Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sleepless In Sydney Town

It's early morning here, dawn was just a little while ago. I've been up for over an hour, and awake for a little while longer than that. I've been sitting in Morgan's lovely apartment admiring the view as the sun rose, listening to the crows calling, watching the light change and looking at pics on Flickr on his laptop. A bit frustrated with myself for lack of sleep, but feeling quite content anyway.

Morgan is fast asleep in the other room, and I'll go in and wake him up with a cuddle soon as we need to pack and set off for the three hour drive to Canberra today, for Robyn & Jeremy's wedding. I'm looking forward to showing him off to my friends, introducing him to the people I care about. Come and look, come and see this precious treasure I found, how rare and beautiful it is.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, April 28, 2006


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Another pic from the visit to the Art Gallery of NSW last weekend. This pair of Sphinx (Sphinxes?) act as guardians at the entrance to the park opposite the gallery. It took quite a while to get this pic because people kept wandering into the frame, but I got it eventually. It also took quite a bit of effort to get my point and shoot camera to focus how I wanted, and while it could be a bit better and sharper I like it anyway.

[Best viewed large, click to go to Flickr.]

Back On Deck

Okely Dokely, now that that little bug has finally worked its way out of my system I'm back, primed and ready to party. (In the way that 41 year old men party that is, somewhat slowly, with ocassional rest breaks, and a complaint to turn that damn music down.)

I don't have much from the past few days that's news worthy to report, which is never a good way to intro a blog entry, let's face it. What's that I hear?... running footsteps and doors slamming? Anyhoo, whatever.

What the past couple of days have been is frantically busy at work. Everything else is just ticketty boo, jim dandy, peachy even. Morgan is a joy, a treasure and an absolute sweetheart of a person. I'm very lucky. He's even a quiet sleeper. Yeah baby! Despite eating out a lot and being a fair bit less careful about what I eat, I haven't stacked on much (if any) weight. I thought I might have, but my belt indicates otherwise. I might even have had a small loss from my appetitie not being what it usually is (voracious) while I was sick.

The little quiet patch while I was sick aside, life is throwing plenty of fun stuff my way at present. I was about to buy a new camera, when one of the wonderful Sydney Photobloggers offered to sell me his, the exact same model, which is less than a year old, in great condition and he's only getting rid of it because he's upgrading to something more spectacular. He's throwing in a heap of accessories too and charging me a lot less than I can buy it for new. Score. Some of my friends are having babies and others are getting married.

In fact, this weekend Morgan, myself and Mikey (the lovely ex) are doing a three hour road trip to Canberra for the wedding. It'll be great to see all the gang in one spot, and a nice opportunity for Morgan to meet a bunch of them in one go. The present is bought, spectacularly wrapped (a vision in bright orange and shot silk ribbon - as the saleslady in David Jones card & wrap department said "Lovely! This will stand out amidst the sea of white and silver wedding wrapping!" You betcha.) and the new outfit has been purchased. All systems are go. We're off in the morning. Road trip!

City View

City View 2
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I took this picture from the upstairs ante room between the Asian Galleries and the Cafe at the Art Gallery of NSW. It's a spectacular view of the eastern inner city suburbs of Sydney, and I love the rhythm of the floor to ceiling windows reflected in the polished parquet floor.

Harry Seidler's "Horizon" building looms large on the...well, horizon.

[Best viewed large, click to go to Flickr.]

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Yesterday was a very important public holiday for Australians; ANZAC Day, a day for remembering fallen war heroes, honouring returned service personnel and eating yummy ANZAC biscuits. The viral bug I've been struggling with since Saturday was still kicking my butt, so Morgan and I had a very quiet day and only ventured out of the house to pay a visit to my friend Judy. Judy's husband John is a Vietnam veteran, and was marching in the parade and then drinking with his buddies, so Morgan and I had a lovely lunch with Judy, and then hung out with her (and her beautiful 22 year old cat Rover) for the afternoon. Morgan was starting to feel unwell (hopefully not with the same horrible bug I've had) and my energy started to lag, so we headed back to Morgan's in the late afternoon to just chill out on the sofa with cups of tea and a laptop each. So modern! We both needed a good night's rest, so I headed home for an early night.

