to catch up with the 20th century.
Took a detour to Blarney Castle on what was possibly the windiest day of the year. Scary winds and heights combined to make the trip very memorable. Pictures to follow no doubt.

On to Waterford in the lovely upgraded car from Avis. A nice little Saab which confused me by not having keys and everytning being done by a fob that slots in by the gear stick. Nice drive down the N25 and then stopped at the office briefly and onto Waterford Crystal which is practically next door. It’s like the place that time forgot. Christmas decorations still up and lots of dust. The video was priceless from the 80’s. Plus everything very expensive. So nothing for my mum then!

We stayed in Tramore at the fabulous coast townhouse. Nothing prepared me for the welcome. The rooms are fabulous, cd players, comfy lazy boy chairs, huge beds, subtle lighting, great bathrooms, I wanted to move in. The food is as good if not better than the townhouse itself. Every little detail taken care of. plumping the cushions for you, carrying your drinks for you from the bar. you feel like you don’t need to raise a finger. The whole atmosphere is vibrant yet cosy with modern twists encompassed in an old world charm.

Ordering food off the menu is something I am used to but the reaction here was one of glee. Normally it’s met with disdain. My roasted vegetables were beautiful and make me want to become a restaurant critic purely so I could proselytise about coast.

I’m going to see if I can get a group of people from London to come on a trip.

Manchester Pride

We went up to Manchester this weekend for the last of the summer pride events. Lots of fun. Lots of dancing. Lots of music. Lots of beer. Lots of boys.
That about sums it up. No really it was a really good trip. Took the train up on Friday afternoon for a leisurely start to proceeedings. After the first bottle of wine I fell asleep and then awoke near Manchester having missed the snack run.
We checked into The Place (lovely apartment hotel we stayed in last time we were up in Manchester).
Then straight out to Canal Street for beers and meeting up with friends. We spent an awful lot of time outside the Rembrandt Hotel for some reason. After checking out the queue for the wristband exchange we decided to go back and get more beers and leave the wristbands until later. There was an enormous queue due to the exchange only being open for an hour before they stopped anyone entering the gay zone without wristbands. Still I was slightly distracted by the cute boy from the St John Ambulance. He looked a bit like Tom Wisdom (Mile High, Corrie).
After a few beers we went back to find no queue so exchanged the tickets for some lovely spangly silver bands which once attached to our wrists did not come off. It meant spotting other potential homo’s was a breeze regardless of where you went in Manchester. In fact when wandering Selfridges on the Monday it seemed every other bloke was checking out my wrist before looking at me.
The rest of Friday night was spent at Essential. Still one of my favourite venues. Lots of nice boys and free glow sticks kept me happy!

Saturday was a late starter for all of us. Breakfast followed by another trawl down Canal Street. We checked out the stalls and entered a few prize draws and checked out the boy from the St John Ambulance again. The stage area was sadly very cold and windy so we didn’t stay long before heading back to the aprtment for food and then more drinks out in Canal Street followed by Uni Challenge . This was a lot like the old Famous 5 at bagleys but much betetr organised. Buses from town took you to the door. No queueing for coat check or tickets. Lots of space and venues and I really enjoyed myself. Lots of fun and highly recommended for anyone thinking of taking a trip oop north next year.

Sunday then was naturally recovery day. Well you would have thought so but no we did surface mid afternoon and yes we did head back into the throng of pride. That was until the tage performances got too much to bear. Okay so the single performed by Soraya was bad enough but then Jarrod Bachelor started singing ‘We are family’ in a very bad karaoke style. So I’m all for charity singles but come on. Mr Gay UK is not exactly picked for his singing talent is he. Anyway this was enough to make us flee the area and back to the relative safety of the apartments via Queer (again). Sunday night I couldn’t face another big night out so returned to the flat on my own around midnight leaving the others to stump up a hefty ?15 to return to essential. Weird how the price increased nearly double from ?8 on the Friday!

Monday after a lateish start we wandered around Manc land shopping centre. Funny how all the boys kept looking at your wrist first. Maybe we should all get matching bracelets like in the eighties when all the gay students used to wear little pink triangles. It would make life easier and stop me obsessing over lost causes. No wait. That would not be the case at all. Then back to Canal Street for beers before catching the train home.
The boy from the St Johns Ambulance was now wearing a sign on his back saying ‘available’ (sadly I thought it would be too stalker like of me to whip out the phone and take a pic). How I regret that now!

