Monthly Archives: January 2007

Good Friends, Great Mates

I’m so blessed with the good friends I have.

After yet another dismal and disastrous attempt at dating, my friends rallied around me in a number of ways that made me realise (and not for the first time) just how lucky I am.

Dumped by email yesterday, I forwarded the contents of the missive to my mates. Emily, who always speaks her mind, instantly fired a response that started with “F*ck and balls”, and which ended with “Fancy a beer later?” Rachael, a work friend wrote back with reassuring words telling me that it was his loss and that I deserved better. Another mate, Suz called to tell me to go home (at 4.30pm) because I didn’t need to deal with work right now. Jen, another work friend, quietly spread the word amongst my team so that no one would mention the name of the email writer.

In their special ways, each made me feel better. With my ego a bit bruised and battered, everyone wanted a pound of flesh.

* Emily wanted me to post the contents of the email on my blog, but I’m just not into dissing him this way (mainly because I can’t remember whether I’d sent him the URL). And anyway, I’m through dissing exes, or people that may be referred to as exes – I’ve learnt my lesson after an incident about 2 years ago – but that’s another story.

* Rachael kept reassuring me that there were plenty more fish out there, and reminded me that 2007 is “the year” – the only way is up for the both of us.

* Suz made plans with me to have lunch with her this weekend, so I could bitch and moan as much as I wanted to over some sushi.

* Knowing I was a bit fragile, Jen kept smiling at me and thanking me for every little thing I did for her.

I caught up with Emily for a beer after work, and she let me have the floor. I didn’t have much to say – really, I’d been a bit silly putting all of my eggs in the same basket with the email writer. I’d become too attached based on nothing. Emily reminded me that he was the one who did the chasing early, but, as the saying goes and definitely in my opinion, be careful what you wish for, because I’m certainly not what he had in mind when he finally caught me.

Today, I had two very lovely surprises. The first was finding the most unlikely ally in a lovely young man called Alex. Alex is my barista who had become a friend over the course of the last few months. He saw that I was not my usual self, and asked if everything was ok. As my brain did not deal with the ego blow last night (I chose to watch “24” instead), it chose to try the dealing thing as I was waiting for my coffee. Ever the gentleman, Alex asked if there was anything he could do, even offering to go and have a chat with “him” for me – and before you jump to any conclusions, I didn’t even mention the fact I’d been dumped by email.

The second surprise came in the form of a page from the reception desk at work. The pager had a tone of urgency to his voice, announcing I had a parcel waiting in the lobby which required my urgent attention. Thinking it was my watch being returned by the email writer, I hurried downstairs, to be presented with the most fantastic bouquet of chocolate-dipped strawberries from Edible Blooms. The silly wench Emily had quietly organised my sweet surprise on the sly, and included some wise words on the card – All Men Are Bastards.

Thank you, friends. Words can’t express how much I love you or how lucky I am to have you. I just hope I tell you often enough how much you mean to me.

Michelle & Richard’s Wedding, Caloundra QLD

I have just spent a 4-day weekend on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, culminating in the much anticipated wedding of my friends Michelle and Richard in Caloundra.

From the moment I stepped out of the front of my building at home to the moment the taxi driver returned me 4 days later, I was treated to smiling faces and, like a Cheshire cat, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face either.

Thursday dawned too bright and too early for my liking – I’d had a huge night on Wednesday night without meaning to go too overboard, but alas, the lack of dinner proved to be a huge mistake when the beers kept hitting the empty stomach. The construction site inside my head made moving a little more difficult than usual, but the lovely man from the airport shuttle was helpful and the ride to the airport was swift and smooth.

The flight to Maroochydore was relatively uneventful, if you discount the little kid in the row behind me who screamed and kicked during the entire trip. Fortunately, iPods can drown out ALL noises, and for the only time that day, I was thankful the hangover came with a bit of fatigue. Before too long, we were descending into Maroochydore in 35 degree heat.

When I set out to book my flights and accommodation 3 weeks ago, I had made sure there was a seat on a shuttle bus to get me from Maroochydore Domestic Terminal to the Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra. Upon landing, I was greeted by the friendly folks from Sun-air Bus Service and was soon sitting in a plush air-conditioned bus on my way to the resort.

The Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra was beyond my expectations – so gorgeous and huge! My home for the next 3 days was allocated a massive room with 2 queen size beds and a spa bath, just a hop step and jump to the pool, restaurant and bar. The first order of the day was to change into my bathers and head on down to the pool for a much needed cocktail to chase away the cobwebs from the night before.

With my massive 3-in-1 book in tow, I lounged by the pool with a spot of lunch and a truly awful cocktail (one of the worst I’ve ever had), soaking in the rays and going for a dip when the sun got too stinging. Michelle and Richard were due to drop by at some point in the afternoon, so the next order of the day was a luxurious soak in my personal spa.

After catching up with Michelle over some yummy Cold Rock ice-cream (while Richard had a nanna nap on one of my beds), I turned in for the evening and had an early night.

The hard life continued the next day, Australia Day, with a lazy buffet breakfast that had everything. Just after 9am, my friend Daniel arrived at the resort from Brisbane to spend the morning with me. I always love catching up with Daniel – we can talk about anything and everything, and it’s always a chilled out affair. We went down to the beach, and then up along the main street. We did a tour of all the shops that were opened and air-conditioned, and eventually ended up in a café for a quick bite and a coffee. Our easy conversation and rapport provided quiet entertainment for the folks seated at nearby tables, which amused us greatly.

With Daniel due back in Brisbane for an afternoon engagement, we wrapped up our catch up with a quick stroll to take in more of the main street, and to continue amusing ourselves with the whimsical Walk of Stars. Just as LA’s Hollywood Boulevard has a Walk of Fame which pays tribute to Hollywood stars, so too is Caloundra’s Bulcock Street with its Walk of Stars, sporting plaques commemorating the legends of the Australian music industry. We saw tributes to Johnny Young, Kamal, Marc Hunter and The Bee Gees, and were very excited when we found the star honouring Savage Garden. So much so, Daniel happily posed while I took the happy snap.

After such an exciting morning, the only thing I could face was more time by the pool. I tried another cocktail from the limited range offered by the bar, and found it to be just as bad as the first one. More of the wedding guest were arriving at the resort on Friday, and after a time, Daniel and Samantha (groomsman and bridesmaid) joined me for some refreshing Riesling. Soon, we were joined by more guests and Michelle and Richard, and plans were made for a few drinks and some dinner later that evening.

The group split into two at around 6pm – the guys were heading to the local tavern for a few beers and some dinner, and the girls were congregating in my room for a few drinks before we too head out for a meal. Badly misjudging the “surprisingly Cosmopolitan” claim, we soon found the only kitchen still serving dinner resided in the Caloundra RSL. The meals were cheerful and plentiful, and with the big day ahead in mind, we retired to our beds for an early night.

The Wedding Day dawned bright and clear. With the ceremony scheduled for late afternoon, I again took myself to the poolside to soak up more rays before taking advantage of a private spa one last time. Before I knew it, it was time to head down to Shelly Beach where the ceremony was to be held.

The site was beautifully set up with bamboo frames, draped with chiffon and flanked by two tall flags printed with frangipanis. The heat from the day was starting to subside as the bride made her way down to the beach. On the arm of her parents, Michelle made her way down to an emotional Richard, who beamed proudly whilst wiping tears from his eyes. The ceremony was gorgeous – the celebrant spoke of Michelle and Richard’s love for one and another, and the journey they took together from the time they met to exchanging vows. It was very apparent to all how in love they are, and we were all so lucky to be able to share the very personal and warm day with the happy couple.

The ceremony ended with a flurry of photos, and we all headed back to the resort for pre-dinner drinks and the reception dinner. Heartfelt speeches were made by the groom’s mother and the bride’s father, with Dean the Best Man slaying them in the aisles with his speech – among other stories was Richard’s one act of love involving hair removal. Megan, Michelle’s niece and bridesmaid, made a gorgeous little toast and thanked everyone for attending the wedding, before a Freudian slip almost saw her calling Richard by a different name. Richard concluded the speeches with a very emotional poem that left not a dry eye in the house.

The cutting of the cake and the bridal waltz signalled the start of the mad dancing session. Song after song, the young and the old rose to their feet and bopped the night away, with a large contingent migrating back to the bridal suite for a nightcap prior to officially retiring for the night.

