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Oceania » Australia
March 29th 2008
Published: December 13th 2017
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Geo: -33.8261, 151.199

Begining of Autumn 2008

Mon 3rd Mar 08
The weather the 1st three days of autumn has been ... wait for it... sunny! But there is a cooler air in it, I am wearing my leather jacket in work cause the a/c is too cold, I even interviewed someone while wearing it I was so cold on Friday 29th Feb (aka last day of summer). Also the autumnal light is really nice and the jacaranda trees are still good. And Mother's day isn't the same day here as Ireland, weird huh, luckily my Mum reminded me!

My nieces 7th birthday was on Saturday 1st Mar. so after her own party (which I didn't go to as frankly there's nothing sadder than going to a 7 year olds birthday when you have no kids yourself) all the women in the extended family went to a baby shower (how American) for her other Aunt, where I had nothing better to do than quaff copious amounts of 'champale'. (Baby boy born today I hear, all is well.)

Then the 7 year old came home with me and we met C for dinner and the 7 year old was very impressed when I got the waitress to bring her dessert with a candle and the whole restaurant seemed to sing happy birthday. We gave her the game 'Operation' for her birthday so pre bed time was filled with this, Jenga & Hans Christian Anderson stories, then 7:45am next day saw me doing science experiments with her (I had to take to the bed for the afternoon to catch up). The rest of her clan came down for brunch later in the New Orleans Cafe..... so one big happy family :-)

The 1st was also Mardi Gras night, so all of the above means we couldn't go, but truthfully I don't think I'd have gone anyway as it was the 30 year anniversary and involved queuing to get a good spot & I can only imagine how hard it was to get a cab home, but I met someone who was on the Whitney Houston stand and I saw a bit of it on t.v., so that'll do! But I am glad it see it went well http://news.smh.com.au/organisers-happy-with-30th-mardi-gras/20080302-1wab.html

6 March 08
Weather update: Gorgeous since autumn started, is 27 degrees today.

10 March 08
Gorgeous weather all weekend. Went to our local market and then did some sightseeing in our own neighbourhood (at last) on Sat. - walked through St Leonards Pk. as far as Neutral Bay for coffee and Sunday did a 5 hour great views return walk from ours over the harbour bridge (having motored, trained & bussed over it and climbed it in the past) to the Rocks, where we passed 2 more markets (they seem big here) and saw 3 bridal parties and then, sure all that walking merited, yummy dinner in Chinese-vego 'Full Circle' restaurant in Crows Nest later (followed by late night tipsy supermarket shopping which is to be recommended).

2 days later... Went for dinner in P&A's last night where I must have consumed 2000 calories in one go so now I just did my first ever stationary bike riding/spinning class, Oh my GOD I must have burned at least a 1000 of those calories! C. has now disowned me for going to spinning seeing as I used to mock it with him 15 years ago when we 1st saw it in LA Story, d'oh!

It's now a week later and I am back wearing my Danish jeans, so go-on the spinning (these are the jeans that wouldn't close in Aug. after the big trip and that I was wearing comfortably this time last year in Cph), anyway have lost 22.77lbs so that's what I must have put up on the trip, ergo 5 Star in India = fatness!

It was our wedding anniv. this week which funnily enough involved more eating and on a completely unrelated note we also met some Irish friends of friends (C&A) who have been living here for nearly 4 yrs for drinks in 'The Porterhouse' in Surry hills (Irish bar where they had stale tayto) which was good fun and who we hope to see again.

And we have hit the 6 month point of being here ourselves, how time it flies.

Then 13 of us headed up to Newcastle for the night on the 15th for the opening of a new veranda in bro-in-laws bar (see Newie entry).

And of course Monday was 17th so we did a St Patricks Day pub crawl, C & P started at 3pm in The Rocks so I caught up with them around 5.30pm after queuing to get into a not very exciting Irish pub 'The Mercantile' (we passed it 2 weekends ago and there was good live Irish music but sadly not today), then we hit 'The Observer' where a cover band were playing The Proclaimers and Crowded House so I think they were a bit confused about what was Irish, then we went to 'The Orient' who had a proper band playing good Irish tunes and where we were talking to some RA connected nut with a bodran signed by Portlaoise inmates. Then we hit Sydney's oldest pub 'The Fortune of War' which had nice old tiles and no music but they did give us St. Patricks Day stubby holders, then we had yummy dinner in the very nice 'Australian Heritage Hotel'

At this point we were near the bridge and I wanted to walk over it in the dark but P wanted to get taxi so we agreed if we saw one we'd get it, me thinking we were so close to start of the bridge walk we wouldn't have time to see one, and damn me if we didn't see one in the only possible second it could have happened, so taxi it was back to North Sydney. So we stopped in 'The Rag and Famish' which was like the Marie Celeste but we got a free Guinness hat - I had my 1st Guinness in 6 months earlier & a Magner's here, pints seem so big (575ml) now as it's all schooners here (425ml) - then we thought we'd go to our local PJ Gallagher owned 'The Union' but it was closed at 11pm on St. Patricks Day, call themselves Irish, puhhh. So there was nothing for it but Jameson nightcaps at chez nous.

So no dancing and no drinking cocktails til 3am (see Cph blog) but still we fairly wet the shamrock and we had good fun.

Next thing we knew it was Easter and we headed to the Blue Mountains (see separate entry).

29th Mar
In other news I was having withdrawals from not studying so took up some night/weekend courses: Thursday being Public speaking or 'Free the voice' (unbelievably for some in the sober light of day I actually hate talking to an audience & as I can't be drunk at work presentations...)and I started 'The art of make up' today for the next 2 Saturdays. (You know how they say evening classes are a way to make friends I think they must have meant in small towns, sigh.)

We just had Earth Hour tonight where we and 25 other cities (incl. Dub & Cph presumably tomorrow?) turned out the lights for an hour, which I see in Sydney's case brought down energy consumption by 8% & I don't know if that really reduced carbon emissions but sure we have to start somewhere, but I must say it was quite nice to sit by candle light for an hour . Fyi it was an Australian idea that started last year and if it's news to you see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Hour.

Movies this month: The Queen (ok), Big Fish (Tim Burton again) very good but very sad and not suitable if your Dad died of cancer, d'oh, Letters form Iwo Jima (a good boy movie but too long for me), Once (very good, oscar winning even!), The Passion of the Christ (as gory as it was taught to me in Religion class).

New great aussie tv series: 'Underbelly' based on real life gangsters/knackers in Melbourne whose activities will be subject of a court trail starting next week and Channel 9 are banned from airing it in Victoria until the court case is over and have the cheek to legally challenge the ban! However I read that some weird atmospheric conditions let the t.v. transmission float up to Victoria from Tasmania from another t.v. station WinNBN (I noticed this as the telco I work for have a share in that t.v. co. and we share a board room with them).

Anyway can safely say am loving autumn even though the leaves are going brown now and the frangipani's are shedding and the clocks are about to change (next weekend, a week after Europe must be something to do with Antartica being next week too maybe) but am glad I am missing Europe's hard winter and that's it for this installment.

And I see spelling mistakes in all these blogs so forgive me.

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