Seeing Old Friends

It’s Sunday night/Monday morning. I’ve just arrived back on the train from Newcastle. Due to track work, and a delayed shuttle service, the trip took four hours. So now, when I should be sleeping, I’m wide awake, having slept for quite a bit of the trip. The last few days have been great fun, catching up with Penny and Kate, so that’s what this diary entry is all about.

On Wednesday night, I went to the Strewth launch at the Sydney Labor Club. I have been to several Strewth launches, including the legendary Strewth launch at the “Bat & Ball”, where I won $170 on the poker machine. According to the editors of the magazine,

“Strewth! magazine is a publication of The Strewth! Institute Incorporated, a non-profit organisation based in Sydney. The Institute is dedicated to making the tall poppy syndrome world’s best practice in time for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.”

I guess their credits are a little out of date. So, in meeting up with Penny and her friends, I suggested the Strewth launch as a good fun thing to do, and especially since it was at the Sydney Labor Club, of which I am a member.

One of the highlights was Tug Dumbly performing his poem, “Why I Hate Baz Luhrmann”…

Baz Luhrmann makes horrible films
and has even more horrible haircuts.
I’ve seen him and his haircuts
self-promoting at the speed of light,
polishing Hollywood knobs,
salivating because Spielberg once
offered him a wiener at a cocktail party.
I hate Baz Luhrmann
I hate his name and his face and
his films and his haircuts.

After a couple hours of serious drinking and laughter, it was time for something to eat. My suggestion of a $5 steak at Forresters was warmly welcomed, though, by the time we arrived the steaks were off and so we had $5 chicken instead. Still very good. The really interesting thing I discovered is how Forresters (and other hotels) are getting around the non-smoking laws. I thought the “vibrating zapper” that tells you when your meal is ready was a cost-saving measure, but there’s another side to it: because staff don’t have to bring the food to you, you can smoke to your heart’s content. Or at least, that was the rationale everyone was using!

Yesterday I travelled to Newcastle.

This week is quite a busy one. Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day, so I’m going out for lunch, the first time I’ve been able to do that, because of work commitments for several years. On Tuesday night, I’m probably going to see “Bjorn Again” at the Metro Theatre. On Wednesday morning, I’m off to Melbourne for work. As it’s my birthday this week, Damien is taking me out for dinner one night too.

Yes… life is as good as an ABBA song… it’s as good as “King Kong Song”.

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