New Year In Melbourne

With now just one week left to go here in Australia, time and the opportunities of spending time with them – friends (as well as the money required for destinations to travel to/back from) – are precious.

I was really hoping I could get to visit friends in Melbourne and Adelaide whilst here. Sadly I had to forego the Adelaide trip early on as fares weren’t as affordable as I was hoping… just that time of year, you know? And even Melbourne wasn’t looking great, but after days of trying to work out a time to fit it in, I booked a flight to Melbourne to go down on New Year’s Eve and return the following day on New Year’s Day.

Ally met me at Avalon Airport. We hugged for the longest time. We drove in towards the city centre and stopped for coffee along the way to her home. And cake…

I met two little tubby tornadoes in the form of the pet bulldogs.

Ally soon had me labelled ‘the dog whisperer’. Lol

New Year’s Eve was low key and quiet. I drove Ally and her husband, Steve, nuts with my endless squeals of delight as the trams went by as we made our way to a vegan restaurant in Fitzroy for our evening meal.

Mushroom ‘squid’, spicy tofu bao buns and vegetable gyoza on the menu for starters and a katsu (which really didn’t resemble a katsu much to me) for main.

A stop off at a local pub on the way back – I had a beautiful tasting Four Pillars g&t – and we were back home about 9pm.

We talked and watched some SM. We brought in the New Year watching Jim and having a wee dram (an actual drambuie) at midnight.

A relaxing start to the morning on New Year’s day. Coffee and breakfast in bed.

A trip to the city centre, a stroll along the banks of the Yarra, lunch, a short tram ride and then it was time to get to Avalon for the flight back to Sydney.

A very fleeting visit – just on 30 hours and it was over. But it was worth it for that precious time with my beautiful friend.

Ally – I love you to the moon and back!

Happy New Year to all who read this silly old fan blog. Thank you x

What A Night, Old Fruity

Well, I was freaking out that I wasn’t going to make it for the 6pm arrival time as I was still at the house waiting for a taxi to come collect me at 5.40pm. It’s Saturday night in Glasgow… traffic will be heaving! But it was mercifully fine. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact we are as far (or as close… depending on your perspective) from the city centre of Glasgow as we were in our old house from Luton Town centre. My taxi fare into the city was £6. We were at the Old Fruit Market in 10 mins.

I arrived and spotted one Mr Ronald Gurr at the bar. I sidled up and said hello. We chatted a bit. He asked me after a while “do you know where you’re seated?” “Nope. I have no idea.” “You could be seated with them”, he says to me. “Pfffft! I doubt that!” “Well… you never know”, he says.

As it was, I was seated at a table with Ronnie himself.

There wasn’t much of a view from my seat to be honest. £150 paid to see f*** all – it was starting well.

A couple of hours in Ronnie says to me “they’ll be on at midnight”. Whaaaa???! It wasn’t even 8pm!

I was also kept company by Rita and Nicolle. It was great to be with fellow SM fans.

A pit stop to the ladies halfway through the night and I walked by a table that some of the band was seated at. I waved to Cherisse on my way by and she stood up and stopped me to say hello. We chatted briefly and I chatted to Ged briefly also. It was so lovely of Cherisse to stop me and say hello. Much too kind.

Rita, Nicolle and I were just wishing the hours away until they received their award and would be performing.

Finally… after many awards handed out and quite a few auctioned off items for the Nordoff-Robbins charity, the final award of the night was given out.

Jim was gracious in his acceptance speech and then handed the mic over, rather unexpectedly, to Charlie. “I haven’t got anything to say. No one understands me anyway!” Lol. Bless him. Poor Charlie.

They then went straight into performing three songs – Waterfront, Love Song and Don’t You (Forget About Me). The crowd were loving it, and Jim had everyone (some ladies at the front in particular) eating out of the palm of his hand as usual (nothing ever changes).

Bruce Findlay was also there last night. He had earlier in the evening handed out the “Living Legends” Award to the Incredible String Band – one of his all time favourite bands.

He stayed on and was watching SM perform. And I could see Jim acknowledging Bruce during their set. It was a lovely moment to see.

I have no footage or photos. My phone stayed firmly in my bag all night.

There is some official photos around. Reports of the evening in the media, etc. I just wanted to just take it in and enjoy it.

It’s been a tough old week but this was lovely.

A little less of a feeling I am persona non grata once again by a few would be nice… but, you cannae have everything I guess.