It’s Monday night, another warm night, and I kind of feel like nothing much has happened in the last week. Gee, that’s an invitation to keep reading, isn’t it? The thing is, I’m a bit frazzled because I’ve been awake since 3.30am and it’s now almost 9.30pm. I had a sick staff member today and it was probably easier for me to work the early shift than organise someone else.
Last Wednesday night I went for ABBAMAIL Drinks at the Huntsbury Hotel. The big news in ABBAworld at the moment is the public appearance, for the first time since 1983, of all four members of ABBA at the same location at the same time. The occasion was the opening night of the Swedish production of “Mamma Mia”. Although it’s been a regular feature for Frida to appear on stage with Bjorn and Benny at these opening nights, this time she took a much lower profile, resisting the urge to appear on stage. The wisdom in ABBA fan circles is that she was paying respect to Agnetha who doesn’t like crowds at the best of times and chose to remain seated. If the situation has been interpreted correctly I think it’s a terrific thing for Frida to have done.
Michaela and I also caught up for drinks this week at a favourite new pub, The Abercrombie (aka The Australian) located on Broadway. Michaela and I usually catch up for a drink or two each week at the nearby County Clare Inn, but since the yuppies and students have taken over, we’ve moved down the road to the Abercrombie’s beer garden.
After the drink, I wandered up to Oxford Street and bought a few DVDs from the cheap CD chop, including a DVD of the original “Boy From Oz” tv documentary about the life of Peter Allen. It’s a terrific documentary with a number of highlights, including a segment where Bette Midler sings “Tenterfield Saddler” at the Peter Allen tribute concert and forgets the words. It’s both funny and touching. And did I mention I’m going to see Bette Midler… and Cher? Oh dear!
On Sunday, I met Ellen, Michael and a few others for lunch at Bodhi, a terrific vegetarian yum cha restaurant near St. Mary’s Cathedral. I first went to Bodhi with my friend Sue, who is a vegan. Although the restaurant describes itself as vegetarian, I’m pretty sure the menu is vegan. The crowd, as always, was very relaxed: an intriguing combination of inner city trendoids (the intelligentsia of course, since it’s vegan) – that was us! – and youngish couples with babies. Babies, babies, where did all the babies come from? The food is great, though it’s probably not a good idea to drag along people who think vegetarian might include chicken and seafood!
Kate and I also caught up on Saturday afternoon, eating at my favourite little dumpling and noodle place in the Burlington Centre, Chinatown. Kate was in town for the fiftieth birthday of legendary Australian rock journalist, Toby Creswell, whom she’s known for a thousand years. Kate was also here to buy some objects for the farewell ceremony she is planning for her sister, Liz, who died last year. The plan is to scatter Liz’s ashes at Seal Rocks on the Mid North Coast in a ceremony that will feature a strong Chinese element. Subsequently, Kate and I went to the Chinese temple shop where Kate purchased a number of things for burning. Kate and I selected objects we’d like in the event of our deaths – a mobile phone for Kate and a radio for me – spending quite some time there. The shop was terrific and the assistant was very helpful.
Also in the last week, the art group to which Kate and I belong, Hawkesbury One has made another purchase. We now own a total of eleven works by contemporary Australian artists. The latest is a piece by Richard Wastell, a Tasmamian landscape painter with a strong environmental theme throughout his work. The piece we’ve purchased is called Blood River. Forgetting my own body in the highlands which, although not our first choice from his current exhibition, is a piece we all really like. Although the exhibition is currently being shown in Devonport, I’ll pop into the Dick Bett Gallery when I visit Tasmania later this week.
But before that, I have a couple of things on the agenda. I’ve won tickets to sneak preview of the movie, Lawless Heart screening tomorrow night at the Dendy Opera Quays. The movie centres of the life of three couples affected by the death of someone close to them all. Interestingly enough, the male partner of the guy who dies embarks on a relationship with a woman. On Wednesday, Damien and I are going to the Annual “Taste of NZ” Wine Fair at the Four Seasons, which, for $35 allows us to taste over 320 wines from 78 wineries, including 65 pinot noirs. Heaven! And then on Thursday, I’ll undertake my first trip to Tasmania. Although it’s for work, I plan on staying an additional day or so to do some sightseeing. Chocolate factory. The markets. Maybe head up the coast. I wouldn’t mind going to Port Arthur. So much to see, so little time.