It sounds like an uneventful day, and I guess in some respects it was, but it was pleasant and it's always lovely to hang out with Judy. Morgan hasn't met all that many of the greater extended clan of friends that form a bit of a family for me here, so it was nice to introduce him to Judy and to see that they got on well and both liked each other. No surprises there. We're going to Canberra together this weekend for the wedding of two friends, and that will be a great opportunity for Morgan to meet a bunch of them in one go. It won't be as daunting as it sounds, they're all lovely people.

I'm still not feeling 100%, actually 80% is what I'm aspiring to, and have a huge volume of work to get through so this will probably be it for blog posts today. Unless of course I feel the need to curse James Blunt again. That might yet happen.

See you tomorrow, chikadees.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dante Got It Wrong

The 5th Circle of Hell is not the muddy waters of the River Styx, outside the city of Dis. It is in fact:
  1. Running a fever
  2. Making an ill advised trip down into a crowded Victoria's Basement, discount homewares purveyors to the masses, at lunchtime... during a sale... in search of a wedding present
  3. James Blunt's whinetastic "Goodbye My Lover" playing on the PA

Dante did however rightly describe it as the dominion of the Wrathfull and The Sullen. He was on the money there.

It's Because I Am A Massive Nerd...

...that this news has my jumping out of my skin.

[Link via Freakgirl.]


Monday morning is weekend recap time, and in a life largely spent lurching from self enduced crisis to self enduced crisis, I like having this small degree of structure.

Friday night I stayed over at Morgan's apartment and cooked dinner for the two of us. Morgan and I had both had short but hellishly busy weeks, so we just hung out and watched a DVD (The outrageously fun 2001 UK mini-series Metrosexuality. There's more info in this Wikipedia entry.) and then had an early night.

Saturday morning was Haircut Day, so I headed off into Newtown for my haircut while Morgan finished off some work from home. Afterwards Morgan joined me in Newtown for a wander around, a bit of window shopping and a coffee at Campos.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I snapped this pic of a cute couple having a Public Display of Affection in Campos. One of the things I love about Newtown, and much of the inner West of Sydney, is that we of the homosexualist pursuasion are largely able to be ourselves without anyone batting an eyelid. Morgan and I hold hands almost everywhere we go, and even though you need to exercise a little discretion at times to avoid danger (sad but true) the vast majority of Sydneysiders in the inner city just take it in their stride.

Later on Saturday afternoon I started feeling a bit achey and developed a bit of a headache, and it turned out I was starting to come down with a bug. One which made its presence felt in grand fashion with a massive wave of nausea and lightheadedness while sitting down to dinner at a restaurant with Morgan and a friend. (No, it wasn't after the bill arrived.) Consequently I spent much of Sunday on the couch at Morgan's, feeling achey, hot and nauseous. Nurse Morgan tended my fevered brow with gentle ministrations, so even being sick has some advantages.

Late afternoon we were both feeling a little stir crazy, so we headed into the city to take a walk around the Art Gallery. I enjoyed it, even though I was still feeling a bit unwell and very achey. Afterwards I headed home for an early night.

Truth is I'm still sick, so I'm not really firing on all cylinders today. It sounds like at least two of my workmates have had to deal with a similar issue over the weekend with almost identical symptoms. Given that it is a Public Holiday here tomorrow for ANZAC Day it would have been a bit suspect if we had called in sick today. Were it any normal week I certainly would have.

So, OK not the most rivetting of weekend recaps. As reportage goes, maybe it could use some work. Sex up some aspects and emphasise the drama of others. Add in a car chase.

All this rambling? It's the fever talking.

Congratulations Speedy!

My friend Louise (who comments here as Worldpeace_and_aspeedboat) and her partner Gordon are the proud parents of a baby boy, born Tuesday the 18th at 6.35am. 3.41 Kg (7lb 8oz in old money), mother and baby both doing well.


