In the spirit of all things New Year and as 2007 was one of the more memorable for both good and bad reasons for me personally, and because I've been very lazy and really need to provide some sort of blog fodder, I figure that some sort of 'wrap' item might be a good idea.
I've been trying to work out how best to do it - it's trickier than you think - you try it if you're going to be so freaking judgmental! Do I break into categories: travel; friends; sport; family? Or maybe into fun stuff and not-so-fun stuff? What about alphabetically (ok, that's just a stupid idea - or is it...). There's always boring old chronological order, but frankly, I don't think I can remember what order things actually occurred.
I know it sounds like I'm just trying to fill space, but I've genuinely been trying to work out how to do this for some time and I've finally decided to go with the categories and hang the expense (or something). As such and the like, I hearby present
2007 Year in Review
So categories hey? Well, gotta start somewhere...
The year friend-wise started in fine form with a get together of last year's show peeps early in the New Year. After all the gushing I did at the time
it will come as no surprise that I was entirely excited to see everyone on an afternoon that ended late at night in inappropriate behaviour and controversy.
A good kick off to 2007.
In March, two dear friends got hitched (H & T) - only my second 'friend' wedding ever. It was extremely ace, with the autumn colours of the Edinburgh Gardens setting it all off beautifully.
A week earlier I had ventured out into the wilds South of the River, with a bunch of your less intimidating lads, for an evening of structured buck's night debauchery. Despite our very best efforts to get beaten up at several different locales we actually escaped mostly violence free. (I must qualify that last sentence and point out that what violence there was had little, if anything, to do with our posse. I think the thought of actually getting into a fight probably terrified most of them as much as it terrified me).
Ironically the greatest danger of any of us getting involved in an actual fist fight came on the wedding day when we (the organising party) arrived at our pre-booked spot in the park, permit clutched in our little fists to find an enormous family party spread across the booked area, complete with four-wheel drives, trailers, trestle tables and a freaking jumping castle (!). Somewhat predictably the meathead who decided he was in charge of the family group decided to be a knob and argue that they didn't have to go anywhere. After some fairly frantic maneuvering and on-the-run diplomacy we managed to convince them to move their shit to allow a wedding to take place. Nice of them.
Despite that little hiccup, it was a truly fantastic event.
Meanwhile it just so happens that these two have decided to move to Paris next year, joining another dear friend, Helen, who's buggering off to the same God forsaken city in February. Seriously, what's with Paris all of a sudden?? And joining in the international fun are others from Sydney, M & I traveling to far-flung Vietnam. I mean really.
Other friends in 2007 have suddenly become all capitalist, got themselves into the property market and as one observed having signed his property contract not two hours previously: "Kevin Rudd's all very well, but now I've got a mortgage you know, I just don't think I can trust them". Quite.
2007 saw my last living grandparent shuffle off this mortal coil. As I wrote at the time
, it was very sad for a number of reasons but has had the effect of bringing us closer to our cousins and that's not a bad thing. One of the greatest shames was that she never got to see John Howard voted out of office - she hated the man with a passion.
We'll miss her.
The year in sporting items was certainly significant for various reasons. It started early in January with a trip to the Australian Open
- always a pleasant distraction from having to be back at work.
But the really big stuff came with the start of the football season. The Mighty's
made the finals for the first time in years and I was present at the record thrashing of Carlton on a freezing night at the Dome with the thickest fog I think I've ever seen. It also saw the emergence of Buddy Franklin, who's goal from outside 50 in the dying seconds of the first elimination final
was one of the greatest moments in sport I've ever seen.
Still, the year in AFL belonged to the Cats - my adopted 'second' team. I say adopted because Snooze and many of my friends are devoted followers and I've just always had a soft spot for the pussies. Without my beloved Hawks making it all the way through (and let's face it - 2007 was never meant to be our year), the Cats were a very worthy substitute and the Grand Final win was just brilliant. There are few things I enjoy more than seeing Warren Tredrea crushed in humiliating defeat.
I also did a bit of sporting myself, playing 6-a-side soccer during lunchtimes at work (and continuing our tradition of being the worst team in the competition by some considerable margin). With the heavy snowfalls I also managed to get up for some skiing action as well.
The rise and rise of Crackbook
in 2007 unfortunately took it's toll on the blogging world with several beloved blogs disappearing from the interwebs. Among them the wondrous Jellyfish
's just not the same!). Glutbusters
also went the way of Waverley Park. But some new gems were born or discovered including Possum's Pollyticks
- the utterly indispensable guru of psephology - and both The Man Without Qualities
and The Rant
introducing some well-overdue new talent to the sphere o' blogs.
