The incoherent blathering and deranged rantings of the self-styled Guru Bob...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Big Break

Well it has been a while since I posted anything online so I thought that I may as well give everyone a quick breakdown of my holiday.

I took a couple of weeks off work and flew up to Brisbane, picked up a massive great big rental car and went to Taringa to house sit my sister's place for a few days. The plan was to catch up with some of my friends who I hadn't seen for ages before Sweet Thang came up to join me. It worked out really well and I saw JB and Barnes (who I actually see anyway down here in Melbourne) for a barbie at JB's place as well as going to see the Game On show at SLQ with Bill, JB, Barnes and a horde of kids. The exhibition was excellent and the kids (small and large) all seemed to love getting there and playing video games, however when Bill and I were playing Space War (the very first ever computer game) his little one thought it was 'boring'.

That was followed by an abortive excursion to eat the world's hottest burger at Wellington Point. I seem to recall a certain Lance Corporal Barnes drilling into my head the adage "Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance" but in this case he could have followed his own advice because the destination we drive for 45 minutes to get to was actually closed for the holidays.

Oh well - we had lunch down the road anyway. To be honest I was a little bit relieved that I avoided that bullet...

I also caught up with some other friends I hadn't seen for a while and saw their new houses/cars/babies etc all before going to collect Sweet Thang at Brisbane Airport on Christmas Eve. Then it was all about heading up North to see her family for the next couple of days. Which all went very well, lots of turkey and ham was consumed, presents were opened, beer and wine drunk and conversations had.

Then we headed back to Brisbane to my sister's place for a couple of days catching up with Sweet Thang's friends. It was great to have a house to use as a base, complete with pool, barbie and stereo.

Then we set off to meet up with my family in Scott's Head , dropping in to Bangalow for brekkie and Grafton for lunch. Every second year my family find a house somewhere on a beach midway between Sydney and Brisbane and all congregate there for the season. It works pretty well but did seem a bit crowded with 8 adults and 7 kids (plus one more on the way). However everyone cooked up a storm every night, there were ample fine wines and beers to be had and a gorgeous beach was just a short walking distance away. On New Years's Eve we feasted on barbecued Wahoo and then wandered over to watch the lantern parade and a fantastic fireworks display on the beach before cruising back for a snooze.

New Years Day we both said goodbye to the futon in the living room and hit the road agin for Sydney. Making pretty good time meant that we were able to duck off to visit Newcastle for a late lunch and to see the regional gallery which is supposed to be one of the better ones in NSW. There was a sculpture there by a guy called Jasper Knight which even Havock would have enjoyed...

Then it was on to Sydney. We spent a night at my other sister's house in Surry Hills. We had a little bit of an evening wander around a few of the pubs in teh enighbourhood before grabbing a bite at the Dophin Hotel. In the morning we made around the corner for breakfast at the Book Kitchen and who should be sitting out the front but Hughsey's ex and their son. Sweet Thang thought that the son was actually his boyfriend at first, but when I put her right said that he was handsome and very good looking. The rest of the day was spent wandering around Sydney in the car.

Then we checked into the Amora Hotel in town for a couple of nights as tourists. I thought that the last thing my sister would want upon returning home after a 6-7 hour drive home (complete with kids and hot weather) would be a couple of free loaders haning around so we treated ourselves to a Wotif special package and it was great. A totally generic 5 star hotel experience in the centre of Sydney for a ridiculously low price.

We walked up to Rockpool and grabbed a meal from the bar menu, sitting about a metre from the kitchen action and drinking some great wines, then wandered up to the 47th floor of the Australia Square for a touristy drink or two in the rotating restaurant/bar.

The next day a huge ship must have pulled into the wharf at first light so we wandered around the CBD looking in overpriced shops and playing spot the ship person. We also went to the MCA and saw a couple of good shows as well as pick up some clothes that actually fit me, which was a major bonus.

Spent the evening with my sisters (and various husbands and kids) who had finally returned from their beach front holiday before getting stuck into the packing and stuff required for an early flight back to 'sunny' Melbourne and back to real life...

Unexpected highlights included:
- JB's Portuguese roast pork done on the barbie
- the supposed zombie movie Quarantine at a suburban multiplex
- the Optimism exhibition at Brisbane's GOMA and the huge Ron Mueck sculpture upstairs
- the fireworks at Scott's Head
- polishing off Peter F. Hamilton's new book
- lunch at Sailor Thai in Sydney's The Rocks
- listening to The Flight of the Conchords CD while doing lots of driving
- lots of swimming and pool time

See you soon.


  1. Sounds like you packed quite alot in there GB.

    What did you think of Rockpool? I know that NP has just revamped it (again).

    Also can't beat Sailor Thai for a good meal. We should all meet up in Sydney one weekend and have a grand BBQ fest at Philips Foote.

    Finally I can't believe that after all that hoohah that burger joint wasn't open. Could it have been effected by the Jspace mass extinction?

  2. Hey there Mr Chaz.

    Rockpool still looks very 80s in layout. However we ate from the bar menu (nothing over twenty bucks) but the kitchen action was right in front of our noses and we saw the work going into all of the dishes.

    If you like Tha we could try Longrain in Melbourne for your visit a lot like Sailor Thai.

    But we do always need an excuse to eat some steak.

  3. Dammit! I was keen to hear Barnes's review of that burger joint.

    Sounds like you had a good holiday.

  4. Yep lots of road time though.

    Banes will now keep on obsessing about it for another year...

  5. Dang it!

    I told Barnes to invite me along to that world's hottest burger trip.

    Now I've missed meeting you all in person.

    Next year, or next time, Gadget!

  6. GC - Not sure what Barnes will be doing blogwise this year after the JSpace collapse - but am sure that there will be future opportunities to eat chilli products and discuss zombies with him.

  7. GB if you get a group of us together I think eating large slabs of meat is de rigeur. however I might pop into Long grain on wednesday, I was going to try out the Curry Vault opposite the Mitre tavern but I'm now split in my choice..damn!