Friday, April 21, 2006

In Need Of Some Therapy

Apartment Therapy that is.

Their second annual Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest makes me want to have a groovier, more stylish pad. Like Rob's place, or maybe Lucy's "Love Shack" even.

Oh, but bigger.


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Because pretty is always the perfect antidote to crabby, here's a pretty flower I snapped on the walk from Coogee beach to Clovelly last weekend. I feel better already.

Wrong Side Of The Bed

Who knew that two back-to-back four day weeks could be so exhausting? A short week last week and a short week this week on account of Easter has meant that two weeks worth of very busy work, busier than normal, has been crammed into 8 days. A public holiday next Tuesday for ANZAC Day makes it a third week in a row. I'm not complaining about having days off (trust me when I say I will never complain about that!) but it has made the time I am at work busier and more stressful than normal. Yesterday I spent over an hour on a bank help desk trying to make 528 client payments go through, payments that absolutely had to go through, and it was so stressfull I thought my head was going to explode, Scanners style.

Urgh. I suspect I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. (Or someone else's bed to be more accurate.) I'm a bit tired, a bit crabby, and counting down to the weekend already. Less of a Glass Half Full Day than a What Is The Damn Glass Doing On My Desk? I Didn't Ask For This Glass! Day.

On the good news front, tomorrow is Saturday! Not just any Saturday, but Haircut Day. Like my compadre I heart Haircut Day. I have one instruction Make It Pretty.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Indian Summer

You would never know that it's currently Autumn down here in Sydney, my little corner of the Southern Hemisphere. OK, the days are shorter, but aside from that we seem to be having a glorious Indian summer.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The stores are full of the heavy coats, knits and somber colours of Winter, while people stroll past in shorts and singlet tops. Sales are starting already. The nights are getting much cooler, but the days are beautiful. The sea is still quite warm, and the beaches are full.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

In the notorious way that it sometimes happens in Spring and Autumn here, next week this all might change and it'll be wet and cold. I kind of like that changeable nature of these two seasons. It's sort of a lucky dip on a grand scale.

Slippery When Wet
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

These photos were all taken last weekend, late afternoon as the warmth of the day slid casually towards a pleasantly cool evening. Morgan and I spent the day and evening with my friend Stephen who was visiting from Bisbane, and in the afternoon we did the stroll from Coogee beach to Clovelly. I took quite a few photos, as did Morgan. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, and the pathways were full of people making the best of it. In the evening Morgan cooked dinner for the three of us, and we hung out and watched a DVD, and enjoyed each other's company.

As much as I love the colours of Autumn, I hope this Indian summer stays around for a while yet.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I've been thinking a lot recently about how we connect with each other, and how as humans most of us need to feel that connection with others. The big connections, the people we love and the people we call family or friends. The little connections, the ones we make when we thank someone for shifting along to give us room to sit on the train. The important connections in between, the acquaintences, workmates, friends and people we chat with over the internet, that enrich our lives. The flipside of this I guess is the sad story I posted yesterday about the woman who sat dead and unmissed in her apartment for two years. Her life must have been lacking in important connections with others, for nobody to seek out what happened to her.

I remember the early days of the internet, back when it was The Internet, the Information Super Highway even, when doomsayers predicted that we would become a race of shut-ins living vicariously through chat rooms and machines, not truly connecting with others. My experience has been the opposite. Blogging and reading other people's blogs, as well as posting pictures and looking at other people's pictures, makes me feel connected to more people than ever before. Sure I couldn't ring any of these people up to cry on their shoulder at 3am, or ask for a loan of $50, but when I chat with people through blog comments or read their entries I feel that I am learning about them, connecting with them. It makes me think of the penfriends I had as a teenager, I cared about them and I felt they cared about me, even if we never met.

Not everyone wants, or is able, to take the next step and meet face-to-face but all the people I have met face-to-face through the internet (through blogging or Flickr) have for the most part been regular folks. The internet also allows people to portray themselves as someone else if they want, maybe who they would like to be, but I think this maybe happens less than the doomsayers predict. It's hard to maintain for a start, and I think most people can start to spot a fake after a while.

