Sunday, September 14, 2014

Comicon or Strictly Ballroom?


On Friday I was feeling defeated and frustrated, and I'll admit I spend the weekend eating whatever I wanted. But I'm ready to give myself a shake and trudge onwards now.

We drove up to Sydney on Friday night. Tim and the kids were going to Comicon along with a lot of Tim's family. I had no interest in that and had originally planned to stay home. But without a dog it was suddenly a lot easier for me to go along and do my own thing and then visit mum the next day. We stayed at my brother-in-law's, which was great except for the horrible guest bed which feels like you're lying on an unpadded concrete slab (their own bed is the same). I didn't sleep well.

Saturday morning they all got dressed up. Pirate husband, superman son and unidentified cute animal (from pokemon maybe?) daughter.

Doing my brother-in-law's Green Arrow make-up. My SIL was Anna from Frozen, her 18 month old daughter (not pictured) was Elsa.

We drove into the city, in two cars, after deciding it was too hard taking the pram on public transport. When we were nearly there Tim realised he'd left his ticket back at the house! He couldn't even turn around for the long drive back because he didn't have a key to his brother's house. He'd have to meet up with them first. The plan was to see if he could buy another ticket, but we didn't know if there would be any left for sale. The kids didn't need tickets, they could get in free. At this stressful point we got to my drop-off spot and after some dithering I got out of the car. Then felt so guilty for leaving him to cope! The worry coloured my next hour or so until I heard that Tim's cousin had had a spare and they eventually got in ok, after a long search for parking.

It was a cold a grey day with some rain, so after wandering through Hyde Park ...

I went into the Natural History Museum. It had skeletons,

And rocks,

And stuffed animals like this seven meter salt water crocodile,

And of course dinosaurs.

I have fond memories of walking through with Aiden holding tightly to my hands. Not scared of the dinosaurs, not really...

Then I went and had lunch at Darling Harbour. Gnocchi with duck ragu. As you can see, the place wasn't busy. It really wasn't very nice weather for strolling along the harbour front.

Ever since I decided to come to Sydney, I had planned that as a special treat I would get an éclair from a favourite chocolate shop - but I couldn't find the place. I was quite disappointed. But then as I headed over to the theatre I found an Adriano Zumbo café right next door. Zumbo is a celebrity dessert chef who has set some particularly fiendish challenges on MasterChef. I bought a slice of chocolate cake there. And then, (I call it a "café" but there were no tables, just a long counter full of pastries) I tried to eat it outside the theatre. A bit messy. I only had a few bites of the actual cake, saving it for later. But I ate the fancy bits off the top - the little passionfruit/honeycomb macaron and the meringue swirl.

Finally it was time for the big event, "Strictly Ballroom". My mum had given me money for my birthday and I hadn't spent it yet so I bought myself a ticket. This show was made into a movie quite a few years ago but I don't know if it was seen outside Australia. It's about defying the strict rules of federation ballroom dancing to do your own steps and follow your heart, and a romance (of course). It was a lot of fun. In a word, exuberant. Even the seats were sparkly.

By the time it was finished, everyone had left Comicon and were nearly home, so I caught the train as we'd planned. Only problem was my phone died! It's weird how helpless I felt without a phone. I wasn't even sure if they still had payphones at the station! Luckily they did, so I was able to call to be picked up from there.

My SIL had planned to go out to dinner with her mother's group (child free) and invited me along. It was a big leap for me, I'm a bit shy with new people and I was tired. But I thought it might be nice, and also meant I could avoid my father-in-law's favourite pastime of arguing about politics. So I went, and had a great time. The other women were lovely, and very welcoming. The food was good too, but the service quite slow so we didn't get home until after 10. The kids were peacefully asleep, the adults had finished discussing politics. I went to bed content after a good day, trying to make the best of the horrible "mattress".

And woke in the dark hours feeling sick and ended up vomiting into a laundry bucket. Urg. I don't think there was anything wrong with the food. Either my recurrent stomach bug, or an inability to cope with two days of rich food.

Felt tired and a bit unwell all today. We went to visit my mother for lunch. The kids built a tent structure out of sticks and giant leaves.

Long drive home. Dinner at a Thai restaurant on the way, which I felt ok at the beginning of and terrible at the end of. And here I am.

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