Weekends in Melbourne have been jam-packed of late. As Christmas draws closer and summer (supposedly) dawns, the party invitations seem to have multiplied and all of a sudden there is no time for blogging! Our busy social schedule has been a much-needed distraction after the downtime that inevitably hits in the wake of visitors from home. After Kate, Chris and Simon left us in early November, the flat felt empty and the wet and windy weather did little to inspire us back to life. Things have looked up since then however, and we are now in full swing for the festive season.
Last weekend kicked off with a 5.30am wake up call on the Friday, as I had been invited to the annual fundraising breakfast of an Australian charity, Reach. The charity runs support programs for troubled young Australians, the 'Breakfast with the Stars' was a moving and inspirational insight into the stories of some of their members. The breakfast was held at Crown Palladium, Melbourne's flashiest and largest hotel emporium, and the theme was 'It's your birthday party!'. We were transported back to our childhoods - the tables were decorated with balloons and sweets, we all wore party hats and I even won pass the parcel!
At breakfast I sat next to the President of one of the Australian breast cancer charities, Think Pink. Talking to her, as well as the impact of the breakfast as a whole, made me reconsider the option of running The Big Pink Ticket in Australia next October. The success of The Big Pink Ticket in the UK was almost entirely down to our network of family, friend and colleagues, and our ability to lean on them heavily to open their wallets for prizes and donations. We don't have the same network here in Australia, making the challenge a bigger hill to climb, but with a year to plan I am starting to ponder whether or not it could be a possibility.
Moving on at a slightly faster pace.. the Reach Breakfast was promptly followed with the annual 'Jazz at the Museum' event at my work (which partners could come to), and the following night Tom and I went to a 90s themed fancy dress party! Hosted by Tom's colleague Al, it was a hilarious walk back down memory lane with some classic costumes and great tunes! The most popular costume by far was Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch get-up, but also in the mix was Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky (complete with *that* blue dress!), Teletubbies, Optimus Prime, Eminem and even Sadaam Hussien! Tom went as Neo from the Matrix, and I was a blue M&M, because the blue colour M&M was introduced in 1995.
The next day (we have now reached Sunday) we went to a Mad Hatters Tea Party, in the garden of one of Tom's old work colleagues, Bridget. Bridget's husband is a landscape gardener, and there was some serious style going on at there house! We felt like we were in a spread for House Beautiful magazine. The conservatory doors folded back onto the deck, with a two tier swimming pool framed by a stage (which played host to a jazz band!) and complete with floating in flatable flamingos. This was all topped off by a built-in trampoline for Bridget's kids. Amazing. I didn't take my camera unfortunately, so you'll just have to believe me on this one!
This weekend we were back to the Crown Palladium on Friday night for the Myer Supplier of the Year ball. Myer is the John Lewis of Australia, and this annual event rewards their most deserved suppliers with a plaque and a night out. I was a guest of Tom's work, and once again the room was lavishly decorating - this time with fairy wings and lots of glitter, plus free Benefit gift bags for the ladies and the men! Tom isn't really into mascara and lip gloss (thank god), so I got double the gifts. After a three course meal and 30 awards (which was a bit tedious, but I won't complain because I got a free meal), the party really kicked off with a concert by Guy Sebastian. I'm not sure if you'll know who he is, because before we moved to Australia my Guy-awareness level was rather low - but Guy won Australian Idol in 2003 and has since become a very successful recording artist. He was also a judge on Australian X Factor which just ended last week, and as avid X Factor fans, Tom and I were delighted to have a virtually private concert with Guy:
Onwards to Saturday (that's yesterday, so we are nearly up to date), which was the first birthday party for Ben, son to our friends Sam and Lou. We had never been to a first birthday party with so much wine and beer on tap, so Sam and Lou have set the bar high for future children's parties that we might attend! I had photographed Ben a few weeks ago in a local park, and so our gift for his birthday was an album of photos (which I'll blog separately). Needless to say, I couldn't resist getting my camera out again on the day and taking a few more shots of the action:
Today is supposed to involve an American Thanksgiving picnic in the park, but right now I can hear the rain hammering against the window and the wind howling through the railings on the balcony, so I think the plan might change. Mabye I should come back down to reality and get with the jobs that face me in the real world.... time for some ironing? nah... maybe next weekend.