A pleasant bonus of connecting with people online has been the 'real life' friends I have made, the ones I can go out with, laugh with and have common ground with. I never expected to find a more serious connection through the internet, but it was the internet that initially brought Morgan and I into circumstances where we could meet, and that has turned out to be a very big connection indeed. Love.

Ummm, What?

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Hey kids, let's play the What's Wrong With This Picture? Game!

[Best viewed large, click the pic to go to Flickr.]

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sad Story

It boggles the mind to think that a 40 year old woman could be sitting in her apartment dead for two years without anyone noticing. She was found sitting in an armchair in her living room, with the tv going and the heater still on. Mail going back as far as two years was piling up in her hallway, presumably posted in through a slot in her door.

Aside from the practicalities of how it was that her electricity etc was still running, and that whoever received her rent hadn't investigated after being unpaid for two years, did nobody care enough about this woman to try and track down what happened to her? In a big city people often keep to themselves and don't get to know their neighbours, that I understand, but it's so sad to think that a youngish woman of 40 would be without friends or family that would be concerned for her welfare.

Roll Up, Roll Up

The blogging of the mega 4 day Easter weekend continues. Let's see, I've covered Thursday night, and prior to that I already covered Friday afternoon and evening, so that brings me to Saturday...

Hot on the heels of the social get together for the Sydney Photobloggers on Thursday night, the group had also planned an outing to the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Saturday afternoon for a group photo shoot.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

It was a gorgeous day, warm but not too hot and with a huge big blue sky. After meeting at the train station, we wandered around the show for about 4 or 5 hours in total.

Vucko1000 Wins
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The show is a wealth of photographic opportunity, especially the bright colours and frenetic activity of the sideshows and rides.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

We had a look at the dogs, the mostly naff crafts, the prize fruitcake winners and the woodchopping contests - all the mainstays of a day at the show.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Of course we all shot hundreds of shots; of the show, the punters, the food, each other, each other photographing each other... and in one instance it almost go so meta that the universe nearly imploded. Good times.

My full show set is here and Morgan's is here. As of writing there are still photos from the day being uploaded, but if you are interested in seeing the rest of the photos from the day, look for this tag.

Geekin' Out

It's Tuesday morning in my part of the world, and I'm back at my desk after a fabulous 4 day weekend. 4 day weekends are wonderful, and I vote for more of them. Someone please do something about that, m'kay? Anyhoo, normal transmission now resumes. Of course, I have a ton of fantastic stuff to blog about. Because I have to start somewhere, here's an update on the Sydney Photoblogger meet I went on last Thursday night.

Last Thursday night Morgan and I went along to the 15th midweek meet for the Sydney Photobloggers group on Flickr. If you've read this blog for a while you'll have seen that I've mentioned these guys quite a few times, and posted pics from some of the meets I've been on.

Tracey Has Giant Hands
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

From what I can see of other groups on Flickr, the Sydney Photobloggers is one of the more social ones. Sure everyone loves posting to the group photostream, and chatting in the forums, but there is a strong emphasis on getting together for social food and drinks, and for group photo shoots. I even met my new boyfriend Morgan through the group, after we chatted a bit online and then met in person at a group outing. He has a wonderful set of photos on Flickr himself.

A Restaurant Called "Super Bowl"
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Last Thursday the emphasis was on socialising, with the added bonus of a public holiday the next day! About 10 of 12 of us got together for dinner in Chinatown, a short stroll through the quarter, and then beers at a pub. There were so many cameras out, so many of us in a pack, and so much snapping going on that some of the pedestrians were looking around for who was the famous person we were all chasing. The food, the restaurant, stray pedestrians, each other, all was fair game for the lens.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

This is a nice group of people. We all come from different backgrounds and points of view, but aside from having photography as a common interest everyone also seems to be fairly laid back and funny. Morgan and I are both very comfortable about being relaxed and affection with each other in public, and as a consequence there were a lot of photos of the two of us taken during the evening. As Gadgetgirl captioned this photo of us we were the "most photographed couple of the night". I really love the photo Figuromo took of us holding hands at the pub.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

We left reasonably late, but a few of the more intrepid members kicked on until the pub closed, and then just moved on to a later closing one. I have it on good authority that there was at least one severe hangover the next morning.