As if we had not had enough alcohol over the weekend we decided to take in more boys and beers at Kazbar that evening to prolong the holiday spirit. Tuesday morning I can tell you was very very rough!

Brighton Pride [London on Sea]

It was brighton pride this weekend. So a group of us travelled down on Friday night to make the most of the weekend. Allan, Jacs, Helen and I stayed at the Old Ship Hotel down on the seafront (and very nice it was too). We travelled down with Northy and whilst he went to Richie and Tara’s to settle in we checked in and got changed before meeting at a restaurant for more wine than food.
We then moved onto Dr Brightons for more drinks and meeting up with yet more people. It seemed like half of London was down already.
Saturday morning and we were up early for breakfast and to catch the start of the parade. It turns out (having compared photo’s) that Jan from work and I were stood really close but didn’t see each other.
After being shocked to see some mates int he parade (in the police section) we headed to the bar for some beers. I made a detour to boots for some essential medicine and then we all headed to Preston Park for festivities. This was when we realised all of London was in Brighton.
It was one of the hottest days of the year so far and with no breeze to speak of it became unbearably hot. I was abstaining from beers as I was still under the weather from the previous week.

Circus Circus was our stop en route to the park and from it with lots of opportunity for people watching as the crowds thronged to and from the park.
Many people were looking slightly worse for wear by 7pm when we headed to the hotel for a quick change and to a party at Andy Roo’s newly refurbished flat in Kemp Town.

After drinks and food we headed back into town along the promenade – the pier was open late too and it was busier down on the beach than we expected.

Sunday was a day of relaxing on the beach and then for a lazy long lunch at Due South before heading to the St James Street Party.

Lots of discussions about clubbing together and buying a house/flat down there again this trip! I’m sure we’ll have the same ones when we head up to Manchester Pride though too.

It’s not grim up north

So Manchester was lots of fun. :o)
I spent a lovely friday afternoon in Green Park with my folks. We had a large picnic and lots of fun.
I then speeded across town to Leyton to meet Allan and drive up north. The new M6 Toll road was excellent and saved us heaps of time.
We checked into The Place and marvelled at the size of the apartment they had put us in. My two bedroom flat in Balham would fit into the lounge! The entrance hall was bigger than my bedroom. Anyway enough of the apartment.
We headed immediately to meet the boys on Canal Street. They were in Manto and due to the ridiculously inexpensive 2 for 1 offer on drinks we managed to get merry quite quickly.
Next item was food before heading to Via Fossa for more drinks and some disco dancing.
Saturday was spent mostly shopping and wandering around town after a leisurely lunch checking out the straight scally boys in the food hall.
A trip to Holmes Place in town for some much needed exercise, swimming and then some sauna action and steam room fun. Nothing seedy though I should report even though there was a rather nice young man in the steam room.
Allan and I managed to get some food for breakfast the following morning (planning ahead) and then we met at Velvet for food and drinks before heading to Queer and ending up at Essential.
Essential was excellent. Although being filmed for their TV show was not so much fun ;o) Mike and I stayed upstairs mostly but the rest stayed downstairs. The club is open to 8 and all in all I must say was very fun! More and more I’m thinking living in London isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Sunday was a leisurely breakfast at the apartment before a leisurely beer or three down Canal Street in the sun (something London definitely misses is outdoor seating on Old Compton Street) before we discovered the park and sat with the other boyz and girlz soaking up the sun and fun.
All in all a very relaxing and fun weekend away. I might have to do that more often. Brighton & Hove Pride, Manchester Pride in fact weekends away in general I think are the order of the day.

