I had an early morning start Friday. I woke up at about 5, I think and then briefly went back to sleep until the phone rang. Shock! It was time to get up and head off to the beachside swimming pool at Bronte for work-related activity. Even on a cold morning, there was a reasonable crowd of people swimming laps and enjoying breakfast at nearby cafes.
After a fairly intense start to the day, and with lots to do when I got to work proper, I found myself a little tired by mid-afternoon and so gave myself an “early mark”. After a brief nap on the couch, a group of us from work caught up with a former colleague who has secured a permanent job and sponsorship in Australia.
My friend Graeme was at a nearby table, as were hundreds of after-work drinkers. And the promotional staff from Guinness were there too, offering free drinks (which tasted AWFUL), and trying to engage us in a sports trivia quiz. After unsuccessfully asking us questions about sport, I suggested they might try questions about beer instead, which of course I’m an expert in. I won a t-shirt which, unfortunately, is a little too tight, though it’s probably suitable for sleeping wear.
Today was also a day for catch-ups, first with a good friend I haven’t seen for a couple of months. “Feel like going for a walk to Bondi Junction”, she asked on the phone this morning.
“Which way would we go?”, I thought, hoping we could make it there without having to endure too much of the early morning tragedy that is Surry Hills and Darlinghurst. “You don’t even notice them anymore, do you?”, she said to me at one point, commenting on my lack of awareness of the significant number of people on the streets of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst asking for money.
As we walked to Bondi Junction, we stopped in at a couple of shops along the way, as well as the Paddington Markets. Along the way, we noticed a “children’s animal zoo” near Centennial Park and a lonesome girl sitting at the Bondi Junction bus stop, having already devoured one-third of the latest Harry Potter book which had only gone on sale two hours earlier.
The customer service at Westfield was quite good, although we did think one of the guys who served us was nice, despite his obvious incompetence.
From there it was back home to catch up with a mate up from Canberra and one of his old uni mates (and Fruits in Suits buddy of mine) for lunch at Bar Reggio in East Sydney (which was excellent) followed by a bottle of red at the Dolphin Hotel.
Memorable comments from our time included an observation about metrosexuals… “If they’re gonna act like poofs, why don’t they go the whole hog?”.
Most memorable from the Dolphin, however, was the woman who was literally lying down over three chairs. I was half-tempted to ask if she’d like another. Good looking for her age, she was tall and “greyhound thin” and we decided she was probably one of the people who had tried out for the first series of “Big Brother” but had missed out to Andi, the dominatrix. Also memorable were the huge crowds which had arrived to watch a footy match, in which we had absolutely no interest. At that point, we decided it was time to head off and find something more interesting to do.