'Blurry Start'

15 December 2010
'Blurry Start'
Sydney.  Day off.

I had no intention of staying up until 4am but such is the road.  Consequently my breakfast date with school friends had a bit of a blurry start, but once I hit my stride it turned into a glorious day.  I had a late breakfast with said friends - who really are school friends of mine from the UK: we€™ve known each other since we were about six years old, they got together as a couple about thirty years after that and now live in Sydney with their eight-year-old daughter.  They€™d organised tickets to see a matinee performance of Uncle Vanya the Chekov play, boasting a stellar cast including Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Jacki Weaver.  I love seeing stage productions featuring actors whom I only know through their screen work.  Their ability to come up with the goods live can really go either way, but this show is a triumph.  The fact that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were standing at the theatre bar when we arrived added a certain something, too.

In the evening I went to a friend€™s art opening.  He€™s an Australian abstract landscape painter, represented by a gallery in the city.  It€™s a serious gallery but each year before Christmas they do a group show with just a couple of works by each of the twenty or so artists that they represent.  It€™s a great way to get an overview of the work and all the artists come along too, so it€™s a really fun event.
Later, back in my hotel room, I took the opportunity of catching up with some desperately dull chores that I€™d been putting off for too long.  The time difference between here and the UK is so extreme that there never seems to be a convenient moment to deal with institutions that operate normal business hours.  I have a tax bill to pay by the end of the month, which I managed to do tonight through the wonders of the interweb, but it€™s a tad surreal dealing with these things from such a great distance, slotted in between touring activity.

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