Sydney Mardi Gras 2004

united grrrr
san fran airport grrrr
red carpet lounge reasonable
stupid us customs and immigration even though i was only in transit grrrr
okay so I arrived late and have vowed never to fly united ever again. seriously it’s no wonder they are in chapter 11 bancruptcy protection.
i had of course forgotten to send jo the flight details and so she was waiting folornly at sydney airport for me having taken her morning conference call on her mobile. bless did I ever mention I loved that girl? she’s a star.
We nipped back to Balmain for a quick brunch (although quite what meal it would be for me i’m not really sure) at Jo’s favourite local cafe and i was lusting after the cook/server immediately. welcome to sydney :o)
Whilst Jo rushed to work to catch up on the morning i had made her miss i pottered around Balmain and acclimatised to the sudden onset of summer (although Jo and Michelle kept telling me it had cooled down)
That evening we headed out for food and drinks with Jo’s work mates before heading into town and started where I left off last year at Crown and Oxford for drinks at the Colombian. I really do think it’s my favourite bar, it’s friendly and full of cute guys.
Jo had said she bet me $5 that I would pull within the first 24 hours sadly despite the horny guys I knew better as I had come less than single this year.
So I crashed and burned (jetlag) fairly soon afterwards and we headed back to Balmain for some much needed sleep in a lovely flat bed.
Saturday we hit bondi after a garage sale to get rid of a few extra sofa’s since the girls were moving to Darlinghurst the following weekend (yes to two blocks down from taylor square on the day of mardi gras).
So after some sun and fun in bondi we headed back for another meal out (i’m convinced no one eats in or cooks for themselves in oz) and then more drinks.
On the way back we stopped for pizza in paddington and realised we had completely forgotten about shop! damn so I had missed herb and the boys in drag for the second year in a row.
Sunday was the build up to harbour party (azure) and then after arriving at the party a bit of a blur of retro music including Celine Dion – I drove all night, Barry Manilow – Love is in the air and Randy Crawford – One day I’ll fly away. All very very surreal and yet we danced to all of them. Also bumped into Tony and the boys from last years harbour party but missed Bettina and Margi. All in all a very fun afternoon/evening marred only by the guys asking to borrow a crack pipe at the end of the evening – like do we look like we smoke crack? Next year we have decided just to hire a yaught and moor off the party like the other beautiful sydneysiders who had failed to get tickets had done.
So without any of the after parties or other fun of last year (fnar) we headed back to Balmain for some hard earned rest.
Monday I managed to wander around Balmain and do some mundane grocery shopping and the like, although it seems much more glam to be doing it in Balmain than Balham. Also a quick trip into town to ensure I remmebered the bus route for when the kiwi boys arrived.
Monday night was spent in front of the TV with popcorn and the Oscars. Noozleland sweeped the board and we were dreading the kiwi’s arrival by this point. When the nice australian man Adam Elliot won his and thanked his beautiful boyfriend Dan we all laughed heartily. It’s amazing the storm in some of the papers caused by that the following day. As Mr Elliot pointed out everyone else was thanking their wives and partners why should he be any different?
Tuesday was another trip into Sydney for relaxed shopping and coffees whilst trying to catch up with Gary from Christchurch who was over for a conference for the start of the week. Failing to catch up with him I returned to Balmain. A few cosmo’s later and Michelle and I were more than a little merry. By the time Jo got home we were watching ‘The Bill’ and giggling so we decided food would be a good idea and went for a meal in Balmain. Another bottle of wine later we were all more than merry and stopped for ice cream at Gelatisimo where the two boys behind the counter made a play for one (or all) of us we weren’t quite sure. Neither of them was over 18 though so none of us were that fussed.
Wednesday was the arrival of Dave from Wellington. So after a wander around town and a coffee or two we checked into the lovely Macquarie Hotel. Tanya the lovely lady from accommodation however had some bad news in that the wonders of internet bookings and real systems did not match up and we may not have a room for the entire period. Not good when I was trying to stay out of the girls way pending their move to Bourke Street. Still not to worry. We figured we could wing it with friends if we got really stuck.
Staying centrally meant we had plenty of time to wander up and down Oxford St and Pitt St without the hassle of a bus ride or train journey in.
So after meeting up with Dave we ended up at circular quay for a brief sunbathe and to soak up some of the view. You still can’t beat the view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. It’s one of the best sights and most recognisable too.
Thursday was Pam Ann and the Imperial Having seen her on a tiny stage in the corner of the 2 Brewers it was quite a shock. She had an entire stage to herself and a group of dancing boys :o) She was also sponsored up to the preverbial hilt. We followed the show with a trip to The Imperial where the boys watched dodgy caberet in the back bar and I caught up with Bettina and Margy in the front bar.
Friday was… wagamama?
The day of Mardi Gras arrived and Gary and I wandered into town despite the rain. We headed over to Jo’s new pad to see the place. They were moving in so we helped a bit and dried off. Then wandered for beers to The Colombian. We made some new friends and got merry. A few beers later and we got frisky (but not as bad as last year. We went back to the hotel to get showered and changed before heading back up the road. Our new mates were shocked to see us back so soon – they expected us to be shagging or something 😉
Then we met the others at Daves cousins new pad conveniently located above Starbucks on Oxford St a few paces from our favourite bar! The rain was torrential but we ventured with others to the roof terrace to watch the parade every now and then instead of out the window. Talk about rain on the parade!
Back to the hotel for another change and then hailing a cab (you would think that was easy but oh no…) before the maddness that is Sydney Lesbian & Gay Mardi Gras.
More to come.

