March 26, 2012


Somehow something’s changed. I had two parties this weekend, and I enjoyed both of them. Very rare indeed.

I’m going to give you a rundown, just in case you’re interested, and since I haven’t done this for awhile.

Friday after work we met in our favourite bar/restaurant, Fix St James, and had a glass of wine (it was a pic poule from Languedoc). We then took a bus across the bridge and went to visit another wine bar in Neutral Bay, The Local. This was opened sometime last year by a girlfriend of mine from school and her husband and some other big celebrities. First time I’ve been there, second time I’ve seen her in the last 20 years. It was fun. Erica was giving a party for one of her staff members who was leaving… we had a glass of wine (Gruner Veltliner from Austria)  caught up on a few stories, made a future date, and then headed off to a dinner party with some colleagues of Michelles from work.

I’m not so good with strangers, but we had a lovely evening. We started with Pouilly Fume from the Loire, then a Nuits St Georges from Bourgogne and a Pinot from the Adelaide Hills tasted blind together. If it hadn’t been for the colour, they were quite similiarly matched. And with the cheese plate we opened a bottle they found in the cellar, a St Emilion Grand Cru Classe from Chateau Canon – probably from the ’70s. It was tired, but interesting to taste…  Really a great evening.

Saturday was a party party. A surprise 30th birthday party. I was not so keen, but in the end had a lovely evening. All the trains were cancelled so it was a nightmare to get there. We started by having something quick to eat at Time to Vino in the Cross. Food is always good, and since they’re going to close down soon, we wanted to give it one last go. A small carafe of Gruner from Austria, followed by a pinot vinified white from New Zealand. Interesting. Wouldn’t order them again, but interesting. Party next, it was a nice surprise. A sea of French people in Potts Point. We took our own wine, thankfully since the go seemed to be beer & Bundaberg rum. And we were home in bed by 1am. Perfect.

Add to that a bottle of champagne with the neighbours to meet their new daughter Skye who is 4 weeks old. A blind tasting of 50 Australian shirazes where I came home with black teeth and only a recommendation for about 5 of them. Dim Sum in Belmore Leagues Club which is miles away. A house auction, some tv, some vacuuming and a BLT – in no particular order and it was an extremely busy weekend.

filles at 8:06 am

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March 22, 2012

It’s a 3 year circle…

I can’t sleep. It’s been a crazy time with exams, visitors, work and study. We’ve both been super stressed and everything is suffering for it. Almost back to where we were when we left Canada in 2003 – nine years ago! Can you believe that? I’ve been away almost the same amount of time as I was ever there…

I’ve got an essay to write this month, and the month is rapidly coming to a close, I’m not sure how to start, but start I will have to. This weekend should do it.

Michelle has just signed a local contract here in Australia so this will be our new home for another couple of years. Essentially it means that she now belongs to Thales Australia, the ties have been severed with Canada. Since we sold the apartment last year and both dread facing winter, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Offers for work in France keep popping up, but the timing is not so good. We’ve got our fingers crossed that they’ll keep on popping up early next year which will be perfect timing, but for now we’ll settle down, try and save some money, cling on for dear life to the property market and see where we end up.

All these changes, and the return with a bump to a local contract means we need to move into a smaller abode, something that we can afford on 50% of her last salary. My 2-3 days per week working barely covers the wine we drink, so that’s going to have to change too. This week I’m working 5 days, and it’s killing me. Worse still, we’re only Wednesday!

Perhaps we need to look at it from a different angle. Change the wine we drink?

Anyway, that’s the news hot off the press. Contract signed, finally. Commencement of quotation process to move. This time we’ve got to give all our stuff away, we’ll be moving from a 3 bedroom house with a pool, to a 1 bedroom apartment with no outside. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s my 3 year change mode kicking in. We’ve been doing this for some time now, it seems natural to want to start again at the end of 3 years. Rebirth. Change. Spring cleaning.

