Archive for October, 2018

Naming a travel blog SOS was probably chancing fate

So when last we left our hero he was tucked up in bed all packed and ready to leave at 0630 in morning to catch train to Airport and hook into QC alcohol free before 09:50 flight home to Flashman Inc Headquarters , Sunshine Coast. This was going to be a sensible day for eating and drinking…..

3 am. Beep Beep. Message on phone. Qantas. “ Your flight has been changed , please review and accept changes now “ Ok. In foggy state accept the new time of 14:00 hrs and check status. All good

3:30 am Beep Beep. Same fucking message ! Thanks a lot assholes, just as getting back to sleep.

There are no quarantees when you travel of course but on top of Doctor cancellation yesterday was wondering when 3rd penny would drop. So we went out and had a light breakfast and a walk around and even got a walk up start in next years Fireman Calendar 🤠

So we headed off about 10:15 and of course when not in a hurry every train is on time and ready just as you walk up. The airport was surprisingly quite as well and even though of course our check in was not straight forward now and needed “customer assistant “ we were still knocking on Qantas Club door at 11 am a mere 2.5 hrs before boarding . What could go wrong

Of course it’s not all bad news, just mostly bad news . Being a Glass Should always be Full kinda guy the delay in our flight did mean would be in club when bar opens at midday

This could take some clever planning. This is also the day of one of the Qantas Drought Relief flights to Longreach with “ celebrities” . Thus for first 45 mins of stay in QC Darryl Braithwaite was screeching out Horses next door ! It was certainly live trust me although to be honest he should have been put down.

Ding Ding . Flight QF 1580 to Unknown Destination now leaving at 14:45. I love how they say “ We thank you for your understanding “ Almost as if we had a choice….

Help

SOS Day 5 – Animal Attraction

Posted: October 19, 2018 in Travel

Last full day in Sydney which hopefully also means last day of being full! Weather looks good as predicted for visit to Taronga Zoo. Fog then fine. A leisurely walk down to Non Square Quay to catch the ferry across to be gate adjacent shortly after opening time of 0930. Some breakfast on the way and then it is time to

Another excellent breakfast and coffee at Barista Sister. CLP says the porridge was to die for. I was just glad didn’t have to put my teeth in to eat it.

Ferries, like all Sydney Public Transport, works well and on time. Arrived at Zoo just after opening so took the Sky Safari to top entrance. It was a Pithy I didn’t have my helmet with me 🤠 Map in hand we started the process with the main plan to avoid the hordes of school kiddies out of their cages. Of course not all animals necessarily want to be seen and disappointed especially not to see and Tigers and to a lesser degree the platypus. The weather was glorious now and so every now and then just stop to admire view from prime location

We have been to a few zoos in our time and would suggest Dubbo is better although no doubt Taronga does a lot of conservation work etc. We didnt join the great unwashed for any shows . The admission price of $40 is fine – especially when factor in Seniors discount of 10% – its just we were done in about 2.5 hrs which suits me of course.

Of course Ferries are not only great public transport but also a free “ tour” in themselves and the scenery on trip home was magnificent . Saw where Sco Mo hangs out , or have they changed PMs again this week ?

As we were finished a bit earlier than expected thought would see if could get table at Cafe Sydney given such glorious weather. Alas no and we kinda both looked at each other and thought at same time why not Rockpool again? Boring maybe but we remembered the great food and service and could get a table at short notice. The lovely reception lass remembered us and as our table not ready yet we retreated to the bar for a refreshing ale. The place was really busy and yet 10 mins later same lady came into bar to chat to us about our day ! We were seated by about 1:45 pm which was fine as just felt like some good steak. We even had the same waitress and the service was once more superb. We joked about trying the second birthday in same week trick and she said “ of course you can” . And then John Laws walked in and my day was made – a celebrity at last and someone who makes me look young. I even stopped and said hello on way out and shook his hand. He must feel like he is top of the bridge now with the better Half of Harkle. It’s always nice to enrich the lives of old folk I say .