All my photos from the meet are here, and everyone else's are here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sydney Harbour Sunset

Sydney Harbour Sunset
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Last night I met up with some of my friends, and photography peeps, for a sunset photo session from the spot on Sydney Harbour known as Mrs Macquarie's Chair. They kindly brought along some better camera equipment for me to play with, try and test out before I upgrade to a better camera soon.

This pic is taken with my regular little point & shoot camera, and it's a bit of a visual cliche for Sydneysiders, but oh my it was just too beautiful not to photograph. What you can't see in the photo are the laughs we were having, the mild cool night, the fruit bats flying and chirping overhead or the handsome man holding my hand. Good times.

[Update: Morgan has posted an entry on his blog about the evening, brimming with gorgeous pics.]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter Cheer

Sadly, as far as I know anyway, there are no Buddhist holy days celebrated with chocolate. We should probably work at changing that.

So in lieu of any Buddhist Chocolate Festival I thought I'd get in early with a little pre-emptive Easter cheer. It's Thursday morning in my part of the world, the last work day before the 4 day Easter weekend. Let's just say that one more time - 4 day Easter weekend. Such a pretty, pretty little collection of words, don't you think?

I have lots planned for this Easter break, a whirlwind of social engagements and catching up with people. Slotted in with plenty of time to spend with Morgan of course. Tonight we're off to the #15 Midweek meet-up for the Flickr group Sydney Photobloggers, the group that was instrumental in bringing Morgan and I together. Tomorrow night I'm catching up with Miss Eudoxia (who also takes wonderful photos) and a few other friends for dinner and an evening photoshoot around Sydney Harbour. Saturday afternoon is a group photo shoot with the Sydney Photobloggers at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In the evening we're planning on having dinner with Morgan's friends I think. Sunday we're catching up with my friend Stephen, who is in town from Brisbane. Monday I think is unplanned at this stage.

Whew, busy but should be lots of fun. So, what mischief is everyone else getting up to?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The photo-heavy trend at TOA continues!

Last Sunday afternoon Morgan and I were walking around the southern end of Newtown, where it borders on St Peters. This lotus is a companion piece to the Eyes Of Ganesha (below). It's not from the same image, but its on the same stretch of wall alongside. Morgan took this image of another lotus on the same wall, which I also love. The colours and the quality of the line work in these images really lifts them above standard graffiti in my opinion. Stunning.

5 Things For A Kick-Ass Wednesday

  1. Summer deciding that this concept called "Autumn" is overrated, and elbowing it aside for a while.
  2. A distinct lack of work crazy. It helps that the boss is in Italy, that means we all get a holiday of sorts.
  3. The super slim fit shirt that's been languishing in the wardrobe, quietly taunting and judging me, wearing it. Minimal gut-sucking-in required.
  4. Sleep-over at the boy's house tonight. Woot!
  5. Hot buttered raisin bread toast. (Contradicts #3 I know, but everything in moderation.)

The Eyes Of Ganesha

Eyes Of Ganesha
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Part of a beautiful street art mural Morgan and I walked past the other afternoon. I love the vibrant colour in particular. I need to go back and take more pics of this before is gets painted over or covered in tags.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Note the correct use of the apostrophe of possession, as this is the palace belonging to the ho. Nice.

Ho's Palace, Blackheath.

Govett's Leap To Pulpit Rock Bushwalk

Here are some pictures from the bushwalk Morgan and I did in Blackheath last weekend. We were intending to to the walk to Pulpit Rock from Govett's Leap, but missed a turn off and ended up at a place called Boyd's Beach. Only, according to the signage it was Boyds Beach - it turns out that the Megalong Valley is the Land That Grammar & Correct Punctuation Forgot. Oh, and there wasn't really a beach, just a pool with a sandy bank. Nice enough though.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Morgan, as we were wandering around Blackheath prior to starting the walk.