But, if you have plans to come and visit, perhaps you should try and come before June…

filles at 2:42 am

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March 17, 2012

The week that was…

Dishwasher broke down $132
Leaky roof – Plumber been $TBA
Pool pump broke down – Pool man called $TBA
Fridge stopped working – Refrigeration mechanic expected this morning $TBA

I can’t put any words together till we sort out this mess.  Exam was painful. Weather was lovely until today. Weekend is here.


filles at 9:45 am

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March 11, 2012

All Clear.

I have a girlfriend who received her 4 year all clear call from breast cancer. Fantastic news. We’re going to drink to her health on the weekend, after my next exam…

In the meantime my wonderful mother has flown down to cook for Michelle and I so I can concentrate on studying, and Michelle can concentrate on cleaning and working. It’s all going swimmingly. We’re going to gain plenty of pounds this week. Can feel it already…

filles at 10:41 pm

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March 9, 2012

A letter of complaint

Dear Wollombi Wines,

Your assumption that  I would ignore two calling cards and a phone call will ultimately hurt you more than me. I may have become a loyal customer of your winery, I may even have shared my praise with my friends, colleagues and even customers. You see Mr Wollombi Wines, I work in a wine store.

Unfortunately your blind faith in an unreliable courier company and your superior attitude has meant that you have offended me.

I won a prize. You began with a lot of goodwill on your side. Now you have none.

Yours sincerely,

A disappointed wine drinker.

filles at 4:59 pm

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Black Bonny Doon

Got to go to bed, but just have to tell you we had dinner at Black by Ezard tonight at The Star with Randall Grahm from Bonny Doon. Not like my recent lunch with Nicole Kidman, this dinner we actually were WITH Randall Grahm, us and 23 other fans.

But wow, it was a wonderful evening. Really great. The food was spectacular, and the wines were great, and the service was really world class. And Randall Grahm was interesting, funny, quirky and entertaining.

There. Good night.

filles at 12:03 am

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March 6, 2012


Yesterday was hot, today looks cold. I haven’t yet stepped outside but the wind has picked up, black clouds to the north, blue sky to the south. I’m waiting at home for the dishwasher repairman.

Occupying my brain today is what to do with my 5 wine maps that have been laminated and are up on the wall in my office. Our new ‘project’ doesn’t call for an office. No wall. No maps. What am I going to do?


filles at 8:35 am

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You can now leave comments, without having to go out of your way… (it would be nice!)

filles at 8:20 am

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March 4, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

We didn’t make the parade again. This year the excuse was that I was studying. Actually what happened was a last minute dinner party farewell for Erica. All her favourite people in Sydney together, one last night, before she flew back to New York and their warmer than here spring.

On the upside, it now makes 3 out of 3 that we’ve spent with Nicolas & Jason. Maybe next year we’ll get there – although I seriously doubt that Kylie will be singing two years in a row…

See details here

filles at 10:45 pm

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March 2, 2012

Great, in fact.

I’m getting really sick of sparkling wine. I mean, I love bubbles, I really do. But I want to drink them on a special occasions like everyone else, not all the time. Not with Thai. Not when I get home from work. Not to finish an ordinary meal. But to really celebrate something. Get the glamour back into our lives.

Still slogging through the studying, exam in 12 days, essay to write after that. By April 14th I’ll be ready for a break. Of course there really isn’t time for a break, but I know the pattern so far… I’ll be having a break.

Plus I need to catch up on a few of the things I’ve been neglecting, like work, like our project, like this new project – we’ll call project number 2, that came up on Monday as well as sending out the invites to Michelle’s birthday party, in Italy, in September. Harass me, email me, corner me – get me to send you an invite so you can get your travel plans in gear. It’s going to be fun!

For those of you asking – she’s doing well, busy as ever, back on her feet. She was in some outback post of NSW yesterday – almost got caught in the floods. She’s starting to see more of this country than i ever have, or probably will… great in fact.

filles at 8:55 am

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