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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Sydney adventures and other stuff - June 2013 - PART TWO

GOOD MORNING READERS;  Part Two of our adventures.

Louise here at the blog-o-sphere once again continuing on with our adventures south of the border, down Sydney way.  

Just to prove we really know how to live life in the fast lane here on Magnetic Island, I have to share the following.   Sit down if you have a weak disposition.

My Daihatsu Charade TS Model car which I purchased new in 2000 had a bit of a milestone: the old girl got to 100,000 kms on the clock!  Yee hah!  And of course an event of this magnitude had to be photographed!

27 May 2013; the clock says 99,999 km

Now it says 100,000 km!  27.5.13

I did warn you it was exciting...   I got this car new from salesman Victor Sultana in Jan 2000, the compliance plate was issued Dec 1999, and to be a classic car in Australia the vehicle in question has to be 20 years old at least.  

As I am too hard up to buy a new one, I think my poor old 'jam jar' (as we used to say in London) will have to keep going a bit longer.  

I do have this one fantasy though that involves my Charade.   

No, not that kind,  get your mind above your navel.  My fantasy is this:-  I want to go into the local Porche dealer (not that I think there is one in Townsville!) and ask to do a trade in with the Charade.  Matt can be secretly filming the whole thing.  I just want to the see the look on the face of the sales person.  Then I'll flash my platinum AmEx card and say 'I want that one...!'

But of course, for this to happen,  I need the cash to buy a new Porche in the first place.  All dosh, cash, moolah, whatever you call it, dear reader(s), will be gratefully received.

Now where was I? 

Oh yes, an old friend of Matt's from his school days, Dallas, and his lovely wife Bernie, came to stay with us for a few days.  I had never met them before and we had a amazing few days together.  

19.5.13, Dallas and Matt, Picnic Bay

After showing them around the island, and showing them the old Picnic Bay Jetty half demolished by Cyclone Yasi (above) we saw the chalked sign on the blackboard outside the Arcadia Hotel telling all that the free Bingo had jackpotted to $1000.  Well, we had to go and have a try at that!

Bingo! 19.5.13 Arcadia Hotel L-R Matt, Dallas, Bernie

Eyes down for a full house....

Sad to say, we didn't win a cracker!  But it was fun nonetheless! (No one won the $1k which rolled over to the next week - we attended, and it was won on the last number by a local chap...)

Deciding that as the guys had a 4WD, (which trumps our Charade any day!) a trip to West Point on the other side of Magnetic Island with a few fishing rods was a  must!  The roads are only sealed for part of the way, and potholes by the dozen line the unsealed section.   

(Previous blogs will show that my lovely husband Matt has to have a gun at his head to get the fishing rods out, but when Dallas suggested it, he broke the sound barrier getting to the shed to retrieve them and the camping chairs...)

I, as usual, caught nothing with my rod.  Young Dallas on the other hand, caught the one and only fish of the day, a Trevally, which we had for tea that night.  And very nice it was too.  Well done Dallas.

20.5.13  West Point, L-R, Bernie, Matt and Dallas

Dallas and Bernie left us on 21st May to go further north, and it was great having some guests we could show the island to.  


Vivid Festival, Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney 30.5.13

On Thursday 30 May 2013,  we flew to Sydney for a few days, mainly to go to the 'Passion Party' at the Arthouse in Pitt St, Sydney City.   Luckily for us the Vivid Festival was also in Sydney, plus the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.

We landed at 5.30pm, and by 6.30pm after checking into our hotel in Campbell St, we were in the Dixon St Foodcourt enjoying some lovely Asian food.  Matt loves a Laksa, and indulged in a mammoth one with everything but the kitchen sink in it.   We then embarked after dinner to a very long walk to Circular Quay where the 2013 Vivid Festival was in full swing.  The Customs House (above) had a great light show which was jiggled about by a moving dance floor!  Anyone could have a go, and the whole building appeared to sway and bend.  Hours of fun.   But modesty prevented me busting a few moves.   ("As if", says Matt...)

Another display at Customs House 30.5.13

Around the corner next to the Museum of Contemporary Art, was a light tunnel, made from LED coloured lights, which kept changing.  

Your author, Circular Quay, 30.5.13

Since I was last walking around the Quay area, the Passenger Terminal has really opened up with new restaurants and clubs.  Here we found a perfect view of the famous Opera House, and the shore was lined with tripods, with eager photographers behind them, clicking away.

Opera House, 30.5.13 Vivid Festival

This was one of the biggest displays of light and sound so far,  and around 11pm after looking at most of the installations, including some fab sculptures, we jumped on a bus and headed back to the hotel.  

Next day Friday 31st, I caught the ferry over to Manly to attend my old dentist Dan Pechar, for a quick visit.  I checked out the charity shops there too, but sad to say, they have become rather expensive since I was last there.    I think its due to the fact that Manly is a main tourist area of Sydney and this may be driving the prices up?  Who knows.   I rocked back up at the hotel in town at 4.30 as we had a dinner date at 6pm with our old pal Kelly. We met her at the bus stop near Elizabeth St and headed to Paddington to have dinner with another old chum Chris.

A very talented landscape gardener,  Chris is house sitting the most FAB place in Paddington!  A lovely 2 storey terrace, with a stunning and beautiful art collection adorning its walls.  Chris is one of these people who is always in the right place at the right time - and the owners of the house asked him to move in while they are overseas.    

