Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grand Final House Party

I drove back to Ballarat on Grand Final morning this year, having been invited to Luke and Kym's house party for the big day. With Luke being such a diehard Cat, Katie and I decided to go all out for the Saints, and dressed in Red, White and Black, donned saintly halos, and Katie even painted the team emblem on on cheeks. I fully expected to be turned away at the door!

Joining Kym and Kylie and Patto for beers, we took in the pre-match entertainment beamed into the lounge room from the MCG. Watching the two teams line up for the anthem took me back to last year, but then it was game on, and a cracking game at that!

Very, very close for much of the match, until Geelong took it away in the final quarter. The rest of the house was very pleased with that!

More drinking to be done, random card games, and BBQ feast to be had. I understand the night ended up at Karova for some dancing, before Katie and I froze our bits off in the sub-zero Ballarat weather in the taxi line. Ahhhh, going out in Ballarat - hasn't changed much!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tuscan Bar

Tonight, Mary, Dan and I were the last people standing for Friday night drinks, heading off to Tuscan Bar in Bourke Street for our Project 2009 destination.

As Grand Final Eve, a couple of us were actually driving for the night, and trying to hold back in preparation for the day ahead. So we climbed the stairs and found a spot in the huge room, at barstools and table, and had our obligatory beer. A hush was across the room, really, being the night before one of the biggest days for Melbourne town. This bar has potential for being a great spot, perhaps for a chilled drink or two.

Before leaving, and having dumplings along Chinatown, we went upstairs to check out the rooftop, which is a find to definately come back to in coming Summer months.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brownlow Rum Party

After suggesting that I host a Brownlow Party at mine, red carpet and all frocked up, the idea had honestly slipped my mind. But as Springer seems to always have memory when I have none, she was Captain Keen for said Rum party, and who am I to deny such silliness!

Springer, bless her heart, ended up catering to my little party (the beauty of night shift, really!), including the find of a roll of red crepe paper for the hallway, being our red carpet. Melissa arrived, before Springer and Skinner arrived, fully frocked up!

The Mount Gay was poured, and the red carpet at Crown was viewed through our snowy Channel 7 reception, before we got serious and drew our sweep for the night. A drinking sweep, of course! 4 players each...which made sure we paid attention, and that we got plenty of the Barbados rum into us.

Having 2 Geelong players, including the eventual winner of Chas Brownlow Medal, you would have thought that Springer would have been on her ear. But alas, it was Skinner who took the drinking Brownlow honours this evening. A very funny night, ending in some sore heads this morning!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Footy Colours Pub Crawl

In the middle of footy finals month, and not participating ourselves this year, we embarked on a pub crawl to mark the month, dressed in footy colours. I found Meggsy in the city waiting for the same tram as I was, and thus we arrived at The Railway Club Hotel in Port Melbourne for the first stop, and for lunch (and a few more then the usual pot here).

The Port Melbourne crawl actually starts at the Albion, however this pub does not open til mid afternoon, so the Railway was our meeting point, where Skinner, Melissa and Greg and Nick, and Springer joined us. A great pub lunch to start the day, and we were off on another map following, beer drinking afternoon!

Complete with random team scarves, Meggsy's old footy jumper, and Skinner in her brown and gold, we walked the streets of South Melbourne to find the next two pubs on the map closed.

Having drawn the 'Talk Like Greg' card out of the challenge pack for the day, we all tried very hard to speak with a Pommy accent, while Greg did his best Aussie, it was announced to the group that it was also 'Talk Like A Pirate Day', and thus pirate patches were distributed. Finding the next pub, now called Sloany Pony, I am sure the recently refurbished interior wondered what had just descended on it.

Skinner left us to go and fight crime, and we made our way to the Prince Alfred, for some pool sharking, and another pot.

The Rose was next, but also closed, we walked into the Chequers Inn to the bewilderment of all inside. Finding ourselves drinking our pot under the exposed wires of an unfinished ceiling, the review link really says it all.

Cricketer's Arms was next, in the side streets, and the beer garden was the perfect place for us to obey the challenge card drawn, being to swap an article of clothing. Seeing Meggsy in my Hawks scarf was worth seeing.

Actually, on the walk to this pub we had all amazingly spotted a Pirate Car, which needed a photo, given our patches, and our pub crawl silliness, we made a passer by take a photo of us all. Of course!

The Flower Pot simply wasn't there anymore, and The Rex was a pokie venue through and through, with barely a normal surface around that wasn't flashing, or ringing, or demanding a coin insertion! Here Greg drew a truth or dare card from the challenge pack, and was dared to pole dance - much to the amusement of the female bar staff, who must have called break time to stop and watch.

We made it The Graham just as the heavens opened. We claimed a spot in the undercover side beer garden, in this renovated pub, which was much classier than our group deserved at this point of the afternoon. Given the downpour, we got in another round, and really, with the pubs before closed, probably just as well!

The next pub had abandoned it's Irish name, for it's former self, being The Exchange, where we all settled in front of a tv screen for the first half of the footy final going on in town.

I can't tell you anything about Roosters By The Bay, but I assume that it was closed, as we went past at half time, to get to the next stop to watch the rest of the match. The London afforded us almost a room to ourselves, with comfy seats and couches to watch a cracking final to see Geelong advance.

