Day 12 – November 21st – Day 16 – Novemeber 25th
I’m writing all of this after a few days break. James and Jon have been on the one computer we have between us collating videos, photos and getting stuff on the website.
Our days off in Sydney have involved mostly rain. Loads of it. Its pretty cold too…the whole thing is like an English summer, definitely not an Aussie summer.
I go with Si and James out for some sightseeing, trying to remember what is where as I have been here once before and done the touristy thing before. First port of call is the Opera House which as soon as i see i feel the same sense of disappointment i had last time. Its as though the pictures lie to you….a huge conspiracy to make you think it is different to how it really is. There’s nothing wrong with the reality, but its like a professional magazine model….really photogenic, but pretty nothingy in real life.
Much better are the botanical gardens where we have everything to ourselves. Its pissing down, but there’s bats hanging in the tress, cockatoos landing right by us and kookaburras chasing eachother round the trees. Saigon and Singapore were nice, but having a little greenery for a few hours is restoring to the soul. We see a huge spider web and i joke about the fact there are hundreds of things looking at us right now, salivating. On closer inspection we see this might in fact be the case as the bush it is on has thousands of small, plain spiders. I have seen enough Attenborough to know the plain ones can be the nasty ones so we back away carefully, hoping not to alarm the little critters. You can never be too careful. They say in London you’re never more than 10 feet from a rat....well in Oz we work by the basis you’re never more than 10 feet from something that wants to eat you or at least make you die painfully.
We walk to the bridge and do the touristy thing, buy some chips and get attacked by seagulls with Si ending up being surrounded in some kind of weird stand off.
We hook up with some friends we met in Perth who now live in Sydney and go to see a band called The Upskirts. They were pretty damn good…way better than the band after them who sadly got better reception. There’s talk of the latter band’s singer being the son of some famous guy, so that’d explain the emperor’s new clothes attitude of the crowd.
After the show I go with Si to the ‘coolest bar’ in town. Shady Pines. Sounds like a retirement village to me, but with no obvious entrance or sign, just a big bouncer holding back a long, eccentrically dressed queue we know we’re in for some serious pretention. We have to queue for 45 mins despite being right at the front and its only with the amazement that people would queue so long that we stay queuing. Inside its like any other ‘old west’ themed bar you have ever been to, just more expensive and with a bigger sense of ‘we are in’ from the patrons. Not sure what we were expecting, but with some sense of self disgust at having contributed to its exclusivity through the act of waiting in line we take our leave.
I have no problem with the concept of a queue, I am british afterall and we’re renowned for our queuing skills, but for a beer? Where’s the sense in that? Give me a half full, normal pub any day with warm, flat English ale and prices that don’t feel like the artful dodger took a turn looking after your wallet.
We have a show tonight @ The Taphouse, a new venue in town. We’re told it is to be ‘semi acoustic’ whatever that means. Guess we’ll just show up and see what gear is there and play the songs that best suit the situation. After too many days off it’ll be good to be musical again.