I'm reliably informed by various sources that Bookface is on the way out anyway (I'm sure this is the case), so clearly my decision to maintain a haughty distance is paying off handsomely and the fact that I keep missing out on party invites is just the price I have to pay for "keeping it real" as the kids would say.
Well look. If there was a moment in my life I would be happy to repeat until I died (Groundhog Day style) it would have to be this one. Five days into an eight day walk around the North East coast of Spain, the Costa Brava.
With all our expenses paid in advance, each days walk planned and presented to us in a neat little package, our bags taken for us from one village to the next and nothing to do but walk through beautiful countryside at our own pace, eat tapas, drink beer and cava, soak up the sun, become fit and tanned and sleep, it was unadulterated bliss. Here we are, looking over the Mediterranean, three more days to go. Just. Un. Real.
Spain was the culmination of four weeks of ace-ness.
Arriving in London I spent the first couple of days walking about, doing the sites and recovering from the flight then off to Rome to stay with a native. Rome just blew me away. Such an extraordinary place. I saw so much stuff including incredible works of art, including Raphael (among many others):
The Roman Forum
St Peter's Basilica
Then to Paris with Snooze where we sat on our balcony in the Marais and drank wine:
And then at last to Spain for the walking with dear friends Sophie
And among other things, the home of Salvador Dali, Cadaques:
And finally to Barcelona:
Yeah, look - not a great year in the health area. Despite the fact that I got myself to a point where I was running 20kms a week for a while, stuff just kept happening to me.
My teeth were a disaster. I have to admit that was mostly my fault. Not actually seeing a dentist for over fifteen years and then not following though with further treatment when I finally broke the drought about five years ago (and then only because I had a tooth literally crumble into pieces). Somewhat predictably it was on the trip that my teeth decided to get one back for the years of neglect. An emergency trip to a hastily arranged dentists appointment in Rome with a dentist who barely spoke a word of English (and my Italian is extremely poor at best) revealed that I had a troublesome wisdom tooth that would need to be removed. With thoughts of having to leave early (and the miss the walking) I headed back to London despondent. Fortunately (and somewhat miraculously, the tooth managed to settle itself down enough for me to actually enjoy the rest of the time away.
When I got back to Melbourne I went to see my dentist man here. I think I probably returned 6 or 7 times in the period of about 2 months as he sorted out the mess I had been cultivating for so many years. Finally, just as I thought it had all settled down, back came that wisdom tooth and despite dentist man's best efforts, had to be removed. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that having a wisdom tooth removed under local anaesthetic in the chair is one of the weirder sensations I've ever experienced.
Then there was the drama with my troublesome mole which has been dealt with elsewhere
All in all, I've entered 2008 several body parts lighter than this time last year.
Really this is just an excuse to show some pictures of dogs taken over the year.
The Pupwup at the start of the year (still smallish):
And at the end of the year (all growsed up):
And Dad's new whippet Henry
Culture ('n' shit)
Though our little theatre company
couldn't be arsed
didn't manage to get a show up and running in 2007, there was still plenty of fun to be had. I did two film-type items. The first was an appearance in The Audrey's
film clip shot all over Melbourne and muchos funtos.
The second was for a mate who scored a sweet contract as part of the TAC's program aimed at getting young film makers involved in road safety awareness.
In March I went with a big bunch of mates to the Folkie
where, among other things I got to actually play onstage - something I've always wanted to do.
It was a stunning weekend and the best way I can imagine to see in one's fourth decade.
I also saw (among other things), Exit the King with Geoffrey Rush
at the Malthouse and was reminded of just how brilliant theatre can be.
2007 was the year of exits. Bracksy, Thwaitesy
, Beattie-y and of course Fuckface.
Nothing else really needs to be said, other than if you had told me this time last year that we would now be rid of John Howard I would have hit you for being so flippant. Let me just leave you with these images (courtesy of others).
God bless democracy.
There are always things that don't quite fit into categories in these sorts of things so here are a series of dot points from this blog and elsewhere in 2007 to sum up the stuff that doesn't fit above (and to get this increasingly tedious post done with).
- The final Harry Potter. Ever.
- I broke the frame on my bike (and now have a new one - woot!).
- I turned 30.
And with that, I bid farewell to 2007. An eventful year, if not entirely good. Here's hoping 2008 will be just as eventful, but with less of the crap. Thankyou for continuing to read my often sporadic postings and...well, yeah.