Bootle Earthquake

A major earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale has hit Bootle in the early hours of Friday morning

Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly muttering “Fuckin Hell” “Bollocks” and where?s me fags.

The earthquake decimated the area causing approximately ?35.00 worth of damage, and several priceless collections of memento?s from Blackpool, Llandudno, and Tallaca were damaged beyond repair. In addition, three arrears of historic burnt out cars were disturbed.

Many local residents were woken well before their Giro arrived.

The local rag reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered and still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting has happened in Bootle.

One resident Tracy our Sharon Smith, a 15 year old mother of three said “It was such a shock that my little Mercedes Chardonnay came running into my bedroom crying and my youngest two Tyler-Connor and Kylie Megan-Morgan slept through it all. I was still shaking when I was watching Trisha on Monday.

Apparently though looting and muggings and car crime wasn’t affected and carried on as normal

The British Red Cross has so far managed to ship in 4000 crates of lager, 1.2 million ciggies to the arrears most stricken. Rescue workers are still searching throughout the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, which include benefit books, jewellery from Elizabeth Duke at Argos and fine bone china from Poundstretcher

How can I help I hear you asking

This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing for those unfortunate to be caught up in this disaster, Clothing is most sought after

Items most needed include

Fila or Burberry baseball caps
Kappa tracksuit tops (his and hers)
Shell suits (female)
White Nike or Reebok socks
Rockport boots and any other items sold in Matalan

Remember! 22p buys a biro for filling in compensation forms
?2.00 buys a bag of chips, crisps and blue fizzy drinks for a family of 6 and just ?5.00 will pay for a packet of Benson and Hedges and a lighter to calm shattered nerves of those affected.

Please do not send tents for shelter as the sight of this posh housing will be unfair on the population of Kirby and Kirkdale.

Sunny Sydney

Okay so here it is the review of my last 3 weeks – so a bit of a long read…
I arrived after a flight fraught with anticipation. Time for a quick shower and headed out to The Imperial in Newtown to try and catch up with Herb and the other four Wellingtonians who had come to Sydney in Drag!

Harbour Party

Again the most excellent event I’ve been to (more details here). Lots of cool outfits. We walked down from Elizabeth Street through the botanical gardens which was stunning in itself. I never really saw much of them last time I was in Sydney.
We arrived and wandered down to the party to be greeted immediately by Bettina & Margi. Sue too and a number of other friendly faces from 2 years ago. Jo and I made lots of best new mates. Including Tony and his flatmate Duncan.
The crowds seemed much larger than in the past (and it transpires they sold more tickets due to popular demand).
We partied hard with the cool DJ’s keeping the crowd happy until midnight when we moved onto the after party at The Midnight Shift on Oxford St with Tony and his crew
The following morning (nearer afternoon actually) we headed back to Jo’s house in Balmain. We planned to hit the beach but unfortunately jetlag and lack of sleep got the better of me so I ended up crashing on the floor. Jo and Tony watching videos.
That evening we watched a bizarre norwegian movie called ‘Get Ready To Be Boyzvoiced‘. I’m not sure if it weas because I was still a little elevated from the previous nights escapades or not but it was a fantastic parody.

Blue Mountains

Jo and I had receovered enough from the excesses of Sunday night to plan a trip on Tuesday to Wentworth Falls and the Blue Mountains. It was stunningly beautiful (and photolog will be updated soon) We then ventured onto Echo Point to see the three sisters. As with most attractions of this type they look stunning but don’t turn around or the tourism will scare you. Echo point is being redeveloped currently and it’s a bit scary.
Finally after an amble through the rainforest and a trip down the scenic railway at Katoomba we took off to Leura for dinner. I could quite settle down theree I think. Open a little shop selling cheese or something. It’s nice and quaint.