Govett's Leap Sign
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Most of the work done in setting up the tracks and lookouts in the area took place in the 1920s and '30s. The main Govett's Leap lookout area has lots of buildings and plaques commemorating the history and establishment of the area.

Megalong Valley
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

It's a bit hard to judge the scale of the Megalong Valley in photos, but it's huge and stretches for kilometres. The name Blue Mountains refers to the fact that the distant mountains really do have a blue tint when you see them 'in the flesh'. Apparently the blue haze has something to do with the Eucalypts that cover them. If you look at the first outcrop on the left of the above photo, and then look at the right hand edge where it juts out into the valley, the little vertical outcrop on the edge is Pulpit Rock, our original destination.

Ghost Gum
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The area is all heavily wooded in Eucalypts, especially River Red Gums and Ghost Gums. I like the way the light is dappled in this pic, and the exposure makes the sky look deep and moody.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Every so often we would walk through areas of deep shade, sometimes alongside the water and sometimes through deep glades of tree ferns.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

There was amazing flora and fauna everywhere. This flower was tiny, less than 1cm across and very delicate. They were too quick to photograph but we saw lots of birds, including some impressive black and yellow cockatoos.

Bush Reds
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The colours of the bush always amaze me. I especially love the way some species of Eucalypts turn from green to red when the leaves die.

It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, and something that Morgan and I both love doing. We're planning on doing quite a bit more bushwalking, expecially now that Autumn has taken the worst blast of Summer heat away and before it gets too cold and wet to be able to do it comfortably. It's so nice to share the experience with someone you care about, all the little joys of pointing things out to each other, chatting and sharing some laughs on the way.

The rest of my photos from the walk are in this Flickr set.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Git Along Lil' Cowboy

Originally uploaded by morgspace.

Morgan took this pic of me at the Blackheath Food & Wine Fair on the weekend (see below). I'm clutching my loaf of ciabatta-style Olive & Rosemary Bread like it's my precious, precious baby. Which it sort of was.

BTW, what's the vote on the jacket? I've had it for years. It's vintage denim that was customised with woolen sleeves and fringes. It has horse shoes, cowboy hats and ponies on it - I mean, what's not to love? I asked Morgan what he thought, and he diplomatically replied "It's interesting." Heh, heh.

Blackheath Food & Wine Fair

Morgan and I decided to get out of the city over the weekend and spend some time in the fresh air of the Blue Mountains. My friend Andrew F lives in the beautiful village of Blackheath, which is about an hour and a half drive out of Sydney. Morgan and I both like to bushwalk, and Morgan also has a friend who has just purchased a guest house with her partner a few weeks ago (they also inherited the website, which they are in the process of re-doing), so combined with the Food & Wine Fair on in Blackheath we had lots of incentives to make Blackheath out destination.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The Food & Wine Fair was small but excellent, and it seemed like almost all of Blackheath turned out to enjoy the festivities. Blackheath has a strong tourist focus, and some very good restaurants, produce stores and galleries. The food retailers and restaurants had sidewalk stalls selling little tasting of some fabulous food.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

We wandered around the Fair for a while and tasted some very nice food. It was quite a cool day, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was pleasantly warm in the sun. Andrew has been living in Blackheath for about 18 months and has become a popular member of the community, it seemed like every few metres we stopped and met some of the lovely people that Andrew knows. Blackheath also seems to have a small and friendly gay and lesbian community, so Andrew is not The Only Gay In The Village.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I bought a delicious loaf of Olive & Rosemary Bread which Morgan and I devoured for brunch the next day.

Morgan & Andrew F
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

This was only the start of Saturday, afterwards in the afternoon Morgan and I went on a wonderful bushwalk for a couple of hours. Morgan has posted some of the photos from the afternoon already in this post of his. I was tired last night so only uploaded a few photos from the Food & Wine Fair, with the rest probably uploaded later tonight. More of my photos from the Fair are here on Flickr.

