Canberra -> Sydney (and two rain outs)

Canberra to Sydney promised to be the shortest driving day for me and I was looking forward to starting late, moving slow, visiting my favourite hippy and finishing off with more baseball.  I did start late and visit my favourite hippy, but did not get to go slow and as it turned out, there was no baseball either. As a result of spending rather too much time with my hippy, I had to skip the following things that I’m probably going to go back and visit because missing them made me so, so sad.

  1. The Don Bradman Museum. If I had known how close I was, I would have made far more of an effort to get here.
  2. Hanging Rock. I tried calling out “Miranda! Miraaaaaandaaaaa!” in my car, but I figure I really need to wear a floaty dress and run around the area. I hear that the rangers are very, very sick of people doing that, but I think re-enacting seminal moments in Australian film is a necessary part of any young’s lady’s cultural engagement.  And while I’m not going to re-enact any part of Romper Stomper, I’d love to have a go at the rhumba from Strictly Ballroom.
I lied. And this is actually the best photo of us. I just... we're both experienced and competent selfie-takers. IDEK.

I lied. And this is actually the best photo of us. I just… we’re both experienced and competent selfie-takers. IDEK.

I had a lovely early-afternoon tea with my favourite hippy in Moss Vale. Two-day-old gluten-free chocolate mud-cake from the local baker was absolutely divine.  We made attempts at selfies, but one or the other of us made unusually awful faces in every single attempt on my phone, so I will not put those up.

It was particularly interesting for me to drive along the road to Moss Vale and see the anti-Coal Seam Gas signs. Obviously I have some leftover Baader-Meinhoff for gas-activism.  I was expecting to see anti-CSG stuff coming down through the Liverpool Plains and into the Hunter later on in my trip, but I wasn’t expecting it here.  A quick trawl through the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas shows me why with this rather lovely map , which looks kind of exactly like the one Graeme and I made for Western Australia back in the day.  Obviously, this map doesn’t show prospectivity or leases, but I’m sure that is readily available at the Office of Coal Seam Gas for those who are interested. When I have time and space to pull out my petrol receipts, I’m going to work out my carbon footprint for this trip too and compare it to flying. I think I’m going to have to plant many, many groves of ash and maple to even it out.

With Eric!

With Eric! (@erkpod – AIHL fan/HSN writer/music podcaster)

Sailed though the Goulburn Valley only thinking about the Oarsome Foursome a little bit (I wonder what they are doing now) and onwards to Sydney. I took rather a lot longer than I was anticipating. Nevertheless I found Blacktown International Sports Park relatively easily and was waved in by Eric, who had migrated onto the roundabout to be sure to spot the Western Australian numberplates.  He had previously unexpectedly met me at the airport on my way through Sydney from Taipei->Wellington.  After this catch-up he has generously kitted me out with Sydney Bears and Sydney Sirens ice-hockey t-shirts.

It was Eric’s first baseball game – or not, as it turned out. His impressions of the lack-of-game are up (or soon to be up?) on the HSN website.

.....TARP..... SLIDE..... Nggggghhhhh.  Next season for sure. Even if I have to jump the fence to make it happen.

…..TARP….. SLIDE….. Nggggghhhhh. This was the second day of Herculean self-restraint on my part. Next season I will tarp slide. Even if I have to beg.

100% as good as you've heard, if not better. Whitto's = Slices of Heaven.

100% as good as you’ve heard, if not better. Whitto’s = Slices of Heaven.

The game was delayed and delayed and delayed.  I ate a fabled Whitto’s Pizza and bopped around visiting people I had met in Taiwan at the U21 World Champs. There had been a bunch of Blue Sox players (9!) on the team and therefore a bunch of Blue Sox parents had been there also, so it was nice to catch up with them.  I was honestly surprised at how well people recognised me ‘out of setting’, since I am so very bad at it, myself.

The Blue Sox bar staff are truly delightful. And also stock Rekorderlig Cider.

The Blue Sox bar staff are truly delightful. And also stock Rekorderlig Cider.

Eric and I joined in the dancing, specialisation ‘Macarena’ and debated dancing, topic “Nutbush City Limits vs The Bus Stop”. I had a catch-up with Dan and solved the mystery of the unusually high number of interns (Student visit from the University of Miami’s Sport Administration program).  Eventually though, I had to leave before the game was called, as my Bondi-buddy was sick and waiting up to let me in.

Oh how foolish these mortal dinosaurs be. Little do they know that their time is numbered and that terrifying bunnies will soon rule their world.

Oh how foolish these mortal dinosaurs be. Little do they know that their time is numbered and that terrifying bunnies will soon rule their world.

The game the following day was also cancelled, so I spent that day roaming around Bondi/Bronte/Waverly and marvelling at just how ridiculously pretty the area is.  Sydney is now 3/3 for unceasing rain every time I have spent more than 24 hours in it. Good job Sydney. It’s lucky you’re so pretty.

Slow your roll Sydney. I already know you're beautiful. There's no need to keep raising the bar like this. (Coastal Walk Bondi->Bronte)

Slow your roll Sydney. I already know you’re beautiful. There’s no need to keep raising the bar like this. (Coastal Walk Bondi->Bronte)

My lovely Roxy. The last time we met we were drinking cocktails at a rooftop bar in New York. Because she won a Fulbright scholarship because she's brilliant and I can't stop bragging about her. When she's Secretary-General of the UN, I'll be able to say that I used to work with her, back in the day.

My lovely Roxy. The last time we met we were drinking cocktails at a rooftop bar in New York. Because she won a Fulbright scholarship because she’s brilliant and I can totally stop bragging about her any time I want to. When she’s Secretary-General of the UN, I’ll be able to say that I used to work with her, back in the day.

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