Today we left Queensland and returned to Sydney. We left from Surfer’s Paradise airport (or is it Coolangatta?) kindly driven by Fiona who sat at the airport and had a coffee with us.
Though she did have to dash off and rescue Andrew whose car had broken down and needed a part. She was going to drop off at a spare parts place and then ring Andrew to ask what the part was. I assume it all worked out. In any case, I hope Andrew’s not stuck at the fire station waiting.
There was no untoward waiting for us however as the plane left on time and arrived as it should with all three wheels working properly. This is in contrast to a guy we saw on the news landing a small plane on its nose. Bob pooh-pooh’ed this as being something any pilot could quite safely do without the national news getting involved. Still, it looked pretty cool.
Mirinda spent a lot of the flight working out the party for tomorrow which meant I did as well. She then watched The Middle to finish off the flight completely drug free. This bodes very well for our hopes of spending more time in France. In fact, later in the day, we had a text conversation regarding spending two months living in France while she commutes back to Canary Wharf during the week. The puppies and me would stay and learn French.
At Mascot (as we used to call Kingsford Smith, wondering why Heathrow isn’t named after some aviation pioneer or Southampton Airport isn’t called Jane’s Planes) I left Mirinda and Bob to have the rest of the day to themselves as I headed into Sydney to waste a few hours before heading over to Lynden’s Wine Bar.
But first, I had to buy myself an Opal Card. It’s black and it’s just like an Oyster Card. Public transport is greatly enhanced. I noticed they also have a travel card in Tokyo…perhaps I need one of those as well.
Opal in hand, I caught the train from the airport to Circular Quay. Yes, that’s correct. These days one can get off a plane, hop on train and be at Circular Quay in less than an hour. Back when we lived in Sydney you’d have to try and get onto the next bullock train heading into town because there were no actual trains. I think there was a bus but it was neither reliable nor regular.
The transport back then was rubbish. It is SO much better these days. In particular (as I’ve mentioned previously this trip) the Light Rail. Looking at the works at the end of George Street, I really hope it’s finished by the time I return because it is going to be brilliant. Hopefully the road will be permanently cut off to traffic because it’ll transform that end of the city.
I noticed the changes as I alighted from the train at Circular Quay and went for a wander. My tummy told me it was time for a top up so, naturally, I went to the lunch spot with the best view in Sydney: the MCA cafe. I had a marvellous salad and beer before checking out the galleries.
I’ve only been once to the MCA when Karen took me to see the Anish Kapoor exhibit on our last visit. This time I decided to check out what else there was. I was fortunate enough to see the National 2017 – New Australian Art exhibit as well as a lot of other works.
Throughout the whole place there were quite a few challenging pieces and some that just left me cold however, one piece I liked very much is this Linda Marrinon sculpture:
It is The Moir Sisters in performance. They were a pop group in the mid 1970’s. I find the piece quite haunting and the faces inquisitive. The piece isn’t very big and yet it seems to dominate the room it’s in. I found it intriguing and strangely beautiful.
There were many pieces I could mention but I shall spare my reader and move on.
My next journey down memory lane was up to Wynyard stopping momentarily in front of what was the Qantas Building but is now Suncorp instead. The years I spent working on this building were numerous and, generally, enjoyable as it rose into the sky to become the highest building in Sydney for a very short time. These days you really have to look for it in between the much higher ones surrounding it.
I popped into Starbucks in order to buy a Sydney mug and have a coffee. Sadly they didn’t have the mug but they did make me a coffee. And my British Starbucks card worked! This might not sound like much but it doesn’t work in France. Or Spain.
From Wynyard I headed up to Central (utilising my Opal card, of course) where I headed for the Light Rail. I REALLY love the Light Rail as, it seems, do a lot of other people. It is very well used. Particularly by the audiences letting out from the Capitol Theatre having seen Kinky Boots. Some of them even stood on my toes rather than the floor of the train. With numb toes, I took it to Arlington where I managed to find Lynden’s flat with the help of a handy and very friendly Schumanian.
Finally sat in Lynden’s flat I was entertained by his theatre chums and I sat back and watched. It was strange but, though I knew no-one, nothing had changed. It was like the last 20 years just melted away and I was surrounded by an after show group of actors and technical folk all vying for the loudest bit of attention they could find. It was joyous and something I’d not realised I’d actually missed.
Sadly I had to leave at 9pm in order to get back to Dural because of the BBQ tomorrow. I could have stayed all night and just slept on Lynden’s lounge. I’m clearly grown up now because years ago I would have done just that.
I would like to thank Wayne, Martin, Hannah and Abigail (and everyone else) for a fun evening and, of course, Lynden and Lou for being such excellent hosts. Hopefully I’ll see them both in Edinburgh for the festival in late August. Or accidentally cross their paths in the south of France during Weasel’s Afloat. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
Anyway, I headed back to the Light Rail, changed at Central and was on a train heading for Hornsby in no time at all.
A full and tiring day which I thoroughly enjoyed.