Double Pay

“This is really one of the great ferry rides of the world”, I said to my friend, as we made our way from Double Bay to Circular Quay, and snapped photographs along the way. I think this was the first and only time I’ve ever caught that ride. On the weekend, the ferry goes hourly, and takes maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. You get terrific views along the shoreline parts of the Eastern Suburbs, and ends with wonderful views of the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay.

We had spent several hours – an enjoyable long lunch – at the 18 Footers Club.

There was the usual bunch of friends (consistenting of current and former ABBA fans) who I’ve begun to know well since arriving in Sydney in the mid 1990s. I knew a couple of them before that time, but it’s really only since the mid 1990s that I’ve begun to know them well.

Three of us have also attended Swedish lessons, and so it was with great delight we discovered the bar manager, Joakim was Swedish. He was a little difficult to understand at first, and then we realised he was from Malmö, where they speak Swedish with a different accent to the more standard “Stockholm Swedish” which we’ve learned. He was charming, saying he thought it was wonderful that we “had learned Swedish because we wanted to, not because we had to”.

It was a lovely moment in our afternoon at the club, which was a very nice place to visit, with lovely surrounds and terrific food. (My only slight drama, to begin with was having arrived after the others. Living within the 5km limit, I needed to be signed in by a member, so we needed to make calls… “Can you come and sign me in…”

The ferry from Double Bay is located right next to the club.

The number of times I’ve been to Double Bay (or “Double Pay” as it’s commonly known, a reference to the wealthy inhabitants of the suburb), I could count on one hand. The most memorable of which was when Sonia McMahon was still alive. Sonia McMahon was the wife of a former Australian Prime Minister. We were at a cafe/restaurant and she was seated with a group of similarly aged, obviously wealth women and men in their 60s, or thereabouts. After a few hours of watching them consume SEVERAL bottles of wine, a waiter walked over and said, smilingly, to one of them who had a couple of shopping bags with her, “Would you like me to put your milk in the fridge? It looks like you might be here for QUITE some time…”

I love that story, especially as there was a woman seated at a nearby table at lunch today who looked remarkably like Lady Sonia. “I’m pretty sure it’s not her”, a friend joked.

2 thoughts on “Double Pay

  1. Nice clips James, especially the Opera House one. Whenever I’m in Sydney I always take the ferry ride around to Doouble Bay. I love to sit at a cafe on Knox St or Bay St for coffee and cake and watch the posh world go by. Also, there are some nice galleries. I remember one time I was at The Cosmopolitan on Knox St and at a neighboring table the were some very well-to-do Israeli women gossiping in Hebrew. Little did they know I understood every word.
    Are you staying up or getting up early for Eurovision? I’ve just finished watching the second semi-final. First semi was better I thought. Will wait and watch the final tomorrow evening even though I’ll know who won. Good luck to Sweden.

  2. Thanks Rod for the Double Bay tips. Now that I know about the ferry, I’ll try to go back more. And the club was wonderful. Highly recommended. I went to bed after writing this post, but woke up. My plan was early to bed, and then wake up. Now, I’m not so far. Obviously friends and I were chatting today about how wonderful Sweden’s entry had been art Melodifestivalen, but it had been losing a bit of its gloss at Eurovision semis. “Maybe he’s sung it too many time?” we wondered. Fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.