Lunch was somewhat interrupted by phone call from Doctors Surgery saying Monday’s appointment on Sunshine Coast was cancelled and could I come back Wednesday or Thursday. Ah no sweetheart I can’t . And of course still have to wait around for MRI at Sunshine Coast at 1030 on Monday morning. Strangely after a couple of beers and wine the shoulder didn’t seem too bad. That is next week’s problem

So by now it was well past 3 pm so waddle back home and that could well be all we see of Sydney this time round. Not sure will feel like heading out again once the trakkies go on. Checked in for flights tomorrow morning so some packing to be done and then a leisurely trip out in morning. Could be busy with Invictus Games starting but most traffic heading in not out

Been a great short stay and have to say the food and drink scene matches Melboring now. Sydney does seem more of a business/serious/wanker place and this best demonstrated maybe by a small shoe shine set up in a little arcade with 3 workers on the go ! Now if I just had some small shoes to shine.

Harkle Sightings : 0. Whew
John Laws Sightings : 1. Yay

Later dudes

SOS Day 4 – Beached at Bondi ?

Posted: October 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

Well, certainly feel a bit like a whale today after yesterday’s lunch! Did venture to the gym early but the two treadmills and 1 skip rope provided for the 3000 guests were in use. Who would have thunk ? Simple plan today . Stay dry and under 120 kg. Not as easy as may sound given our last 3 days . Harkle are in Melbourne today harassing non ambulatory 98 yr olds so good chance attention will focus more on us again. Second plan then is to travel out to Bondi Beach to see Sculptures by the Sea and hope they were not washed away. First up though we sped past Mach 1 at the speed of sound and straight to Mach 2 for breakfast. Given the breakfast I had glad sound barrier already broken…

Then it was time to mix with the great unwashed , despite the rain, on the Bus To Bondi. Moved along quite well actually and we alighted a couple of stops before the actual beach is the start of 2 km coastal walk dotted with Scupltures. Or so we thought. In fairness the weather has been bad but to say the much heralded display opening was still a work in progress is being generous. Some sculptures still wrapped up, some in crates etc Of course with the arty farty crowd banging up this stuff some may look half done but actually be finished masterpieces 😏

Given that some left over roofing iron and fence palings hammered together was unlikely to enthrall for hours we also planned to visit Watsons Bay for a review in honour of Watto and a plumb LBW. We could achieve this by bus. You don’t have to actually swim everywhere in Sydney just because it is all on a Harbour. While waiting for said conveyance some pop art caught my eye.i don’t see the connection to Dirty Dancing but there ya go

By now of course the sun was blazing which made for a very pleasant stop at Watsons Bay and adjacent sand congregations. A bit of a walk around with lovely views and then back down to the wharf for some fish and chips as you do

Caught the ferry home this time and it does get along trust me. Get off at Circular Quay for the 20 min walk home. Notice many Invictus Games folk around already in their distinctive shirts . A couple of hours relaxing now and then will head across road to The Swinging Cat for a late afternoon cocktail. Apparently The Dangling Pussy next door had to close its doors for health reasons

I drunk. I swung. I even purred a little

First some book keeping. Great night last night at Opera House for Evita. Not really my type of musical but the sets , dancing and singing were fine with little Tina a standout. Lovely night for the walk home to boot . That is my kultcha done for this holiday

We heard Harkle were going to the zoo today so thought we would join them. What’s that you say, they have gone to Dubbo Zoo? The lengths that Harry goes to trying to keep Meghan and me apart. Oh, well will check out the other endangered species then at Taronga. A leisurely walk first to Circular Quay for the ferry ride across and some breakfast on the way. Didn’t exactly bounce out of bed this morning after late night. Mind you not sure how many walks left in this ankle of mine

Up your Date 0800 . Ok weather forecast looking a bit grim so give Zoo a miss today and maybe go on Friday. As opposed to my ankle the rest of me is totally flexible. So rather than a kangaroo let’s do a switcheroo and bring special lunch for tomorrow ahead to today

Done, so time for breakfast . Of course dont need to go to a zoo to see animal behaviour. Give an asshole an umbrella for starters . I have never noticed so many ignorant clowns walking around head down looking at phone. Unbelievable. Anyhoo , lovely breakfast at Cross Eatery. Ok, at least a tad annoyed eatery . You know the sauce is hot when it comes with a dropper!

