Half-day Getaway

Posted by matthew on Mar 28, 2005 in travel

Our plans for a getaway for a few days dissolved as we realised it takes more planning and willpower than we possessed halfway into Easter. We compromised on a half-day trip up to Mt Dandenong. It would give us a chance to give the new car a good run and a sense of being away from the city for a few hours. After a small discussion over which particular lookout was the best to aim for, we put our $4 into the hand of a friendly parking attendant at Sky High. Everyone else had decided Easter Sunday was a good time to go up to this famous lookout, of course, so we were not alone. However when it came time to go for a short forest walk we found that it was really quite peaceful out there after all.

[g-161882] [g-161883]

On the way home we decided it would be fun after all to drop in at Mayfields and check out the Cairo Club Orchestra (an authentic 1920s dance band). As we pulled in we found Doz, Crinster and Linnea on the footpath waiting for us! The Swedes were actually about to welcome another couple of Swedes into the country so I went to help pick them (and their 7 months worth of luggage) from Spencer Street. We all went to eat at Umago in Brunswick Street before kicking it to the Cairo Club — and a fantastic night was had by all.



Dutch brunches rule

Posted by matthew on Mar 28, 2005 in life

Regular readers might recall that we were hosting a special Dutch Easter brunch on Friday morning with 10 of our friends squeezed into our living room. Lotte went to the Dutch shop in Blackburn especially to get supplies. These are all things you’d find in the pantry in most houses in Holland. It was funny to see the reactions as people tried out various things. I think the weirdest reaction was to Lotte’s favourite — vlokken (echte chocolade!). The closest equivalent to these chocolate shavings in Australian culture is hundreds & thousands or chocolate sprinkles. However unlike the Australian version, even grown ups sprinkle these real chocolate pieces on their bread for breakfast. Remarkably civilised, you’d think, but everyone just stared at Lotte when she suggested it.


We also spent quite a while boiling and colouring eggs with food dye. The tradition is that there are at least 3 eggs per person. When you get your egg you’re supposed to challenge someone to an egg-breaking dual. The winner gets to fight another battle while the loser gets to eat their battered goog. My super egg was the outstanding performer, winning 10 battles (5 eggs, both ends) before finally cracking. I was pretty hungry by that stage.


Doz brought her honeymooning friends from Malaysia & Singapore to the brunch. You can see them in the background in the photo above. They were really nice. We all went down to Fairfield Park Boathouse afterwards and mucked around at the concrete pagoda overlooking the river there. It has a decent floor for dancing and we put on a mix of swing, soul and hip hop stuff on our trusty portable CD player. The Swedes decided that dancing wasn’t good enough and started wrestling instead. I think Pelle was doing the splits while Linnea helped.


Well, it all helped work up enough of an appetite so that we could go to Doz’s place for a Mexican feast afterwards. Then everyone else played board games while I slept on the couch. It was an excellent finish to an awesome day.


Easter Hop wrap

Posted by matthew on Mar 28, 2005 in dance

Thursday night was the 6th annual Easter Hop, and it was easy to organise and a big success. Around 100 people attended, all the raffle tickets sold out, and we raised $576.10 for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Along with everything else, it was a really fun dance night and a great atmosphere. Easter Hop never seems to miss on that front. The Pearly Shells Swing Orchestra played up a storm as usual and there was a friendly mix of dancers and non-dancers in attendance, which always improves the atmosphere I think.

[g-161877] [g-161878]