We had a wonderful time in each other's company. We spent from Friday night all the way through to Sunday night together and had a great time. Late Saturday afternoon we visited Morgan's friend Dawn, and her partner Bridget, at their new guest house, and enjoyed a lovely afternoon of their fantastic hospitality with drinks and nibbles by the open fire. We went to a fantastic Italian restaurant for pizza after returning from the mountains on Saturday night. We went for a stroll through Annandale and then through Newtown on Sunday and then had a great dinner together last night. So much packed into one weekend, and yet if never felt rushed.

Once I get the rest of the pics up on Flickr I'll post some shots from the stunningly beautiful bushwalk we took in the mountains.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Big Adventure

I feel like I'm setting off on a big adventure. These sorts of waters aren't completely foreign to me, even though I haven't been this way before. I have a rough map in my head and I have a guide to hold my hand. Someone who's both on the same adventure and is integral to the plot. It turns out that the destination and the journey are actually one and the same thing.

Maybe that works as a metaphor, and maybe it doesn't. What I am feeling at the moment though is a mixture of excitement and happiness. Of course I'm talking about meeting Morgan.

I wouldn't exactly say that I thought I would never meet anyone that I would feel so exhilarated about, but in my darkest moments I wondered if such a person existed. And yes, it's early days and Morgan and I are still getting to know each other. To be honest, that's sort of a disclaimer. That's me saying, "I think he fabulous but I don't want to scare him off by coming on too strong too soon". That's mixed in with a little bit of... incredulity is too strong a word... pleasant surprise that the feeling is mutual.

So the cat's out of the bag now, and I know Morgan will read this. It's a measure of how comfortable I am with him, how confident I feel (and the fact that I need to get this out otherwise I might burst), that I've written this for all to see. He's amazing.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Just so that you know it's not all sunshine and smiles in my world, this morning I've been working my way into a crabby mood. I took a 1/4 of a sleeping pill last night, still woke up at 5am but then went back to sleep until the alarm went off at 7. I must have been deeply asleep when the alarm went off, woke up feeling muzzy headed and out of sorts, and to be frank I haven't quite come good yet. Two coffees haven't yet done the trick. All this on a 1/4 of a pill, I mean if I ever developed a drug habit I would be sure to get value for money at least.

My boss is off to Italy from this weekend, and so of course there's a huge volume of work to get through and lots of last minute mayhem and histrionics to be had. To cap that off I've had to play 20 questions with two computer repair guys this morning. It took a closed office door and 10 minutes of flicking through the Tom Ford issue of Vanity Fair to bring my blood pressure back to human proportions. I've never snapped "Just fucking fix it" to a workman (and probably never will) but the sentence did cross my mind this morning.

Morgan, see there's a dark side.

V For Victory

Last night Morgan and I had a very nice early dinner at the Nepalese restaurant Yak & Yeti in Glebe, before heading to Broadway Cinemas to see V for Vendetta.

Wow. What a cinema experience! I found the film very involving, quite moving and extremely timely in its themes. I knew very little about the plot beforehand, except for the bare bones of the main ideas, whereas Morgan had read the comic that it's based on. Lots has been written about the parallels with what's going on in the US War on Terror, the use of fear and propaganda in an attempt to control a populace. You can really see the roots of the story in '80s Thatcherite Britain too in my opinion, especially in the demonisation of people from different races and sexualities on home soil. Natalie Portman turns in another great performance. I thought that there were a couple of plot holes in the film, but despite that I'd definately recommend it.

It was a lovely night. Good food, an enjoyable film, fantastic company. Morgan and I are getting to know each other a lot better, and it's a wonderful experience. He's very special.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Just In Case You Were Worried...

...that Easter (the religious festival/chocklitfest that I don't particularly celebrate) would pass me by without me being fully informed, don't worry your pretty head about it. Thanks to an air freight issue of Martha's mag I've got Unforgettable Holiday Baskets, the perfect Passover dishes and the latest trends in Easter Egg Decorating covered.

I know! Whew, right?