Six hours later, I was to bid farewell to the beautiful resort that hosted me so cordially over the four days. It had been a terrific little getaway, made that much more special by the chance to attend the very special wedding of my good friends in a gorgeous part of the world.

To Michelle and Richard, thanks for the invitation and the opportunity to be part of your day. Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness, laughs and love.

Click here for the photos from the weekend.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

I was out having dinner with my family tonight, and overheard my brother-in-law asking my sister if she had set their VCR for a TV show. I was surprised to hear the urgency in his voice as he asked the question – this is not a man who is usually that desperate to watch TV – so I asked which show had taken his fancy. A cheeky smile then spread over Tim’s face, as he sheepishly looked at his wife, who rolled her eyes as she said the name of the show – The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

So, out of interest, after I got home, instead of turning on the TV to watch the tennis or the cricket, I tuned in to The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. And to be honest, I enjoyed it!

So much hair and legs in one hour – and absolutely gorgeous lingerie. And it certainly helped that Justin Timberlake performed twice in that hour – the boy can move!

I certainly had a few moments of envy while I was watching the show – the usual “I wish I had legs half that long” or “I wish that even in my dreams my body could look like that”. The big moment of envy came when one of the models strutted out onto the catwalk in the showstopper – the $6m diamond encrusted bra – geez, I wish, for 5 minutes, I could squeeze into that bra and strut around my living room like I owned it.

The collection was gorgeous, and trust me, if someone was to give me some Victoria’s Secret lingerie, I’m certainly not about to say no!

Recommended Website: Rave About It

 
This website was developed by my friend Mark Rimmer and his mate Tim Griffin to provide an enjoyable way in which users can search, rate and discuss what they think of services in their local area and beyond. Here, reviewers can provide in-depth reviews of any type of business – products and services that were physically, mobile or internet based. Check it out!

The Faux Pas @ Megan A’s Play

I committed a faux pas tonight – I used my mobile phone, in the middle of a darkened theatre, in the middle of a play.

Before you pooh pooh me, I had a good reason to use the phone. I was trying to discretely give directions to a lost friend who was running very late for the play. Here’s what happened.

My friend Megan A was starring in a play tonight, which formed part of the Short and Sweet Festival. (FYI, the Short and Sweet Festival is the stage equivalent of Tropfest, where short plays of 10 minutes maximum duration are performed to a live audience.) Emily took on the role of event organiser and arranged (and paid for) tickets for 4 of us to attend the play and support our friend. As all 4 of us were coming from different directions, the plan was to meet at the Newtown Theatre.

You know what they say about the best laid plans.

I arrived at the theatre at 8pm, 15 minutes before curtains. What I didn’t know at the time was that Megan S had arrived much earlier and was already seated inside the theatre. Emily had my ticket – or, at least the receipt to prove she had paid for my ticket, so I thought I’d wait outside for her. Em was incommunicado – she was invited to sail with some clients for the afternoon, and her phone was presumably out of range. Standing outside the theatre, I was beginning to wonder if I’d written down the correct details when Len turned up.

Len eventually convinced me to go into the theatre, just after the curtains were raised. Em had finally called to say she was on her way. As the first play concluded, Len and I inched our way into the darkened theatre, where I apologetically squeezed past 5 people to reach the first gap I saw. Len, in the meantime, had spotted Megan S and made his way to a seat without any trouble.

I settled in to enjoy the 2nd short play of the night when I felt my phone vibrate in my vast handbag. It could be only one person – Em – and she was lost – or, to be precise, her cab driver was lost. And she needed directions – now – or she was going to miss Megan A’s play, which was the 3rd play on the list.

I had a choice – ignore the message, or attempt a stealth message composition back to Em, in hope she would appear by my side very shortly.

In the end, the faux pas was my only choice. I didn’t want Em to miss Megan’s play, so I sent a message back to her. In my defence, I tried my very best to do so inconspicuously.

At the end of the 2nd play, Len tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I’d like to join him and Megan S in a different row. To the disdain of the people sitting next to me, I very apologetically stood up and asked if I could squeeze out again.