Hmmm, we did actually eat somewhere here, and had a sherry pub....and I was sure it was before the walk up to the rest on the map. There was a rum pub somewhere too.... idea!

A little worse for wear, we walked along the route on the map and found the Clare Castle, where some of us were refused service, and some of us just got rude service! The floor here was littered with TAB tickets, and the place was empty. I can only assure that the Hibernian Hotel was also closed, and we all sensibly decided to head home and pass out. Quite a large day! Some great pub finds, and another map conquered!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Whilst the bar's name marks the year the word 'cocktail' was formally a word, and touts itself as a place of all things cocktails, I still had a couple of beers at our Project destination this week!

After many beers in the office to see off another week, I can never switch! Erin, MJ, Dan and I were the ones to make our way down to the other end of the city, and find 1806.

We were directed to a table upstairs, to the red velvet decor, and the novel of a cocktail menu. Erin and MJ ventured for cocktail selections, twice over, as Dan and I continued with the beers.

Talk led to the footy final about to commence, and Dan and I were invited back to MJ's amazing city apartment to watch a cracking match. Stepping out onto the balcony, overseeing the Exbihition Buildings and city below, MJ has scored herself somewhere amazing to live!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fundraising Basics

A music gig dilemma emerged for Nicole and I this week, with the promise of two sets of older material for The Basics, before the launch of their new album, won us over.

Mary and I met for dinner at The Empress, and were soon joined by Nicole, as we heard the boys soundcheck in the bandroom next door.

Opening with Yeah, Yeah, the concept behind the show was to raise some funds to help the boys find a way to launch their new album in the UK. At $5 though, I am not sure how successful this was for them, but it was a cracking show! A rarely played live track, Better sounded amazing. The lads showcased their much loved tracks, including a Second Best and For Girls Like You calypso combo.

Their second set allowed for some airing of their new tracks, like the first single, With This Ship, the amazing The No. 1 Cause of Death Amongst Youth Today and The Executioner. The boys also treated us to a host of covers to close, including Neil Young's Old Man and a spine-tingling Wally-vocal strong Flame Trees. Roxanne to finish, the taste for the album release, and also a chance to buy Like A Brother EP from Wally personally.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


As work drinks were winding up, Jo, MJ and I pushed our drinking in the lunchroom to the limit, in a long overdue catch up with Joey. We were later on our way to Bank Place, and to our Project bar for the week, Syracuse.

Having heard that perhaps it was more restaurant then Friday night drinks venue, I approached the MD as we entered, and he assured us we were welcome for drinks. He arranged a table for us, and took care of our orders, with very friendly table service.

Melissa, Greg and Nick joined us, as we admired the food being delivered to other tables. The bar, come tapas bar, with it's classy interior, emptied as people finished their meals and drinks, and we soon vacated also.

Jo, MJ and I walked along the brink lane to the Mitre Tavern, to have another couple of quiet ones, being a big beery Friday night!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Origin of Hawks

With the Hawks not in the finals series this year, watching the footy is a fascination without the emotion. Many people ask me why it is that I barrack for the Hawks, and how it is that our family (bar one), is so into it all. Last month, in the process of saying goodbye to two family members, I have discovered how it is that we see through Brown and Yellow eyes, rather than any other combination.

My Auntie Annette told me a story last month, that she had been to visit her brother, Uncle Keith, and his new wife Auntie Isabel, following their move from the country back to her home in Hawthorn - and thus she was the Hawthorn supporter. Auntie Annette told of being taken to the matches at Glenferrie Oval, and adopting the team from then on. As we said goodbye to Auntie Isabel last month, I came to realise that she was the beginning of Mum's, and in turn, our love of the Hawks.

My Uncle Donald took Mum and I to my first footy match, which I remember as a game against the Sydney Swans, at Princes Park, when I was in Grade 4. And Mum and I have been ever since! We lost Uncle Donald last month too, a top bloke, father figure, and family man. Is much missed.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Silk Road

After having the magic password relayed through to me, amid work drinks, MJ, Dan, Mary and I headed over to our Project drinks destination, Silk Road. This was drawn this week, less than randomly, with Jen and co having a function on for the evening here.

Running out of beer at the office, I was on the white wine early, at the suggestion of the boss - and I blame him completely for the memory blanks and behaviour that ensued!

Walking up to the posh and pretentious establishment we had all heard much about, including the rule of no denim, and the promise of being looked up and down before being allowed entry, we were sure we wouldn't get in. Back up plans were discussed, of the several previous Project finds up this end of the city, we took a punt, and walked up to the velvet ropes.

I boldly relayed our secret passcode, and was not only shown the way in, but was supplied free drinks at the bar. This was going to be trouble! Food platters passed around, and wine glasses aloft, we made our way around the ground floor full of lawyers and accountants. Upstairs amoung the chandeliers, we found Jenny and Kate, and marveled at the function they had had a hand in.

More wine, and chatting to random people with name tags bolding stating their profession, we got to explain to this suit world that we were un-tagged free-loading ring ins. Such fun!

Getting messy, and downstairs, the free booze was out, and clearly the manners of the suits were finished too! MJ and I eventually made a run for the door, after some craziness, and popped across the road into Bank Place, and back to the Mitre Tavern. Here, I met with with Matty J, Michelle, Flash and Cassie for more drinks.
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