5 Reasons Why Today Is (As The Young Folks Say) "The Bomb"

  1. It's Autumn, and today is going to be 29C (that's like 85F or something). Summer clings on by a fingertip.
  2. Despite taking my eye off the ball, and almost eating whatever I darn well like over the past 2 weeks, I've still dropped a small amount of weight. Not quite starlet-thin yet, but heading in the right direction.
  3. Making plans for a drive to the mountains with the boy this weekend, to meet up with my friend Andrew F, go bushwalking and stop by the Blackheath gourmet food & wine fair. Sweet.
  4. A date tonight with you know who to see V for Vendetta.
  5. Despite waking up early again this morning (note to self: 5am wake-ups are ludicrous, m'kay?) I'm feeling a lot less tired and the stuffy sinus of the last few days seems to be abating. Feeling good.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

TAR Phil!

I just said "Hey" to the man himself. The Amazing Race maestro himself, everyone's favourite pear shaped dude, Phil.

He was signing books at Angus & Robertson's bookstore in Pitt St Mall here in Sydney. Unfortunately I was out of time to stop and get a book signed (there was a queue and it was the end of my lunch break) and sadly my camera was in my bag back at the office as well, but I did give him a lamo wave and "Hey Phil!".

Well, it was something at least.


The perfect antidote to a week of crazy was a quiet dinner at Morgan's very stylish batchelor pad. Good company, excellent food, and some time spent snuggling, chatting and sharing confidences on the famous purple sofa.

I'm pinching myself.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Multiple Choice

This is a picture of:

a) Denizens of the Hellmouth
b) A bunch of dancers from "Thriller" who just can't let it go
c) Lordi, Finland's entry in the
Eurovision Song Contest

Correct! Of course, it's C!

Caption This Photo

Go on, I dare you.

The All New 'Low-Fresh-Content' Weekend Recap

Normally on a Monday I like to take a bit of time to recap the weekend, but considering that my entire weekend was the two day conference (see below) I kind of already have it mostly covered! It was a good time, but as I've mentioned below quite an exhasuting one.

We had to be at the conference to set up at 6am on Saturday morning, Saturday night I went to bed at about 8.30pm and Sunday I was back in there at 7.30am. Fortunately the clocks changed back from Summer daylight savings time on Sunday morning, so I did get a bit of extra sleep. Last night I had a bite to eat, called the boy, wrote a blog entry and then went to bed.

So now it's Monday morning and I am a bit tired, but the end result of the conference was very successful so I feel a real sense of satisfaction. The dollar sales for my centre were a great result, but more importantly there were lots of happy and gratefull customers, and I like the thought that people may have found books that will make a real positive impact on their lives.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Cause Of Much Happiness (& Quite A Bit Of Happy Exhaustion)

I've blogged about the Happiness & Its Causes conference quite a bit this week. It has been a massive undertaking that has consumed a lot of my time and energy, and so I thought it might be interesting to give you an idea of what all the fuss was about. As bookshop manager of the Buddhist centre I attend, I'm also in charge of the bookshop at the two conferences we put on each year.

The calm before the storm:

What I came to think of as the world's longest book stall:

Books! Books! & More Books!

The 600+ attendees at the conference did all their shopping during the 30 minutes tea breaks and at lunch time:

I took these pics during a comparatively quiet patch:

At any given time I had an average of 12 volunteers working behind the bookstall, and people were queuing 3 or 4 deep to buy books when we were at our busiest. Some customers bought 6, 7, 8 books and one lady I saw bought 14 books!

Some of the attendees were from regional or rural areas, and generally don't have access to a good range of specialist Buddhist books, so made the best of the opportunity.

It was a really exhausting weekend, which aside from a few early teething problems and frayed nerves on the Saturday morning, went very well. The volunteers were all excellent and worked their butts off, the customers were kind and patient, and the end result exceded my expectations. The ABC tv show Compass covered the event and did plenty of filming in and behind the bookstall. If I hear when it will be on I'll let you know.

There were plenty of highpoints, two of the volunteers went off and bought me roses when they saw that stress and exhaustion was getting the better of me at one point, and many customers were so kind and generous with their praise, that even though it was a long and tiring exercise I finished the weekend on a real high.