Christmas Party Season

It’s Sunday night and I’ve just had dinner, one of those terrific Margherita pizzas from Crust at Surry Hills. It marks the end of a long weekend of fun, with my friend Pat, visiting from Canberra.

I’m not exactly sure when the Christmas Party season started, though I think it may have been the Walkey Awards which were held a few weeks ago at Luna Park. I’d never actually been to Luna Park before. Growing up in the country and never having visited Sydney until I was about 19, there was no reason why I should have. And of course, over the last 20 years, Luna Park has been opened and closed on several occasions. The venue was great, the awards night fun, and as usual, ended up drinking a bloke called Greg for a couple of hours.

Another highlilght was the annual “Food & Booze Fest” at Ian and Ian’s place. I don’t actually recall how and why Boozefest (as it’s become known) started, but it’s something that I really enjoy going to. Always lots of fun.

I also caught up with some of the people at Boozfest earlier today as we had the annual ABBAMAIL Christmas Drinks at the Glenmore Hotel, one of Sydney’s hidden treasures, with its rooftop views of Circular Quay and excellent pub prices. The usual place, the usual bunch, as we say in ABBAMAIL circles, with the usual bitching and gossiping going on. Mark brought along his copy of the new Frida box set which includes four of Frida’s solo CDs along with a special DVD featuring some of her classic performances, along with a specially recorded interview. While the box set overall doesn’t excite me, although I think it’s nicely packaged, I look forward to seeing the DVD as a separate release.

This photograph features one of the highlights (of a kind) from one of the work-related Christmas Parties on Friday night. According to Dave, who performed the trick, it just requires the can to be about one-third full. Terrific stuff. Yes, on Friday night, we had TWO work Christmas Parties: one for the corporation overall; and one for us alone. I can honestly say, they were the most fun work-related parties I’ve ever been to, even if some of the cliches of “The Office”, such as karaoke were fulfilled.

Summer has well and truly arrived in Sydney. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s been very warm, as the world records its second hottest year on record and Sydney records its hottest. Many is the time I’ve come home in the last couple of weeks and have found myself vegging out on the couch. I was lucky enough to find a fully functioning floor fan in the back lane the other week and it’s been more than enough to cool the house without further destroying the environment.

As you will have read from the news reports over the last week, the hot weather has helped bring out some of the worst in a small group of Sydney siders. I don’t write about politics on this blog, but I don’t think that what’s happened is about politics. It’s about ignorance and opportunism and it’s probably also about how fine the line between civility and anarchy can be.

My favourite pithy comment about what occurred was published on the 702 ABC Sydney Guestbook: These disturbances have many causes which we all have to sort out–tribalism; the politics of division, testosterone, alcohol, etc. I hope we can learn how to live together, multiculturalism strengthens a society and makes it more vibrant. Some of us are about to celebrate the birth of someone of middle eastern appearance and may we all find some goodwill toward each other in true Christmas spirit.

My next post will be from Lismore. See you on the beautiful North Coast.

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