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.