The Kiwi Boyz

Todd and Dave arrived on Thursday morning, closely followed by Gary. Later we were joined by Warner and then the token Aussie from Melbourne, Paulli.
Since Toddster and Dave arrived first we collected out tickets to the main event and then wandered to Kings Cross to check them in to their respective hotels. Dave staying virtually opposite where Scally was last time in Potts Point.
A disco nap later and we were off to start the partying. We hit Darling Harbour and Wagamama‘s for a bite to eat (yes they are everywhere) before meeting Gary, Cheryl and Scott at the Establishment in the CBD. Free Champagne – now you can’t go too wrong with that!
Moving onto Oxford Street and The Colombian to meet up with Toddster, Warner and Tony. Good fun was had by all.
Another trip to the Shift for more fun and frollicks and a great lay (oops I meant lei obviously – it is mardi gras after all) I have no Idea how I ended up with a pink lei but I’m sure Gary or Dave will enlighten me one of these days 😉
Way too much alcohol later and it was heading back towards Potts Point.

We dragged ourselves to town though and discovered Gowings. Lot’s of cashola later and I was the proud new owner of a pair o trainers, boxers and assorted gadgets.
We headed to Pitt Street for some nibbles and I managed to bump into some of my best new mates from Harbour Party (shouts to Duncan and his London mates). This is weird though as I never bump into people in London. Funny how that works.
Bridge Climb
A quick trip home to change Bridge Climb headquarters.
Awesome! it really is the only word to describe the experience. Signing our life away and taking the breahaliser test (hence the lack of alcohol with dinner) We changed into our ‘tomorrow people’ jump suits before being laden down with assorted safety gear and a quick training session.
Heading on out into the warmest night to date (it was above 30 degrees and still – I was glad I had stripped to boxers under the suit) to take in spectacular views of the bay. (pics available soon).
Essentially you walk up one side with views of Sydney Opera House and the central CBD before crossing over under ‘blinky bill’ and heading on down the other side.
Great company and fabuolous views.

After that we were all a little desperate for beer and luckily for us Cheryl and Scott where in a pub up the road so we wandered to meet them. They closed at 11 (just like home doh!) so we wandered through the boy racers around the rocks up to Oxford Street and …. The Colombian (I see a pattern emerging here).

Mardi Gras¹

Okay well where do you start? Well for a change we started at Town Hall to meet up with Paulli and Dave. Jo and I had been a bit leisurely that morning before realising we had a lunch date with the boyz.
We soon however headed…. yes you guessed it to Oxford Street and…. yes we did end up at The Colombian (by far my favourite bar of the trip). On the way we took in Hyde Park and the lower part of Oxford Street and it all seemed so quiet – a bit too quiet like the calm before the storm.
Cafe Comity was a tad busy but Paulli managed to secure us a table and after munching we moved onto the Colombian for a few rounds They had moved from glass to plastics in anticipation of the crowds so we ditched the cosmo idea and drank beers and vodkas. It was a very hot day and after 4 drinks we were all a little merry. A few temporary tatoos later and we staggered home to change for the evenings events, we left Paulli entertaining the locals (which he did well by all accounts!).. Todd and Warner had arrived and left in the time it took us to have 4 drinks – lightweights!
Jo and I made the mistake of a little retail therapy on the way home. Beer and shopping! not a good combination. 6 feather boa’s later and lots of sparkle we were showering, glittering and eyelashing before heading to various parties. Jo headed to meet Joe B in Bondi where I wnet to meet the boyz at Cheryl and Scott’s in Rose Bay – lovely barbie on their patio overlooking the bay and Sydney’s Northern CBD. Much vodka and redbull later we headed to see the parade.