What happened next was, to say the least, the biggest tongue lashing I’d received in a long time.

The woman next to me launched into an acid dialogue, berating me for using my phone, my lack of respect for the theatre, the performers, and the event itself. As I tried to apologise for the umpteenth time and explain why I had to do what I did, she cut me off with more harsh words and pushed me out of her row.

Sheepishly, I climbed into my seat between Megan S and Len and tried to shrink into the row. As I tried to watch and enjoy Megan A’s play, I could feel my face and upper torso burn with indignity. I wanted to make this silly woman understand that I had the utmost respect for the event and the performers, to let her know I was a staunch supporter of the arts, and to go back to explain why my actions were necessary. After a bit more thought, what I really wanted was to tell her to lighten up.

At least my phone was set to vibrate, unlike the one that rang audibly through one of the later plays.

Megan’s play was quite good. It was the first time I’d seen her perform, and I was very proud of her. I hope to see more of her work in the future.

Sadly, Em missed the whole thing. Even with my directions, none of her 3 cab drivers were able to get her to the theatre on time. She arrived just as Megan’s play finished.

Twenty20 Cricket

Aussie summer = cricket. There’s just no other way of life. So it’s almost sacrilegious to say that I have not always been the biggest cricket fan. Yet, tonight, I got hooked – hooked on Twenty20 Cricket.

The format is simple – each side bowls 20 overs, each bowler is allowed a maximum of 4 overs, the batsmen are encouraged to smash the ball around, and in many cases, out of the park, and the whole thing lasts about 3 hours in total. As a newcomer to this format of cricket, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. After watching Adam Gilchrist smash three consecutive 6s out of the SCG and Australia reach a world record of 5 for 221 off 120 balls, I’m now a huge fan.

I came very close to taking up the offer from a colleague to buy one of his tickets to watch the game live at the SCG today. But with meetings stretching well into the late afternoon, my brain was well fried by the time I left for home at 7.30pm, and thankful I didn’t have to make polite conversation throughout the cricket. Grateful that I can sit in my living room in my jim jams and relax with a full strength cold beer, I switched on the TV to see Australia batting first.

About 4 overs into the Australian inning, I had a moment of regret that I wasn’t sitting in the SCG sipping a plastic cup of light beer. The atmosphere translated quite well through the TV – music was blaring, there were elements of fun about the game, and the batsmen were smashing the English bowling left, right and centre.

Adding to the fun, Channel 9 made arrangements to “mike up” some of the players on the field, including Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and England captain Michael “Dickie Knee” Vaughn, allowing the commentary team to chat with the players as the game unfolded.

To anyone who has never seen a game of cricket, I would highly recommend you ease into the foray by watching a Twenty20 match. The game is fast and furious and a lot of fun. To the naysayers who say “it’s just not cricket”, well, I have to agree with you, but this is hits and giggles, so get over it.

Incidentally, the English managed a respectable 6 for 126 before the lower order crumbled faster than shortbread in a cup of tea – 9 for 144, well short of the target.

Surfboat Racing @ Manly Beach

Len invited Emily, Megan and me down to Manly Beach to watch him and his Bronte boys compete in surfboat racing on Saturday 6 January. The perfect beach weather made the early morning rise out of bed less painful, and once at Manly, the very gorgeous, buff bodies of all the competitors made the day very worthwhile.

I haven’t been back to Manly for quite some time – in fact, it had been almost 7 months since I was last in Manly. I had almost forgotten how gorgeous the north end of Manly Beach and Queenscliff Beach are on a clear and bright day.

By the time we got to the beach, the Bronte crew had already raced once. We stayed to watch Len and his boys race twice, the second of these races netted the boys a 2nd place in a thrilling finish!

The time spent at the beach was perfect – the sun was not too hot and there was a gentle breeze. Emily packed the girls gourmet lunch rolls which were real treats. When I eventually waded in, th water was refreshingly cool. All of us managed to get a bit more colour from the sun, which can’t hurt!  With camera in tow, I was able to take some gorgeous photos of the beach, as well as plenty of action shots of the surfboat racing and other surf lifesaving competitions.

We left the beach shortly after Bronte’s 2nd place finish – a perfect beach day with great company and fantastic views, in every way!