Not a great deal to report from this weekend – going out for farewell drinks for Charlie on Friday night was pretty cool (including winding up at some random curry place with Charlie, Dan, Alex, Toby and Oli)… haven't done much else apart from spend the weekend wrestling with some stylesheet programming stuff. For the non-technical, stylesheets are like a set of instructions for a web browser to tell it how to display a web page. They're awesome in theory, because you get so much more control over what your webpage looks like… in practise however it's like an Australian trying to communicate an English sentence to both someone from (for example) the deep south of the USA, and the uppermost tip of Scotland. In *theory* it's the same language, but in practise there's almost no way to get both of them to understand exactly what you're getting at, and if you change it for one, it then totally buggers it up for the other. I spent a lot of my weekend doing a very good impression of that composer guy from Sesame Street who beats his head against the keyboard a lot (Don Music, I think his name was ?) and can't quite get anything to work.

It's occurred to me that I didn't ever really get around to finishing talking about what I did whilst back in Australia…

Trying to think back to it now actually!? On the 30th I know I went for dinner at the Jasmin (great restaurant, shit website) with Kelly and Jules, and we had a bottle of Rockfords Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon which was a nice treat (and a welcome one after not having had access to any reds apart from bloody Jacobs Creek!). That day I also managed to catch up with Ben for lunch, which was particuarly well done considering I'd organised to have lunch with him the following day. What can I say – I'm an idiot.

On the Friday I had lunch at a Greek Cafe with Danielle, Nick and Kelly, caught up for an ice cream with Trudy, and then buzzed off to see Lynn and Ryan, which resulted in noodles, more ice cream, and us watching a couple of rather silly films, drinking lots, and falling asleep.

The next day was the Great Barbecue where I was hoping to get a chance to catch up with everyone, however from the time I woke up I spent my time running about like a blue-arsed fly, and in the process didn't really get to speak to many people ? Mum was less than impressed that I'd told people to start turning up from midday onwards, and yet I didn't get there til about 1 (well, there was shopping to be done). We had a fairly merry little rollup for it though, and it was a nice afternoon of getting to however briefly see people… and I reckon I heard the phrase “Oh yeah, I reckon I met you at one of Jason's other parties” more than a few times over the course of the day. It was disturbingly hot that afternoon, which of course makes you wonder whether a hot meal's the sanest thing to be preparing, but there was plenty of cold booze on hand to counteract all that. And I had the most gargantuan steak I think I've ever had so far – my god, it was so big that when we put it on the barbie, all the sausages started heading for it and attaching themselves to it through sheer force of gravity.

On the 3rd I popped along to the Wheatsheaf for a bit of an afternoon with the Adelaide Morris Men, and as always it was bloody excellent to see that lot again. A few more beers were consumed, and some dancing took place much to the bemusement of the other patrons of The Wheatie, and then it was time to hop off to Canberra for a couple of days.

(At this point one can see why I didn't have time to update my website while I was back there – so much for “relaxing holiday”!).

Marty and I buzzed up to our nation's capital for a couple of days to visit Pat and Jules (one of my best mates and his fiance, whose wedding I shall have the honour of best-manning in in October), and Kat (an old Gang Show friend of many years), and it was a completely excellent trip. One night we went out to a quite funky Ethiopian restaurant, and the following night we stayed at Pat & Jules' place and had freshly made pasta with Julianne, another ex-Rover type friend.

As well as that, we spent the days meandering about looking at touristy stuff and generally getting a look at the place. I hadn't been there since about 1988, so it was a bit of a mix of old and new for me I guess. I still started spasming involuntarily as we neared the War Memorial (that's a whole other story – sufficed to say that it's not the sort of place a 12 year old can find fascinating for 4 days straight). We also visited the Australian National Gallery – where I recognised a whole bunch of the artists after my various adventures in galleries in Paris and London – and the National Museum (which is colloquially known as “The Alien Embassy”, after its somewhat unique architectural stylings).

And then after that, it was pretty much back to Adelaide on the Tuesday afternoon, dinner with my family Tuesday night, and back in a plane Wednesday afternoon ! It was a pretty hurried synopsis of the highlights, but it's the best I could manage at this time of night.

Bedtime for me.

2005-04-25 : Every bit as rewarding as cat herding.
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