Weird to be watching the parade and not partaking this time around. I knew plenty of people in it though. Tony, Duncan and Todd to name a few.
I headed back to Daves so he could change into something appropriate. Whilst their we were joined by Gary who had been visiting some of Sydney’s ‘beautiful people’ on his way – purely by accident you understand.
Gary was already very merry by the time he arrived so I felt obliged to keep him company whilst Dave pottered and showered and uhmmed and ahead over outfit decisions.
One hectic cab ride later and we were outside Fox Studios. We wanted to be inside though and finding our way in proved traumatic. Eventually though we arrived at the party.
Less best new friends than the previous weekend but plenty of real friends to make up for it. The party had sold out earlier that day so there were literally thousands of people there 15,000+ It seemed like everyone I knew was there. Gary and I became playmates for the evening which was excellent until around 5am when I lost him in the crowd 🙁
I spent a while wandering before seeing dodgy UK popstars rejects on stage and deciding it must be time to get the hell out of there. A timely SMS from young Mr Pannett and I was heading off to Potts Point.

Oh and one final point (as Mr Springer might say) I saw the following statement on the Mardi Gras site and thought about rewriting my references to Mardi Gras then decided what the heck! Everyone knows it’s a Lesbian & Gay event.

¹ For many of us, being visible in a world which sometimes acts as if we don?t exist, is what this event is all about. So please remember when writing your stories, that we?re not the Sydney Mardi Gras, but the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. And this year we have something special we?re celebrating: ?25 years of gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and queer culture?. We?d like you to celebrate it too ? please consider using the full title and tag-line.


Whoever named them recovery parties needs their head examined.
Spent most of the day in bed by all accounts watching crap US tv. I’ve never seen Jerry Springer before – and I’m hoping never to again 😉
Jason the chef boy is quite nice though – and much better than dodgy old Jamie Oliver.
I nipped home to change before meeting the boyz at Wagamama’s (yes we are a predictable bunch). In fact we are so predictable I think you can write the next part yourselves. Insert the following words in te correct order. (Oxford headed We Street to drinks for). A change of plan as the Colombian was not letting more people in until later so we ended upstairs at Stonewall.
By all accounts I was a bit of a muppet again!. Toddster reckons I have no career in lap dancing!

True Recovery

A few text messages in the morning and I was heading to Circular Quay to meet for brunch. As it turns out it ended up just being Gary and I . It was a very very relaxed day strolling in the water along the beach. Eating and drinking as necessary. If the restaurant at Cabbage Tree Bay had given us the bottle of wine we probably would have stayed all night. As it was they refused and we headed on back to Circular Quay instead.
Our first mistake was to have beers. Our second was to have more. We had a bar tab and were trying to get the gang together for more.
A few beers later and the Colombian beckoned (see I told you we liked it). Crown and Oxford never looked so familiar.
A few PDA’s later and we had attacted the attention of some new best friends. Some of the other boys from noozleland arrived and the plot thickened. This is a family service so we’ll skip straight to the happy but sore head the following morning. We won’t mention Colin or the other forms of PDA that were happening. One of the highlights of my trip I must say 🙂 I enjoyed that!

Rest & Recuperation

Okay well the recycling although necessary was totally uncalled for at 6.30am in the morning.
I got up early and wandered for breakfast at Fundamental in Balmain followed by a stroll down to the Ferry Terminal. I spent the rest of the day being a tourist at Circular Quay taking pictures of Sydney Opera House. View the photo’s here, catching ferries and buses with strolls on beaches and surf watching.
Jo had been working again so I caught up with her afterwards for vietnamese food in Balmain. Very relaxed and chilled with yet more beer.
We wandered back for a sorely needed early night.

A relaxing few days following the Kiwi exodus to Wellington and Melbourne.
Got up reasonably refreshed after the early night and spent the day mooching around until hitting Cargo Bar in Darling Harbour for beers with Jo’s mates from work. Thai food and yet more Tofu. What is it about Tofu in Australia? It tastes like polestyrene and has the texture of cooked spooge. Who on earth thought it would be a good meat alternative?
The following evening was drinks and a few bands with Petra and her beau Dave – also a few other assorted friends of Petra’s. The Cat & Fiddle was the venue and one of the bands was The Grand Silent System from Melbourne . They were so good in fact I bought a CD afterwards. I left Petra with supplies brought over from the UK, who would have though Heinz Tomato soup would be so in demand?
Friday Jo skived work again and spent another lazy day. We had planned on a quick trip to Melbourne to see Paulli in his naturall habitat but with the F1 being held there flights were a tad sparse and very expensive. So we did as little as possible (well actually I lie as we took in the excellent M.I.L.K. exhibition and a quick tour around the Opera House by none other than Joe B’s brother Richard. Can we not go anywhere without bumping into people we know? If you can’t make it onto the real tour why not take a virtual one?
So I say lazy day but it was fun filled and then later meeting for drinks at the local and heading to (round of applause please) The Colombian. We were joined this evening for debauchery by Joe B and after a bit of table dancing we headed to Shift for a very quick boogy.