Given lunch at midday thought would hobble down to Darling Harbour for a couple of hours under somewhat grey skies. Nothing was really open so thought why not go to Madame Taussauds and meet some real dummies. Bought tickets online but then the old switcheroo and the $8 discount suddenly added $8 at checkout for GST. They certainly have a great range and all look good. A fun time was had by all of course

Of course having changed plans based on solid research Old Whiskers pulled the old switcheroo and we walked out into brilliant sunshine ! This was a late birthday celebration for CLP and at her age you can’t leave them too long after the day 🤠 I chose the Spice Temple of the Rockpool Group and went with the Ming Dynasty banquet with matching wine. Luckily they provide a Ming Vase to regift into afterwards #nevertoomuchseinfeld. It was superb. Downstairs from the Bar and Grill provides a completely different dining atmosphere. Had chosen the Degustation thinking small samples of a variety of foods. Duh wrong. Servings, as images show, were plentiful. The wines were all good and was interesting to see it seems the business lunch has not disappeared given the number of suits at tables in a packed arena

Walked back up into the real world and yep you guessed it. It was raining. Waited a bit for it to slow and then waddled home. CLP said she felt really spoilt and extra special so bought her back down to earth by sending her off to the laundary to do some washing. They need to remain grounded in reality or else a world of hurt awaits

So although only mid afternoon we are done for the day and will sign off now . Dinner looks like half an apple and two grapes . Perfect

Harkle Sightings : 0
Royal Dummies : 3

Our main crack at Kultcha is booked in for tonight , A Night at the Opera , although the only Groucho will be me having to dress up in the tailored trakkies

It is actually a Night at the Opera House for the musical Evita with little Tina Arena. The Opera House will be a busy place this morning with diehard monarchists advised to start lining the western promenade at 8 am for a glimpse of Harkle strutting around about 11 am after curing Chlamydia in Koalas earlier at Taronga Park Zoo. Clearly the only real plan today is to avoid the area until later tonight. Seriously, she got pregnant just because I was in the same city for 12 hrs. If we actually met there could be another royal divorce imminent.

A very nice coffee and light breakfast first at Atmos. I phere we may return

We then strolled down in general direction of Circular Quay. Kochie has been tipped off we were in town so naturally had our photo in every background. The Opera House area and surrounds were pretty quiet really with security already in place and all the media folk lined up and ready. Despite the forecast it was a very pleasant dry day so was stuck carrying around wet weather gear all morning. Once again a massive liner was ready to board

Despite a possible Harkle sighting in next 4 hrs we headed in opposite direction through The Rocks. In keeping with today’s British flavour I didn’t wash this morning and also dropped into Lord Nelson Beeratorium

Today’s lavish lunch was planned to be of the seafood variety so headed down to Cirrus. Had the seafood platter , some fries, a couple of vinos and rather amazing desserts. Right now if I sea any more food I may vomit . It was an excellent meal but once again you notice little touches missing at such an upscale eatery. A seafood platter with no finger bowl provided? Yeah it’s First world problems but does surprise when other aspects are so top notch . I had to wipe my hands on CLPs blouse.

Then a short waddle home for a couple of hours rest . The old ankle is swollen to a degree you wish applied to all appendages but like most things it does go down over time. Another walk tonight to Opera House to deal with as well. I may just stop and rest against this building

I will sign off for today and report on Evita in tomorrow’s debriefing. Speaking of debriefing , time to have a lie down in the au naturale state as the Lord intended. Luckily on the way home signed CLP up for a course which made her so happy she forgot she was wearing a dirty blouse. It’s the little things that keep relationships humming along

Harkle Sightings : 0 Yay

And so our short Sydney October Soujourn begins under cloudy skies. Not for the first time there is a significant weather event leading into holiday . The Dome in Maryhole lays scattered on the ground , a shambling wreck of its once great stature. No doubt they will quickly rebuild for the sweltering summer ahead

As mentioned previously decided to fly to Sydney directly from Maroochydore rather than Brisvegas. Miss out on Qantas Club partaking but is only a 30 min drive to and from. It’s an early start for an 0630 flight before we land in the harbour city in the world of daylight saving at a time later than the actual time in air would indicate . The Blues win one bloody Origin series and now think they can set world time . Just hope the curtains in our hotel room are not faded.

