Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year, and all that

If you are reading this, the zombies didn’t come and get you either.  Or you had a very effective anti-zombie kit stashed under your bed.  Whichever, it’s good to speak to you again.  Zombies and Mayans have been avoided, at least for 2012.  <<breathes a sigh of relief>>.  Then again, the Mayans were notoriously bad at calendar management so the threat from those chaps may come around again this year.

It’s been a while since my last blog, and I know that I split December up because of so much happening over the festive period.  In fact, I think too much has happened, or the copious amounts of mince pies, Tim Tams and Freddos, washed down with litres (quite literally on Christmas Day!) of wine, have addled my brain to the point where writing something coherent for you to read will be a challenge into itself.

How did 2012 end?  I had recounted the two Christmas parties I had and all that was left was a few quiet drinks with mates on the final Thursday before breaking up.  Did I say quiet drinks?  These boys just don’t know when they are beat, and just as I was saying adios, another round was procured, of Coopers Red ale.  Yes, the bloody strong stuff.  Salud gents!

One sausage, or two?

Christmas Day rolled around, along with my big birthday plans to spend it on the beach, in our Santa hats, getting slowly inebriated.  And what happened?  We had the wettest Christmas Day in Sydney since 1942.  I kid you not.  That is an official stat.  I just about managed to cook up the breakfast on the BBQ, sipping Bucks Fizz, and the heavens opened.  And they stayed open all day.  All day.  Plan B wasn’t too bad, setting a challenge to drink 4 litres of goon (cheap Aussie wine) whilst watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  And we completed the challenge, worryingly rather too easily.

Typically, and thankfully, that was the only real bad day of weather and normal service was resumed on Boxing Day.  We waved off the boats in the annual Sydney to Hobart race from Georges Head lookout.  One of the city’s finest vantage points in my opinion.  With sweeping views across the whole harbour, and out to the sea between the North and South Heads.  Watching the start of the race is a bit of a tradition for Sydney-siders, one that I can easily see me adopting.

Waiting for the starter's gun

The evening saw my first ever visit to the SCG (Sydney cricket ground) for the 20/20 match between Sydney Sixers and Hobart Hurricanes.  We were fortunate enough to see two Australian cricket legends face off against each other, Brett Lee and Ricky Ponting.  The 20/20 is all a bit razz-ma-tazz, with cheerleaders and loud music, but it was great fun.

The rest of the Christmas holidays have been filled up doing great tourist things.  A meal up the Sydney Tower in the revolving restaurant with amazing 360 views of this stunning city.  A visit to Taronga Zoo, where the giraffes surely have the best view of any captive animal in the world.  The Aquarium and the Wildlife centre were great.  Once again seeing my favourites such as the sharks, wombats, koalas and Tasmanian Devils up close and personal.

Finally, we had the coup de grace.  New Year’s Eve.  Knowing there would be a few of us, with a number coming from the UK, I had been very prepared and bought tickets for the party in Luna Park (affectionately renamed La Luna Park in reference the excellent restaurant in Halifax run by Tony).  And what a night it turned out to be.  Starting off at Cormack HQ, we had a couple of bottles of Prosecco just to get warmed up.  We then went to Barton/Hannon-Dalby HQ for further beers.  Although not sure everybody in our party needed much more at this stage.  No, she hasn’t had a stroke, it’s her “wine face”.

A short time later we were in Luna Park, drinking, and working out which of the rides to go on first.  Yes, it may have been an adults only party, but all the rides were open.  I’m not sure us all going on the pirate ship that swung us upside down was our best idea.  But what fun.  In a nefarious attempt to make me sick (I believe), we went on something that just span us around, very fast.  Queasily, I gingerly stepped off, to get my land feet back.  A cold Tooheys helped.

The evening passed by so fast, with surprisingly short queues for drinks and more space than I imagined for a party beneath the Harbour Bridge.  And finally, the end of 2012 drew to a close, and we kicked off 2013 in style, with one of the world’s greatest fireworks shows.  Kylie Minogue’s lips lighting up the Bridge and a coordinated fireworks display across the whole Harbour. 


And now, into 2013, and time to look at what my personal goals for the year will be.


  1. Imagination is greater than knowledge, so said Albert Einstein. Dream big Fran and you will find your enlightenment

  2. And Mark Twain said Explore, Dream, Discover. Something to live my life by.