Party Time

Michelle, Kylie & Mark, Ric and I had breakfast with Jo for her birthday. Michelle had organised it as she was flying to Munich and missing the party 🙁
Lovely company and excellent views over the water. Balmain it has to be said is very clapham but very nice.
By midday Jo and I were moving furniture and mowing lawns before hitting every store in Balmain buying decorations and other party essentials like sparklers, fairy lights, party poppers and mirror balls.
The theme for the evenings entertainment was formal but not quite normal. (I might steal this for my next bash). Since Michelle was heading out the three of us hit the champagne to get us in the mood whilst preparing vats of cosmopolitan and jugs of fruit punch.
We had a quick breather on the veranda before the house was suddenly a sea of people wearing dinner jackets and shorts. Way too much alcohol later I crashed and burned. The excesses of the previous weeks catching up with me. Jo’s 30th was a blast though – the police might beg to differ after they were called to deal with the noise 😉
The birthday girl did well though – Tiffany darling!

The following day was a hungover blur for Jo and I but we managed to make it to Glamarama so I could work on my tan (I know it was a bit last minute and all but I thought I ought to try and get some sun before leaving Sydney).
I had arranged to meet Bettina and Margy for dinner and we started with drinks too – always a bad move. We caught up lots which was lovely. Our choices of restaurant were either too full or closed so we ended up at The Clock on Crown St. By coincidence this was the restaurant we went to 2 years ago the night before I left. Talk about deja vu.
After dinner I ambled along Crown to where it meets Oxford St. Which is of course the location of the Columbian. I felt I ought to go in for a last drink in what was the most popular bar of my trip. I didn’t stay long though as I wanted to catch up with Jo on her actual birthday. When I arrived back at Jo’s she was mid conversation with Paul her brother so we had a quick catch up too. I had a weird moment when his daughter Amelia giggled in the background and all I could think was it being 11.30pm she should be in bed. Of course it was only 12:30 in the afternoon back at home so that was fine –
Jo had apparently said the same thing.


No sun so no beach. I resigned myself to going home without a tan. I seem to have spent most of my time in the colombian and no time on a beach this time around. I had plans to meet up with Gary for beers at the airport as his flight to Christchurch was leaving around the same time as mine to London. We both looked like we had been travelling for hours (obviously too much partying for both of us). What with spilt beer and dodgy gate number/seat number dramas I was feeling like a muppet.

So that was that – a not so short review of my last 3 weeks or so in sunny Sydney. I’ve had a great time and am looking forward to next year already :o)
Hopefully I’ll be a sydneysider by then 😉

Brighton Pride

Although I wasn’t feeling 100% having been into work on the friday and sent home I had already made plans to go to Brighton for the day. I had a friend staying and had arranged to meet people so I dutifully met up at clapham junction for the train journey down. The staff seemed fairly clued up there was an ‘event’ at brighton as they made plenty of announcements about how to get there where to change if necessary etc.
When we arrived it looked a bit dull and overcast but nothing too serious but by the time we arrived at Preston Park the heavens had opened and a lightning storm was in full flow. I was amazed at the number of people huddled under trees with umbrellas. Do people not realise how dangerous that is?
So we skipped the park and went straight to the pub to try and dry off a little. The hand dryers were in constant use!
A few drinks later and David and I had decided [well I had anyways] to ask Andy back to Streatham – he seemed keen and so that was settled.
The sun started to break through and alcohol had made us brave so we ventured into the park and joined in the festivities which was nice. The slide by the popstarz tent was cool so I went on it a few times. We had much more alcohol and then ventured back to the car [having met Andrew who had driven] and went to see the damage to his brighton abode. Followed by a trip to the marina for food.
A long journey home ensued but all in all a fun day! Lots of fun had by all in fact!