We made it through the rain ok and arrived an hour before departure so time for a quick coffee. The SC airport seems fine although some covered walkways from car park would be useful! No last minute upgrades but do have exit row seats so get to jump first . The bar isn’t open 😰 I know I am dynamite in the sack but why do I always get singled out for the explosive residue wand over the nether regions ?

Of course we found some months ago that the Royal visit coincided with our week in Sydney but too late by then . I refer to them as Harkle so that will be the theme this week # harklewatch. Thought they were arriving Tuesday but seems like it is today. However I doubt they will be arriving at Domestic Terminal or catching train to city! Previous experience tells us the domestic and international terminals are a cut lunch and a chopper ride apart so see no likelihood of paparazzi interference apart from my usual followers

Good run down and arrived on time but because we had a Sheila pilot took her 20 mins to park it 😏 Rainy here as well but at least had a sky bridge this time. Quick baggage pick up and the rather excellent Airlink train had us ringing the reception bell at 10 am at The Grace Hotel. We had enquired about early check in – for $45 – and told won’t know until day .

“ Not sure if we have room Sir. Let me check, could take a while “
“ We will pay the $45 “
“ Ah yes Sir we do have room just come available “ Room 416
“ Look Ling Lee we booked corner premium king which is supposed to be on high floor “
“ Ah ok u can have 816”

Charm , and facts, work all time . Great room , very quiet . Windows are double glazed which makes the handles on outside window simply a tease

Quickly unpacked my 3 pairs of trakkies and one singlet and headed out in light rain for a beer and a feed. On plane trip down had read article about beef degustation at Rockpool so thought why not. But I digress. Is that a Bavarian Bierhaus across the road ?? And it’s Oktober!

The pretzel was not only hard to reach but not very filling so time to get my rocks off in the Pool. It’s an amazing establishment but reception lady was a bit non plussed when I mentioned Beef Degustation but she did ask for my number . Anyhoo, when in Rome… Simply superb lunch and the service level is excellent at the Rockpool Bar and Grill. Yes it’s not cheap but then not really extravagantly priced either. It’s the little extras you notice and we were able to share each course even the steak. Hell, they had 6 different mustards to choose from ! There and then we decided that we would go with some fancy lunches this week and some crackers and cheese for dinners. Flash Tip #1 When at a posh restaurant always mention u r celebrating a birthday . Works every time

The Grace does have a small gym and lap pool and before we left we planned on visiting every day. Seriously . At present that is still the plan but do need for lunch to digest a while. Couple of hours back home to relax and then maybe head out for a beer and a visit to Night Noodle Market for light dinner

It’s been a great first day and even though weather is dusty think we may survive . We are pretty loose with plans while trying to avoid Harkle and Rain . We have a Night at the Opera tomorrow night and tickets for Taronga Park to be used one day this week.

So went up to the gym , rode the bike for a while and did a few laps. May even try out the pool tomorrow…..

Then once that momentary nonsense had passed it was back to solid ground. First up a Guinness at the requisite Irish Pub on every block including ours. Then a leisurely dry stroll to Hyde Park for the Night Noodle Markets. Great crowd considering the weather. A light dinner was perfect before the short stroll back and wait until the sun goes down at about 11 pm apparently

All in all an excellent first day in less than ideal weather. We may be dodging showers all week but there is a reason pubs have roofs