The wine flowed, we talked about old times, we devoured a fab Thai beef salad, and before we knew it, it was time to go and catch the bus back into town.  Sadly Chris was unable to come to the Passion Party with us, as he has a broken bone in his foot (it can get a bit squishy at these events and my toes have been trodden on in the past).

We poured Kelly into a taxi at Elizabeth St. and waved bye bye.  She is also unable to attend the party as she has a 'hens night' on that night!  Bugger,  we had a huge crew of chums at the last Passion Party.

Next day Saturday 1st June, was the day of the party.  Do we have the time to squeeze in the Archibald Prize for Portraiture at the Art Gallery? I think so!   

It was the last day of the exhibition, it looked like it was going to pour with rain, but what the hell, we HAD to go.   Below is the link to the web page for the Archibald prize.   The other two prizes on exhibit are the Wynne and the Sulman (landscape and design/ sculpture) which are always good.  (and controversial!)

Another one of our good friends, Geoff, met us in the lobby of the hotel and we caught the bus to the Gallery.  The sky was darkening, rain had been forecast, as we went from the bus stop to the Gallery.     As we walked along something caught my eye.  It was 2 tickets to the Archibald!  Grabbing them at warp factor 7, I showed Geoff and Matt.  
'Are they still good for today?' asked Geoff (he was getting a senior discount ticket himself).   

'I have no idea' I said, 'but I'll go down to the desk where they take the tickets and ask.'   If these tickets were valid we were saving $20.

I smiled sweetly at the lady at the entrance to the Archibald Prize, and said, waving one the found tickets,  'I had to go outside for a minute, can I get back in again?'

'Of course you can'  and she went to take it from my hand, which I quickly retracted.

'Er, thanks, I'll just get my husband who I've left upstairs...'  and I spurted like Usain Bolt on steroids to get Matt and Geoff.

"We're in!' I hissed into Matt's ear.  
'Nice one...' he whispered back.

Geoff came over from the ticket desk with his concession ticket.  I hurriedly told him that the tickets were valid and we made our way through the herds of visitors, who were eager, like us, to see the last day of the Archibald Prize.    

On entering we realised that every art lover in Sydney had joined us.   We got out our list of exhibits and did the rounds.   After 2 1/2 hours, we suddenly heard the words on the intercom system saying 'Ladies and gentlemen, the Art Gallery will be closing in 5 minutes...'.  Wow.  It was 5pm; and we had still a few things to view in the Sulman part of the exhibition.   

I have enclosed a link of the one painting in the Sulman Prize exhibit that really grabbed me;

Its called 'Lounge Lizards' by Joanna Braithwaite, and I just loved it.

As we left the Gallery and waited for the bus to come, the black sky opened and it started to rain. Please oh weather gods, no rain tonight, I've left the waterproof mascara at home!

All three of us jumped off the bus at Chinatown and headed for the Dixon St food court.  Some Asian food was needed  after all that traipsing around looking at artworks.

Geoff and your author, Food Court, Dixon St, Sydney  1.6.13

We waved bye bye to Geoff after dinner, as he got on the bus home, and raced back to the hotel to get ready for our big night out - the Passion Party!  Woo hoo!

Our old chum Vince was meeting us at the hotel and we were all going along together.

Vince and your Author, 10 pm - 1.6.13 before the Passion Party

Don't be alarmed - I haven't had a bad black dye job, that's a wig!  This was the first time I've worn a wig to a nightclub.  And it was fine.  

 I know that top is a bit see through, but its due to the fact that the bra I have on under it, has fake diamonds sewn onto the sides of the cups.  Well, they have to be shown off, and if you can't look a bit tarty at a Passion Party, when can you, I ask myself?  Plus we knew from the last one it would be very hot on the dance floor.

Matt looking very shiny - with Vince before the party 1.6.13

It was only sprinkling with rain as we walked to the Arthouse.  The party was FAB.  There was a cloakroom (lovely!) but we were wearing our gammy old black hoodies in case the cloakroom was full and we had to stash them under the seats and retrieve them later.  This actually happened to us a few years back when we were living in Sydney.  We went to see Armin Van Buuren at the Hordern Pavilion, and of course, my black good coat I had to stash under a seat was taken, while Matt's old black hoodie was left!  Go figure.  Ever since then, I just wear old stuff I don't mind losing.

But I digress.  Arriving at 11pm, the joint was jumping - the decor inside the Arthouse was amazing, high energy old tunes from the DCM nightclub days were blaring out, great lasers, and a fun crowd singing away with the classics.   It must have been good as we left at 5.30am!  Below are some pics taken at the venue  - the ones with the lasers in are (I think!) the Passion Party.

Soon it was Monday and time to return to Magnetic Island.  Ah Sydney we shall miss you, but we are coming back again in September if we can swing it.

So that's about it in the continuing adventures of Louise and Matt.

Its now winter time here on Maggie, I am sitting here resplendent in my gammy old boys trackie pants with a long sleeve T shirt on top.  I know my reader(s) think I swan around in Hawaiian print sarongs and bikinis.  I sure hate to spoil that image.  Life in the tropics is not all summer nights and cocktails.

Its 24C -  and I'm in winter clothes - yeah I know, mental eh?  Its been 13C at night and trust me after summer temps of 34-38C on average, a daytime 24C seems cool, and a night time 13C is bloody perishing.  Bed socks and fleecy dressing gowns rule in this household after the sun has gone down.  No pics of me in those, I want to keep the illusion of me as a fashionista intact!

I'll close now.

Another post coming soon!  (hopefully just photos...)

Adios Amigos;