East coast antics Pt 1

So, its Monday morning again and aside from being a little bleary eyed Im actually feeling surprisingly well considering the weekend I just had. 

I spent the weekend on the east coast visiting Linda, Blake and Alice and just generally having a great time.  I caught the midnight flight to Sydney thinking I would be able to sleep on the plane and be relatively fresh for my arrival at 6:05am on Friday morning.

Wow, was I kidding myself.

First of all I arrive at the airport to discover with horror, that no only do we now have to check ourselves in now (which was fine because I did it online so I was well prepared), but we now also have to check in our own baggage as well!!! Er- so exactly what are we paying the airline to do???? (If this is supposed to save time and minimise queues, they are in for a nasty shock, judging by the sea of confused patrons desperately attempting to catch the eye of the total of two assistants who were allocated to the entire baggage check-in area). After a very frustrating battle with the bag sticker thingy, followed by an irritatingly patronising speech from the “assistant” I finally managed to get my bags checked in and made my way to the lounge to wait for my plane. I realise when I arrive at the lounge that I left my book in the front pocket of my suitcase.

Grrr.

So off to the bookshop to buy new reading material.  I choose Paulo Coelho’s “Brida“, as I felt the topic was very much up my alley, being touted as a woman’s quest to discover her purpose and search for her soulmate.  I simply loved his book The Alchemist, so I happily made my purchase and went to sit in the lounge. 

Having boarded the flight I was disappointed to discover I was seated next to a rather burly fellow who seemed incapable of keeping his arm and elbow within the confines of his seat, and I resigned myself to the prospect of being plastered up against the window for the next 4 hours.  But it is only four hours, so pretty sure I can handle that.

Wrong again.

Fog in Sydney meant we were unable to land and our plane (along with about 20 others) was diverted to Melbourne instead.  There we sat at the end of the runway for about 4 hours with the occassional reshuffle to another runway so that we could be “out of the way”.  However, as we could not secure a gate, we were unable to disembark and so there we sat for another 4 hours before we finally reached the end of the queue of planes to refuel and get back in the air, as the fog in Sydney had lifted pretty much about the same time that we landed in Melbourne.

By this time I was looking forward to a coffee on the Melb-Sydney flight, having had no sleep and given every muscle from the hip down was screeching at me (note to self: avoid doing 180 lunges 24-28 hours before flying in future).  I do not exaggerate when I say that my derierre was cramping for 7 out of 9 of those hours.  By this time I was desperate for coffee and looking forward to the drinks service between Melb and Sydney.

Disappointed again.  No coffee, just juice.  The closest you could get to caffeine was a coke but I would rather keep my teeth for a few more years, thanks.

FINALLY we land in Sydney where we wait for another 45 mins for our bags to arrive and I finally manage to get on a train.

Problem #bazillion.  The reason for catching the midnight flight had been so that I would arrive before breakfast and would be able to make it to Linda and Blake’s apartment before they head off to work.  Only, by now, (11:30) they were well and truly AT work and in meetings.  Linda managed to sneak me a text to say I should make my way to her office and collect the key.  I had no idea how to get to her office so I decided to half train, half cab it so as to minimise my stress levels.  By now I was feeling rather bedraggled, my hair (which was still pinned as I had done it for work the following morning) was now sticking out in all directions and feeling disgusting because I had not washed it (thinking I would have ample opportunity to do so after they headed off to work), my clothes were crinkled and after dragging my bags for 2 blocks before I was finally able to hail a cab, I was sweaty and my face felt gritty and oily all at the same time, and I needed to brush my teeth.

I arrive at Linda’s workplace and skulk up to the 5th floor hoping noone who saw me in this state was likely to be someone I meet again later.  However, when I saw Linda I cheered up significantly, it was so good to see my friend again, and I momentarily forgot how yucky I was feeling.  She gave me a tour of the Google office, which was simply AMAZING. No wonder people love working there.

Then she invited me to lunch with her workmates, I hurried off to the bathroom for a quick change, wash my face and brush my teeth before heading out with them.  Unfortunately, there was not alot I could do about the bloodshot eyes and the bad hair so I just tried not to think about it. 

Easy.

Her workmates were so entertaining that after an hour I felt like I was part of the team!!

After a delicious piece of salmon, two glasses of wine and at last, a coffee, I stagger back to Linda’s apartment where I scrub and steam myself into squeaky-clean oblivion, before crawing onto the couch for a bit of shut-eye before Linda and Blake return from work and we all head out for the evening.

We meet Alice at her place in Balmain and my first reaction to seeing her is “Wow!!”. I dont know how anyone manages to dash home from work late, flustered at the prospect of having her friends waiting on her doorstep in the dark, whilst still looking cool, calm and sophisticated.  If it were me, I would have tripped whilst jumping out of the cab and landed on my face.  Not Alice, this is one cool cucumber.  I havent seen Alice since we were cycling in Cambodia (where I met her- she was the only other female on the tour).  At that time she was about 23 and I think 2 years is really noticeable.  She is the cool sophisticated woman before me, I am the tired looking, wrinkled 32 yo standing before her, who walks with a slight limp (the effect of those darned lunges lingers!!).

We settle ourselves down with a glass of wine (a pinot for which we had to listen to a half hour lecture on the charactistics before we were able to leave the store citing the excuse that we’ll be late…)  I must say, it wasnt a bad pinot, but given how much emphasis the store owner had placed on the “savoury afternote” I really did think it was a little too sweet for my liking. 

We head off to a cozy restaurant aptly named Fundamentals, which does very fundamental food, and does it well.  I had the lamb skewers which were perfectly cooked and mouth watering.  Other items on the menu included fish pie, sizzling seafood plate and sirloin.  Hearty, comforting food.

For dessert we shared sticky date putting, lemon cheesecake and some chocolate thing which for the life of me I cannot remember.  The lemon cheesecake blew my mind and I scarcely remember eating the lions share of it- somehow it disappeared!

Meanwhile I have had a fabulous abs workout from all of the laughter. There was much to discuss as Alice and I have not seen each other for over 2 years and our only contact has been a few minor emails during that time.  The highlight of the evening was the discussion of various dating experiences, including Alices most current beau who-for all his good looks and great physique- I suspect Alice is rather suspicious of, given the man has a severe aversion to fat and sugar “Im pretty sure he has not eaten butter for about 6 years!”, she exclaims.  I consider that statement somewhat incomprehensible.  My brain simply will not compute…

I would be suspicious too, and a note to any men out there who may have miraculously made it through the slog of the past few posts to be reading this blog.  Do not ever come between a girl and her chocolate, or her Ben and Jerry’s icecream.  I guarantee you will lose, if not immediately….then, eventually.

After contemplating this, I suddenly felt the need to walk, A LOT.  I guess I can put it down to shame for having a few moments earlier, happily consumed almost and entire giant slice of cheesecake in addition to some bites of sticky date.  I would like to be able to say that it was simply my stomach protesting at too much food but alas, that would be a lie.  My stomach can handle a lot of cheesecake without complaint.

And so it was, after the debacle of a flight, my weekend of food, wine, cocktails and laughter had begun.

PS the new patent black heels get a big thumbs up.  Walked around in them all Friday night and not a single blister! Plus they looked really cool (photos to follow).

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