Frenchman, Reunion

It’s Tuesday night and I’ve just watched, “The Bill”. It was the episode where serial liar and bitch, Kathy Bradford lied in court.

Also this week, we caught up with ABBAMAILer, David Delcroix who as declared Man Of The Month in August 2000.

26, works for a major airline and his hobbies are reading, movies, music, travelling and genealogical research

All of that is true.. except that he is now over 30 and over the last few years we’ve also become good mates online, chatting at least every week about all sorts of things. The afternoon was great fun with the usual crowd showing up, culminating in dinner and drinks, as is the usual welcome for ABBAmailers visiting Sydney.

We met early on Monday morning (actually he was late, but hey!) at Circular Quay ahead of a trip to the Blue Mountains. As David is also a country boy, we had planned a trip to the mountains, so that he could experience life outside Sydney and Melbourne.

David in the Blue Mountains

The mountains were truly spectacular. We got off the train at Leura and walked all the way to Katoomba which took us through the expected mountains landscape, as well as a landscape that resembled sub tropical rainforest. At times we were hot and at times we were quite cold. By the end of the walk, however, we were warm enough to drink quite a bit of water at the local cafe.

On Tuesday, David, Damien and I had lunch at Aria Restaurant which was a truly spectacular way to spend his final day in Sydney.

After I bid farewell to my French visitor, David, I went to Colin’s place for dinner and to watch, Angels In America which we both enjoyed immensely. The series, over six hours, centres on two main relationships: that of Harper who is a pill-popping Mormon housewife whose husband is gay; and that of Prior who is diagnosed with AIDS and is abandoned by his boyfriend, Louis. Along the way, there are other stories, but these two provide the basis for the series. I thought the acting of both Meryl Streep and Al Pacino was exceptional. I disagree with many of the views which suggest the series was “dated”: it resonated for me.

On Wednesday, Richard and I met for lunch. We had a great time chatting about all sorts of things. I also discovered I went to school with his second cousin or something like that. An interesting thing to discover, since I was heading off to Lismore for my School Reunion.

On Thursday, I flew to Coolangatta. Sue’s parents picked both of us up from the airport and we drove to Lismore via Uki and Nimbin.

Friday was a reasonably busy day as a group of us returned to Richmond River High School for a Careers Day in which we discussed life after high school with some of the current students. Although some obviously thought we were too old to be interesting, most seemed truly interested in what we had to say. They also enjoyed a few of our anecdotes about current teachers at the school who were there when we went to school. It was kind of odd returning to the school to do this, but I guess not too surprising since both Sue and I were Students Of The Year, and I guess we’ve both had a long-standing interest in community involvement etc.

On Friday night, a group of us met at The Left Bank where we ate, drank and were merry, before finally heading off to Mary Gilhooley’s. The oddest thing, I think about attending this event prior to a school reunion was that a couple of us found ourselves at the Tropical Fruits Dance Party, being held in the nightclub at Mary Gilhooley’s. We danced and were merry. I also ran into a couple of friends, including Phil from Wollongong and Scottie from Wagga Wagga. We also saw a legendary female figure from Lismore dressed up as a drag queen for a show presented that night. Truly surreal.

On Saturday there was a display at the school of photographs, many of which I’d forgotten was taken? Did we really paint a mural? Did we really raise funds for a Victorian school affected by the 1983 Bushfires? The photographs helped trigger memories, but some of the memories even now remain truly vague. The night itself was fabulous, prompting comments from friends such as this:

Just wanted to say how great it was to see everyone, and I also look forward to next reunion and seeing those who couldn’t get there this time. Between now and then, I will try and work out : why does cow poo smell so sweet? why is walking through a paddock with grass halfway to my knees invigorating in the country, but annoying in my backyard? and why does it take less petrol to come back to Newcastle than to drive to Lismore – is it because the globe is an accurate depiction, and I am driving downhill all the way home? Hope you all keep well between now and then.

I spent Sunday at home doing not much at all. I watched Big Brother and loved Merlin’s “Free The Refugees Protest”, I watched the “Cher Farewell Tour” Concert, and then I fell asleep.

Yesterday was a travel day. We left Lismore mid-morning, arriving on the Gold Coast just before lunch. This is when I caught up with ABBAMAILER, Patrick. We had lunch at the Kirra Surf Club which is a terrific spot. Curiously enough, they’re pumping a lot of sand onto the beach at the moment, so the water is miles away. Pat and I chatted about life, the universe and everything, of course.

I finally arrived home at about 9.30 pm last night (Perth Time).

Today has been a wake-up call. After a week or so of relaxation, I was well and truly back at work! I hope to have more interesting stories to tell later in the week.

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