Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas in Sydney

Looking a bit goofy after swimming the surf on Christmas morning.

How to describe Christmas in Sydney… I had about ten days off from the 21st of December until the 2nd of January. I spent almost all of that time socialising and swimming. Sydney has a Christmas party season like no other. After nine nights out in a row (nine in a row!) I at last had a night in on the 29th.

It’s been a great time to meet people. The two top events were Ed’s Christmas Day Bonanza (truly it was a great day!) and the Boxing Day races at Randwick Racecourse.
Ok, Evita definitely looks better in this outfit than I do.

Christmas Day started with a trip to Bondi for a swim with my German friend Babette. After struggling out of bed, I borrowed Dreadlock Dave’s car (about which, more later) and drove over to Bondi. It was cloudy in the morning and the beach was half-full at 11am. Babette and I braved the waters for about 20 minutes with a bunch of other people. It was a great wake-up call for Christmas Day.

Christmas at Ed and Dace’s was a superb day and evening. We had a real multinational mix, with a few Latvians, a Thai girl, an Iranian, a Peruvian, a couple of Aussies and Keith and I representing Scotland. Keith did a fantastic job making top-quality cocktails (mojitos and cubraroscas) but the piece-de-la-resistance was Ed’s turkey which was perfect. Brilliant meal – almost as good as mum makes it. We had some good party games and a bit of a singalong. Since my karaoke appearance at the work Christmas do, people seem to have been encouraging me to sing all the time (about which, less later).

Pretty hungover on Boxing Day, but couldn’t resist an invitation to Randwick Races International Day. Another crazy aussie idea where anyone with a foreign passport gets in free. Guess who forgot his passport.

What a brilliant way to spend Boxing Day. I went with my flatmates, the two Daves and met a huge number of other Irish peeps. There were an outstanding number of well-presented ladies there. And I think there was some horse-racing going on somewhere as well.

As well as the partying, I have done some more wholesome stuff over the break. In preparation for the competition next Sunday, I’ve been swimming about 2km each day in the Olympic size pools near my flat and in the Botanic Gardens. The weather has been awesome since Christmas and it’s a great way to exercise. Slowly building up the stamina I’ll need for the long-distance events.

The absolute best even off the holiday has been going out sailing with Chris. But that deserves a website entry of its own and will have to wait until the new year…
Dave larking about after I forget my passport and have to pay to get into the races.