Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ashley and Jacki's Wedding

We were treated to a lovely beachside wedding yesterday, where Ashley and Jacki were married in Lorne. The civil ceremony was held at the bushland site next to the Surf Life Club, with the beach in front of us.

Ash in his dress lederhausen, the service was personalised with scientific references, and after the signing of the register while a flutist played, the group gathered then witnessed the Austrian tradition of the bride and groom sawing a log, using teamwork in the first task of their new life together. A surprise set up by the visiting Austrian crew, members of both families were invited to help out until the saw made it all the way through.

Champagne was served at this point, as those gathered mingled. I got to catch up with Karen and Steve, and Krishant, and Mai, and meet many more of Ash's friends.

A little later, the full gathering made it down to the sand, and walked all the way along Lorne beach, with the newlyweds leading the group. The photographer must have some amazing shots from this.

At the end of the beach, we crossed the main road, and found Ba Ba Lu. Here we were greeted with mojitos, within this quaint Spanish restaurant. With a photo montage running on the back wall, I chatted with Will for sometime, as the party started to get going. Mini tapas were also brought around, with great service all night, meaning I never ran out of wine.

Both families then made their speeches, each talking about how proud they were of this over-achieving couple, and made jokes about their meeting story. Cracks about the student becoming the master, as Ash's past thoughts on marriage were talked about, and that Jac has won him over in the end. But mostly, each parent talked of the love in the room, the role model marriages they have both come from, and their enduring relationship as they live and work so far from home at the moment.

Paella was soon served, after being cooked on the massive round grill outside, and was delicious. And very timely, given the flow of wine!

The band got the room onto the dancefloor, which lasted the rest of the night, even after the band had finished off. The dancing went on until the end of the night, for what was a really special day.

Congratulations, Ash and Jacki! Was so good to see them, and be there for their big day.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Waifs' Temptation

A pint of Guinness at lunch at Irish Murphy's was the call for the day, for St Patrick's Day, with Michelle and Matt. I then drove down to Melbourne after work, caught Patrice and Yas briefly at The Celtic Club, and then met up with Dillo for another at The Turf Club. Couldn't let the day pass without markinbg it appropriately!

I then drove across the Flinders Street, and met Kate and Mark, and Jessie and Kelly at The Forum for the night's gig. Back after a couple of years away from new material and shows, The Waifs were amazing last night!

Opening with the first two tracks from their recently released album, I Learnt The Hard Way and Buffalo, Vikki showed her vocal range and that folk down to earth charm that we all love so much. London Still was next, with a big singalong, and that moment that makes us all homesick when we are away from Australia.

Temptation, from the new album, had Josh take lead vocals, and then one of my enduring favourite, Sundirtwater, and the new Fallen, were back to Vikki. The set had a great mix across this little Western Australian bands collection, with How Many Miles, Lighthouse, Bridal Train and Moses and The Lamb covering the range of albums.

Feeling Sentimental and Eternity were lovely tracks with the three of them harmonising. Then Highway One allowed Donna's sassiness shine. Take It All In was dedicated to Melbourne, and really started the room singing, with Fisherman's Daughter ringing true with so many country breed girls in the audience.

The request from the audience was Crazy Train, which had Vikki commenting on the effect her harmonica playing in this song will have on her prominant baby belly. But it was so very good, and a crowd favourite. The gorgeous Gillian, an ode to Josh's mum, and a clear crowd love, was awesome.

A second encore, as the band commented on how blown away they were that people were still listening to them after this time away, was Donna's Goodbye. Given the album success in it's first week, and the number of shows selling out across the country, hopefully this inspires them to keep making music. A truely iconic band and sound for us all! And such a treat, as always, live.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Camperdown Clock Tower

On Wednesday I felt like I drove all day, for work. Through small back country roads, albeit quite lost and disorientated on the way down, and then through belting, vision-stealing rain, making the road treacherous with then bucket loads of water on the road to avoid sliding off on the way back. All too much really.

But on the way to Warrnambool, I really love this sight, the Clock Tower in Camperdown.

It always lets me think, just for a minute, that I could be anywhere else - anywhere in Europe, with it's little turrets and style. Could be in Czech, or Belgium....anywhere but on a long work roadtrip for a full-on case, or 2.

The scaffolding this week just confirms the feel, really! I mean, where in Europe don't you see scaffolding?!!

Anyway, the Tower is such a treat on this long drive. It pops up, in the middle of the main street, of this seemingly little town with it's vast, sparse main drag. It always makes me wonder what on earth it's doing there. Who's idea was it to construct something so grand in the middle of nowhere?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Day At The Polo

To celebrate Jessie's birthday this year, she invited everyone to spend a day at the polo. An event at Werribee Park, Kym and I arrived by walking through the Mansion complex, taking in the gardens and gorgeous building. Finding the group pitch side, we joined the picnic.