Harkle Sightings : 0

SOS Trouble Ahead

Posted: October 1, 2018 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole

Ahh such memories. SOS of course can mean many things but as is my keg half full attitude (#kavanagh) lets start with the good ones. Sydney October Soujourn begins next weekend where me and the missus hit Old Sydney town for a quick 5 days just when Harkle is in town 😦 At least WE wont be mobbed at the airport for a change. It was planned some time ago long before we knew of pending royal visit and is a bit of a filler between trips OS. While Melboring remains our fave Aussie town Siderney does have some appeal especially around the bigly wet bit in the middle under the coat hanger. 5 days sounds about right and just for a change flying into and out of Sunny Coast airport. Not sure about the secure long term parking there but at least its not a cut lunch to get to the terminal. They do have terminals I hope! Certainly no Qantas Club of course, maybe two jatz crackers and a bit of cheese if lucky. We shant starve. I may well have thrown my lot in with Qantas a bit early mind you as with so much time on my good hand these days do a lot of reading about all things sky flying related and does seem Qantas are getting a tad stingy with their product. Around about the time I now have 150 k points to play with. Still a good product for flying to USA but not so much going the other side of world. First world problems of course but then they are the only ones we should concern ourselves with at this late stage in life eh

Trouble does loom ahead though with the old bod starting to show its age while the face remains remarkably untouched. Having had some increasing shoulder pain of late and as it was time for yearly digit up the date time thought would get some xrays/scans done to rule out something worthy to whine about. As it turns out there is something wrong there – a torn supraspinatus tendon, one of the 4 in the rotator cuff of shoulder. Also known as the “Cronk Crock” until 8 pm Sunday night! Obviously he could play with a 15 cm break in scapula but not with a rotator cuff tear 🙂 So off to surgeon this week to see what the options are but suggest most will include moaning ” woe is me” . Not keen on the knife caper given the long rehab time involved so will be pushing for more conservative approach like a Bex and a laydown. Basically my daily plan most days anyway. The real issue of course is cant play golf at present and generally limited in most other activities. Yes, before you snicker it is the right shoulder. And is the one dislocated many moons ago which was fixed, wired and then came apart again. Not sure what this image shows but if you have it show it they say. At leasnt now I know where those missing shirt buttons went

Speaking of Cronk it was an odd week. Some would say karma was served with Billy getting off shoulder charge and then having a sad farewell game. Love Billy but he does have grub in him but no one deserves to be booed like that after the game. Lets not become Yank sporting crowds. The subterfuge around Cronk injury was rather immaterial in end but you have to feel sorry for the guy who was in line to replace Cronk but then Coach decided “nah think the one armed guy is better option” Hard to come back from that slight. It was over after 20 minutes and Roosters simply out muscled them early and never let them back in. Mitchell is a star indeed but also has grub in him which will cause issues over time. Sad news if as just reported GI has fallen into the old DD caper just when all the life ducks were lining up. In the clearly best sporting even of the weekend Europe beat USA in Ryder Cup golf in a simply stunning made for TV arena. Tiger looked shagged on the first tee and never impacted while the usual reliable players like Poulter and Molinari starred again. Its a brilliant format. Of course also signals the end of great sport for a while following on from league. Cricket? ZZZZZZZZ Another SOS on the horizon

What can u say about US politics these days that hasnt been said a 1000 times already. Buffoon Bob should do weekly press conferences, they are mesmerising. Its like Forrest Gump if he had a lobotomy. The Kavanagh hearings are bizarre to say the least but does give SNL an opportunity to unveil a new character and Damon nails it. Still suggest the result is done and dusted but will drag out another week or two

So, the days have become even longer now and not just talking the sun up sun down routine. Work on course mostly limited to mowing fairways and cleaning beer lines and not as if the grass is growing before our eyes . The nights are still pleasant and we even got a little rain on Sunday which was much needed. Devoted followers would know of the Dome that sits over Maryhole in most weather events but it was pierced on Sunday . Or was it?? Powered down but watching approaching armageddon on BOM I was tempted to get some planks of woods and nails ready for my Noah act as surely we had a bucket load coming. It came, sat for an hour and went. During the blue deluge the sound on the roof never quite matched the images and this of course was confirmed later by reports of about 9mm downfall. Hell I do that most nights myself! It was good but could have been so much better

Where have I heard that before…….