ABBAMAIL Connection

It’s Sunday afternoon, I’m having a Gin & Tonic, and I’m listening to show tunes by Jodie Gillies. Don’t worry, no need for suicide watch, it’s just a wet Sunday afternoon in Perth and what better way to spend the afternoon.

I really love this CD by Jodie Gillies and play it fairly often. The only time I have ever seen her perform was at the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre in the early 90s. Disappointingly the crowd was small, but she sang with intelligence and emotion. I fell in love! The CD contains really spectacular performances of a range of popular musical theatre songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Although at times, she can be a little “Ethel Merman” there are also moments of great tenderness. What’s she up to now? Who knows? I hope she records again.

I’ve also been reading quite a bit lately, including two books about the American presidency, both from a Democrat perspective, although “Worse Than Watergate” was written by John W. Dean, former Counsel to President, Richard Nixon who draws parralels between the apparent lack of openness of presidencies of Nixon and George Bush Jnr. Indeed, the central thesis of the book is that Bush’s Government is probably even more secret, but so far haven’t been caught out in the way the Nixon was. The book argues the secrecy pre-dated September 11, but became even greater in the period since then. The architect of the secrecy, argues Dean, is Dick Cheney. While there are a few things I didn’t know – such as the existence of an alternative government in the event of terrorist attack – the book’s argument becomes a little repetitive after a while. An enjoyable read.

The last week has been reasonably busy with both work and social engagements, two of which came about through my connection with ABBAMAIL.

The first involved a meeting with a friend of ABBAMAILER, Paul, called Kate who has been living in Europe for about a decade and who has just returned to Perth. Paul gave us a virtual introduction a few months ago,

On Thursday night, Kate and I had a glass of chardy at “The Queens”, followed by dinner at a fabulous restaurant called, Dusit Thai, and then a coffee in town, during which we chatted, compared notes on Paul (we’ll write a character assessment of him sometime soon!) and had a great old time, although I must say meeting her was odd in that she reminded me quite a bit of a woman – both physically and in her personality – I knew millions of years ago. Quite unnerving! But very nice!

I also went out to lunch with Trent yesterday. I first met Trent, who is now in his late 20s, through ABBAMAIL seven or eight years ago when he was just a young pup. On my suggestion, Trent and his friend Tristan went on the Swan Valley Cruise that Damien and I went on a couple of months ago. Like Damo and I, T & T had a great time, with Trent declaring it one of the most entertaining days of his life. And so, planning a day at Fremantle, I suggested we catch the ferry to Freo so Trent could experience the other end of the river which took as past the houses of Perth’s rich and famous. Trent noticed that the commentator for the cruise had an unhealthy obsession with the man made structures – bridges and highways – of Perth!

We had a terrific lunch at the Mussell Beer, feasting on a lovely Pinot Gris from the Adelaide Hills and baked Fremantle snapper. Excellent value and great fun. Although we’ve known each other for quite some time, I don’t think we’ve ever chatted so openly before, which was good. After browsing around Fremantle, we travelled back to the city via the train network, which Trent found amusingly small. Overall a great day.

It’s also been great to have been invited to have a few beers after work this week. It’s four and a half months, now, since I arrived, and I’m starting to feel really at home with the people here. Almost without exception everyone has been really nice.

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