Sitting out in the sun, hanging out with the big group, and checking out the polo players and horses every so often, this was a great day out!

We got to laugh at many of the expected cliques, with boys with jumper arms tied over their shoulders, a major chino-fest, polo shirts and more Ralph Lauren than you thought possible outside of a store. Hilarious. Rich kids!

The boys seemed to be taking great notice of several of the star/frequently mentioned players wielding their sticks as they chase down a ball one could barely see from the sidelines, whilst on horseback. The highlight for the girls was really the chance to get out on the pitch and replace the divots, Pretty Woman style.

As the last of the games ended, we packed up our picnic, and grabbed a taxi back to the station, and the train into Richmond.

Finding somewhere to eat along Swan Street, we then walked to the back streets and found The Cherry Tree for more drinks.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hawks Practice and Acey's Surprise

Saturday I popped down to Geelong for the practice match between Hawthorn and North Melbourne, and some much overdue sunshine! Now Skilled Stadium has had a stand redevelopment, and an addition, and is not as crusty as it used to be. Quite impressive, actually, for a country ground.

When I got there, we were already 4 goals up, just a couple of minutes into play. And that scoreline didn't change much for the 4 quarters. Some good signs across the board for the Hawks, with strong marking, some improvement on goal kicking accuracy, and pace through the centre with a bunch of young new players pushing up to make their names at the club.

After a bit of shopping, I popped into our office down there to finish off a handful of things I worked on during the week in my jetlagged fog, and then changed for the evening.

Now, the other reason that cemented this trip to G-town was a text I received in the middle of the week from Kibbo, saying he was going to have a surprise party for Stacey for her birthday, at their house on Saturday night. Bless him!

Stacey was told she was going out for dinner, and whilst she was getting ready, people just started arriving at the house, and the party started. A great plan, which was much loved by the recipient.

The house filled, the beer and champagne flowed, and it turned into a large and late night. Staying the night at the Kibbo mansion, Stacey and Kibbo, Kerry and Cain, and I then went out to a recovery brunch at Sip the next morning, before all heading off on our seperate ways.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tim Minchin and the MSO

Last Friday night I drove down to Melbourne after work, and met Jessie, Health and Nicole at Republica, for a pre-show drink and dinner. We then walked along the beach road to the gorgeous Palais Theatre, to utilise tickets I had purchased way back in August.

Tim Minchin was playing a big production, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and after arriving on stage in a cage with a track poking fun at the big pop stars of today and their big stage productions, he announced in his opening monologue that he had always believed he should be playing with the backing of a full orchestra, responding to his every whim in a musical fashion. And they responded accordingly.

Combining being behind the piano, to standing solo for song, or trying his hand at the guitar, bare-footed Tim played a mix of old and new songs. Rock n Roll Nerd among the first, and set the scene. He shared some of his life, and story of love, and then played If I Didn't Have You and a new one likening a sneaky-up kind of love to a malignant melanoma. Ha!

Some more of his opinion pieces were then added to Act 1, like the amusing Prejudice, and then the fresh Cont/Context. Discussions about science and religion, and Sam's Mum's miracle and the notion of a higher power. New song, The Fence was very good. Dark Side was in the mix, and then the beautiful new song to a baby that just won't sleep.

So very funny all the way through, and also smart and ballsy with his points of contention and arguments. Such a great show, and showman - and now an Oscar winner with his contribution as narrator on the winner of Best Animated Short Film. What an impressive talent!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sweet Valentine Mix

Looking to do a happier, more loved-up collection, these tracks formed my Valentine's Day mixtape this year. This is part of the Love Is A Mix Tape group, of mixers around the world, swapping theme-inspired mix tapes, as assigned!

Wasted – Angus and Julia Stone
U R The 1 – The Basics
World To Me – David Gray
Burn Your Name – Powderfinger
After Dark – Little Birdy
Anyone But You – Michael Cera & Ellen Page
You’ve Got The Love – Florence & The Machine
Can I Catch Fire? – Max Sharam
One Crowded Hour – Augie March
Into Eternity – Jens Lekman
Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray
Heart It Races – Architecture In Helsinki
Some Kind Of Wonderful – Joss Stone
The Special Two – Missy Higgins
This Boys In Love - Sparkadia

This year, however, I was given an Aussie Mixer to send it to. Not only that, but someone in Brunswick. So perhaps not a collection of new music for it's recipient this time.
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