Busy Social Week

It’s Friday night or Saturday morning actually. There’s AFL on television. I’ve just been out to see a band, called “The Winters” play and I’m wide awake. It’s been a reasonably social week.

On Tuesday night, Damien and I went to see the new David Williamson play, “Birthrights”. The play concerns a family – a fairly independent mother and her two daughters – and their lives. In particular, it deals with the decision of one daughter to bear a child for her sister and the complications that result from that as the child gets older and as the one who bore the child finds herself unable to have her own children. It was quite moving and funny. As is often the case with Williamson plays there is also some discussion about contemporary Australian political issues, such as refugees and the republic. In this particular play, these discussions seemed like fairly odd inclusions, distracting the audience from the personal politics which, in my view, are far more powerful. It was interesting, nonetheless, to hear a deep intake of breath from some of the more conservative elements of the audience, when the characters made comments about the republic.

It was also good fun to be there on an opening night. Damien and I met at about 7pm at Opera Bar and had a drink or two before heading upstairs. On arrival, we noticed a couple of celebrities including the actor, Gary McDonald, but thought that it was a fairly standard Sydney opening night crowd. A photographer from the City Weekly actually asked if he could take our photograph. We said yes. I’ve never really been in the social pages before this. He asked us what side of the bridge we were from, since publication would depend on which version of the magazine we would eventually appear in. All was fine, until Bryan Brown and Rachael Ward and numerous other REAL celebrities arrived. I guess we’re destined for the cutting room floor! After the play, we also hung around, drinking and schmoozing a little.

I spent Wednesday at the NSW Shires Association Conference which was reasonably interesting, since the State Government announced a new policy, encouraging shires, particularly those rural shires surrounding regional cities to ammalgamate.

On Wednesday night, Damien and I went for dinner at The Summit. The Summit Restaurant is a landmark dining experience offering absolutely unbeatable spectacular 360° views revolving 165 metres, 47 floors atop Australia Square. With an international reputation, the Summit boasts an unsurpassed panorama that features the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, the Botanical Gardens and the CBD. It was actually the first time I have been to a revolving restaurant and I found the experience a little unsettling. Still, we had a lovely time. The meal was good, but not exceptional. For entree, we both had Salad of duck confit with mushrooms, whitlof and radicchio leaves, which was very good. For main, I had the Grilled, spiced barramundi fillet on saffron and spinach risotto with lemon coriander dressing which I thought was quite good. Damien, however was a little disappointed with his meal which was the Medallions of grain fed fillet of beef with mushroom ragout and hand cut pillar potatoes. We’re too well fed, I think!

And from there it was off to see Barbara Morrison. Barbara Morrison has performed with a virtual “who’s who” of the Jazz and the Blues worlds including legends, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Ron Carter, Etta James, Esther Phillips, David T. Walker, Jimmy Smith, Johnny Otis, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Cedar Walton, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, and Keb’ Mo (Kevin Moore). When we arrived at Wine Banc, we were at first a little perturbed by the off-handed nature of the staff there. Although we were on the Guest List, they were a little short with us, only offering us a space standing at the bar. The crowd was incredibly pretentious and my guess is that half of those attending had no interest in the performer. The remainder, however, did. Amongst those in the crowd were jazz singer, Emma Paske and trumpeter, James Morrison, both of whom performed with her. Musically speaking, it was a very memorable night. Once we found a couple of chairs and located a good space, we sat back, enjoyed the music and enjoyed some excellent French wine. Oh what a night. Damien said he really enjoyed himself.

Tonight I received a phone call from Mel, telling me about a band that was playing at the Spanish Club and asking me if I would like to see them. They’re friends of Mel and Karl. They’re called “The Winters”. They’re very similar, in my view, to Oasis and apparently they have a song playing on Triple J at the moment.

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