Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Wonder Before the Storm

Why is it, you have a perfectly delightful weekend and then when you get back everything turns to crap?

I'm not going to dwell on the not so good stuff, I will however show you a few of the sights. I was up in Sydney for the annual word nerd conference and got to spend a bit of time with friends a bit later on in the weekend. 

On the great side of things, staying at the Swisshotel, on the Saturday morning I got the outdoor pool to myself. (Up there for a conference, it's tax deductable - why not splurge just a little? Worth it for the 1000 thread count cotton sheets on the bed.)

A child-free pool on a chilly morning may be my own particular form of bliss, but it was wonderful.

A little later, I had to move hotels. Due to a booking error on behalf of the second hotel I was supposed to stay at, I had to move to another establishment. So off I went down to the Rocks at the foot of the Harbour Bridge.

I love this part of Sydney, made better on a sunny morning in mid-Spring with all the smoke haze absent from the city. It's a funny part of town. Look hard enough and you can see the convict past. I can't not walk around these streets without thinking about Thomas Keneally's "The Playmaker". Thugs, whores, thieves and soldiers, all displaced, all looking for a home - all ruled by the laws of a country thousands of miles away.

Then I thank the universe that I'm South Australian.

Anyway, I booked myself into my new hotel. This was the view from my room:

The Sebel Pier One was my consolation prize hotel. I have been thanking for compensating me so well for the error (and I won't say a bad word about them anway - have never had a problem with them)

This is the view from the front of the hotel.

So then it was off to lunch with friends. A lovely lunch at a decent Japanese restaurant was had. It was great to catch up. Even better, the obligatory glass of plum wine was nursed over lunch.

For those who don't know about the joys of plum wine, or umeshu, it's a fortified liquer, sipped over ice. One glass can last you a meal, as you sip the ever changing liquid. The more the ice melts, the different the flavours - and then you get to eat the plum. I love the stuff. Worth a try if you're ever having a decent Japanese meal.

So that was Saturday. A relaxed evening with telly and room service. I was meeting up with a colleague the following morning.

But not after a walk across the big bridge in the morning.

It started out well around 8 am. Glorious morning.

Then I made my way up Cumberland Street to the foot of the bridge. The only thing was, there were lots of people about. It appeared that I had chosen the morning of the Seven Bridges walk to go mark my territory on the bridge. Oh well. Walking in the opposite direction to 10,000 cancer walkers was a bit special.

The view from the bridge even more so.

The whole walk was magic. Before returning to my hotel, I sourced a coffee and some macarons from a local cafe. Baroque in the Rocks does great macarons - nearly as good as La Belle Miette in Melbourne - a big call.

After all this, it was time to meet my colleague and make my way to the airport.

It's here that things turn to the not so good. It was apparent about an hour later that I'd picked up some gastric bug. I know it's been going around. It was either that or food poisoning.

As the afternoon progressed I was feeling seedier and seedier. With only a coffee and a couple of lemonades down me I boarded the plane bound for home.

One experience I never want to repeat again in vomiting on a plane. Travelling with the last of food poisoning was bad enough - the embarrassment of this was worse, although in my defense, I managed to not make a mess and this happened as we were landing. Still, not something I ever want to repeat. Ever.

Somehow I got myself home, showered, threw everything in the washing machine and put myself to bed - where I stayed for the next 48 hours.

A visit to the doctor on the Tuesday gave me the verdict. It wasn't gastro or food poisoning.

A freaking gall bladder episode! It runs in the family. Another thing to give thanks to Mum's side for. That and the head lumps. Joy.

Then again - I'm fair, fat and forty - what was I to expect?

In the scheme of things, a minor and mild episode - friends have told me horror stories about hours of excruciating pain to the point of blacking out - I've just been feeling wretched, really achy and uncomfortable for a few days .It needs investigating, and that will happen in a few weeks. We'll see what the ultrasounds says.

A few days on after living on a diet of dried biscuits, grilled fish and salad I'm seeing the new way of life, but I'm nearly back to normal.

Mum manages her gall bladder issues with diet - I'm hoping that the minor food bender I went on over the weekend will teach me a lesson and I'll be able to contain this as well.

We will see.

Still, not a good ending to what was a great weekend.

(Thanks to Instagram for making my iPhone photos look lovely too.)

p.s. The shot of the weekend - Under the Bridge.

1 comment:

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Great photos that remind me of my three days spent in Sydney in 2005.

I will return there one day hopefully.