Winter Hits Sydney

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m half-watching “The Simpsons” on Foxtel. It’s the episode where it’s revealed Principal Skinner isn’t really a war hero after all. I really love this show and in the last few days I’ve also seen one of my all time favourites, the one where Mrs Crabopple and Principal Skinner fall in love. It’s the one where Mrs Crabopple utters the classic line about her nights at home, “It’s just salad for one, soup for one and wine for three”. I’ve also just been watching three or four episodes back to back of “Will & Grace”.

Does that give you enough of an insight into my Sunday? Actually I received an invitation to see “The Producers”, but I’m feeling a bit anti-social so I’ve decided an afternoon indoors is probably the right thing. And why not? After weeks of delay, and the warmest April on record, it seems that winter has finally arrived in Sydney. I wore a jacket for the first time yesterday and looking out my window I see the park across the road, which is normally quite busy, is empty aside from a rugged up father and son on the swings.

Speaking of miserable weather: I had two days in Melbourne this week. On my first night there, my friend Sue and I had planned to go out for dinner with a colleague at one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets, the Supper Inn. Along the way, we paid a visit to Heffernan Lane in Chinatown where there’s an interesting community arts project underway based around moments of wisdom and poetry featured on ordinary street and neon signs. Phrases, such as “Commit No Nuisance”, “It is the opposite which is good for us” and “We listen to it and do not hear it” made for an interesting diversion on our way to dinner.

There’s actually a brief story about Melbourne’s lanes on the website of the Melbourne Age. Although it’s interesting, I couldn’t possibly agree with the classically Melbournian self-serving assertion that Sydneysiders envy Melbourne’s lanes. They have an intimacy, a palpable history, you won’t find amid northern skyscrapers and harbour panoramas. Has the author ever gone beyond Circular Quay, ever taken a walk say a hundred metres to the oldest evidence of European civilisation in Australia around the lanes of “The Rocks” or “Surry Hills”?

Unfortunately though we didn’t actually get to eat at the Supper Inn since my workmate fell ill just after we ordered and I had to take her to the hospital. I’ll tell you what the Supper Inn is like next time I visit Melbourne.

The other social highlight of my week was yesterday when I went to the 16ft Skiff Club at Manly for Donna’s birthday drinks. Unlike most occasions when I catch the Manly Ferry, this time I caught the Jet Cat which takes a slightly different route and which allows you really great views. The Skiff Club is one of Sydney’s great secrets with its spectacular views and cheap beer and food prices. It was a great afternoon and it was really lovely to catch up with “the usual crew”.

Not much else to report at this stage, except that father and son have moved from the swing and are now just sitting having a chat. The next two weeks will be fun with visits by Patrick, Sue and Anthony and next weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest Party. Also sometime this week, Damo and I are gonna catch up for a meal.

P.S. Happy Birthday Sue

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