What follows is a random sequence of memories of the past month or so in a rather erratic format, forgive me this.
Australian traffic-lights, what are they all about eh. You have to wait ruddy ages to cross and then you only get 3.7 seconds to do it. Sort it out Australia.
I caught the City vs Spuds ‘Champions League play-off’ a few weeks back in the city. To do so I had to get up at half 3 in the morning to get to the pub where Sydney’s blues hang out for 05:00 (or 20:00 in Blighty). I was tired (2 hours kip) and it was dark and unusually cold. It felt more like Manchester than Australia’s south-east coast.
I had an almighty sprint to catch the 378 bus as it was early. But catch it I did which was lucky as it was the only one for a good while. I did think to myself is all this really worth it, it transpired that it wasn’t.
City didn’t turn up in the 2nd half and consequently won’t be in the Chimps league next season. Mancini and his lovely scarf are still going to be in the hot seat though apparently.
I think I’m going to give up on that Cheers bar. For starters it’s a crap generic sports bar and I’ve also seen 2 games there and had 2 terrible results. Early morning home streaming for one is the future.
3 schooners (little drinks for big Australians) of Boag’s (quickly becoming my down under budget beer of choice) before work probably wasn’t the best idea and left me feeling a tad sleepy. A bacon and sausage butty (my phone keeps trying to put bitty, that would have been quite a different snack) from the staff canteen mitigated the drowsiness somewhat.
The Flaming Lips have recently covered Pink Floyd’s ‘Darkside Of The Moon’. As you might expect, it’s mental. Come hear for yourself here.
Another album worth a listen is ‘Horsefeathers’ by Horse Feathers. It’s along the lines of Guided By Voices with more angst in the vocals. At times it’s in danger of sounding a bit like the modern day awful generic American ‘punk’ bands catering for teens with nails clad in black nail-polish all around the World, but it always pulls itself back before doing so.
I’ve bought a 2nd hand guitar from a French geezer advertising on Gumtree. It’s a Fender Squier and he wanted 150 bucks having paid 200 for it new several months earlier. I offered him a ton and his come back was 140. I said I wasn’t paying more than 120 and a deal was struck, not bad considering it came with a capo that must be worth $20. In the words of Terry Tibbs – “Acoustic guitar, talk to me”. Terry Tibbs, he’s good isn’t he. See.
Reluctantly I got my haircut some weekends ago, something I always dread as my barnet chop explanatory skills are a bit shoddy. It’s also difficult to find somewhere that isn’t going to charge you the GDP of Suriname for the privilege or is fairly priced but the barber would have a heart attack if you didn’t ask for short-back and sides. Anyway it didn’t go too swell.
I found somewhere that looked half decent, not overly pricey and with a hair-dresser who looked reasonably stylish and like she had half a clue what she was doing. Unfortunately she was busy and I got the gay bloke from Derry who was neon-orange in skin tone, dressed like he was on a darts team and had a very dodgy comb-over despite only being about 30. The front was okay, though not what i asked for (via a pic on my phone to negate the need for my poorly articulated specification) but the back looks like a 1930s dictator effort. Ah well, it grows back eh.
The weekend before last there was a 80s Mod revival exhibition at The Powerhouse Museum as part of a larger 80s exhibition. There wasn’t that much to it really, just a few Vespas on display and a couple of items about what a Mod is. I timed it to coincide with when Sydney scooterists were due to visit though to have a look at all the scoots on display outside, including these 3 gorgeous GSs. Actually on linking to this photo it has just occurred to me that one of the said 3 GSs had ridden off prior to me taking my happy snap, what an inconsiderate bugger eh.
I’m closing in on a Vespa myself actually, more news to follow in a post shortly hopefully.
The 80s Are Back exhibition itself was pretty cool and gave me a chance for some childhood reminiscing. Commodore 64, He-Man figure complete with Battle Cat (I owned 1 headless He-Man and 4 Skeletors as a kid, a psychiatrist would have a field-day with information like that), Lost Boys poster, Stone Roses album cover etc. Brilliant stuff.
The rest of the museum was a bit dull really, but I guess it didn’t help that I’d been out the night before in Bondi and had only had 3 hours sleep. They did have an ace ‘Trainspotting’ exhibition though which contained some amazing award winning photographs from railyards and tracks around the world.
I had a quick mooch around Paddy’s Market near China Town after that. It was alright, the usual sort of hectic trading-post really. Not the best place to have a nasty hangover kick-in. I nearly bought a radio-controlled helicopter for $30 but saw sense at the key moment.
Blimey, there’s two Irish bars very close to where I live and they are constantly packed with folk from the Emerald Isle at all hours. Every-time I walk past them there’s an extremely drunk Irishman arguing/scrapping with a bouncer, his girlfriend, or another Irishman. Why not just do it all at home and save on the airfare.
The other night I finally went for a proper look The Rocks area to see the harbour bridge and Opera House (though I do go over the bridge twice a day for work). I picked (or more accurately, Claire did) the worst night weather-wise since I’ve been here for it. Awful torrential rain. Despite this I still got some good pics, it’s so much better having a decent camera.
I also had a lovely emu (don’t mention Rod Hull!) pizza at The Australian Hotel. One of the better pubs I’ve been to but I am finding that most pubs/bars here have very little charm or character.
Another place we took in was Customs House. There’s a massive model of Sydney under a glass floor that you walk over, that’s helped me get my bearings a bit.
No one told me Sydney had a monsoon season, it’s being throwing it down for 2 weeks now. Sort it out Australia.
When I said more news on the Vepsa front may follow in a future post, it has actually become this one. I went to take a look at this over in Manly. It was advertised as a 1968 Vespa Sprint, though with a bit of research I actually think it’s a Sprint Veloce (don’t mock me). I enjoyed taking it for a spin until it died when I gave it some in 3rd gear, it could be something and nothing but I’m not taking the risk. It’s a shame as if I could have knocked him down considerably on the $3500 asking price (well over what you’d pay for one in absolutely mint condition in the UK and this had a fair bit of rust) I would have definitely been interested. Still I got a nice ferry trip across the harbour and got to ride an original classic Vespa so it wasn’t a wasted trip. The search continues.
If you have any interest in the Manchester music scene you may find this interview very interesting as I did. They’ve got a point I reckon.
Sayonara for now reader. Enjoy the rub cub.