I've been a bit crook this week, after picking up a bug from my flatmate and I've spent the past 4 days or so feeling out of sorts, a bit achey, a bit of a sore throat, a bit hot and cold and with a headache for the past few days. So when I was considering whether of not to go out tonight I was originally thinking I'd pass, but as the day wore on the weather cleared and I felt a little bit brighter as well. I'm so glad I changed my mind because I had a fantastic night of catching up with old friends.
Back in 2005 I signed up for Flickr, at a time when Flickr was still relatively small but growing rapidly. Through Flickr I discovered a group of Sydney photobloggers who were arranging meet-ups and photographic outings. Anyhoo, long story short I joined them for an outing and met a fantastic group of people who not only shared a common interest, but that were also a diverse and fun crowd of people to be with. Over a year or so friendships solidified, relationships formed (including one between Morgan and I for a while), breakups, babies and mini dramas ensued.
So I was chuffed to get an invite via The Facebook to a nostalgic "mid week meet-up" (as they were known) for the core group of us that became quite close back in 2006. The venue for the meet up was the historic Harbour View Hotel, nestled gently under the soaring on ramp of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Harbour View has always had a soft spot in my heart, since I saw the Aussie musical "Starstruck" as a teenager back in the early 80s. The Harbour View was used as the primary setting for the film. All the exterior scenes were the actual hotel, while the interiors were actually sets. The front bar in this clip above looks a little bit bigger in scale the real one, but the basic shape is the same. The decor is nothing like the one in the film, all gentrified and genteeled, and probably never was as iconically Aussie as this cinematic fantasy.
Unlike the old days I didn't even take my camera out of its bag, but everything else felt just like old times. Beers were downed, food scarfed, opinions shared and lots and lots of laughs had. Such a good night, and I left really hoping we could do it all again soon.
On the train home, feeling the warm glow of old friendships and 4 beers, I spotted a very Marilyn-esque blonde bombshell in a little black dress get onto my train. It was my friend Corinne who was heading home after the opening night of the show she was Costume Supervisor for. Corrine and I met years ago back when I was making a lot of costumes and she was doing the same, but for fun rather than profit back then. We chatted all the train ride home and it was a further reminder that we all have people in our lives that we may not see all that often, but the enjoyment of them and the impact they have on our lives doesn't really fade.
Old friendships that are renewed effortlessly feel really special, like a treasure you even forgot you were looking for until you found it.