(I started this post three weeks ago . . . if I thought that was a busy week, you can imagine what the following have been like!)
So shoot me for plagiarism, but I can’t think of a more apt title for this post. What a week!
Saturday night, we attended the ball to raise money for the repaint of the Super Constellation Lockheed L-1049 VH-EAG ‘Southern Preservation’ owned by the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society. This little beauty was found in an airplane desert scrapyard in Tucson Arizona. Six years and 16,000 volunteer team manhours later, in 1996 Bob De La Hunty, now President of HARS, took the controls to fly her to her new home south of Wollongong. He wore a younger man’s shoes then, but his enthusiasm and fitness have not waned, even though the ball was also a celebration of his 70th birthday.
Qantas used the Super Constellations to pioneer its long-haul passenger trips and, although this particular aircraft was actually used for military purposes, Connie is painted in the Qantas colours as a tribute. Twenty years ago, the Lockheed factory in USA kindly stepped up to the plate. This time, it was all up to us enthusiasts. Read more of Connie’s history here.
Sunday, the arrival of the long awaited Radiance of the Seas. Bill and I were Volunteer Ambassadors, in the guise of Visitor Information Assistants. On the Wednesday prior, I recorded an interview with the local branch of our national radio station. On the morning, I got to hug the outside broadcast representative from the breakfast crew of a statewide television station. Later I did a live-stream interview for Destination Wollongong, and pre-recorded another interview for the IRT Good Life programme. I have only found the first one, which suffers from lipsync lag (and a worn down look), but apparently, I am really good at hugging. We had a blast (i.e. great time) up on our street corner, and I have even received a message of thanks from one of the couples we assisted. It was a great morning. Although this cruise was predominantly Australians, there were around 100 – 150 international visitors, including a contingent of Jamaicans. When the first buses from the cruise ship rolled into the central marshalling point at Lang Park, our city mayor got on board to greet the first arrivals, and then we all formed a guard of honour to cheer them on to Wollongong soil. Some really got into the spirit – others just looked terrified 🙂
In the evening, we farewelled the ship from our “knees up” (celebration) at the local golf club. As is fitting, there were fireworks. This being spring (we hope – if those Englanders enjoying an Indian Summer ever give us our good weather back*), it was still daylight, but the organisers got around that by including various colours in the smoke. * (Perhaps the northern hemisphere weather has turned in the last two weeks)
Monday should be a relax day, but between that being my usual line-dance morning, and the afternoon being the usual social golf round, I was flat chat (very busy). Not that I play golf, but once a month hubbie organises food, and although the festivities are all his baby, I can’t, in all consciousness, leave the whole thing to him. We made it easy on ourselves, and bought in barbecued chickens. The carcasses have since been turned into chicken stock, and any leftover chicken into curry pie, thanks to my sweet and obliging neighbour.
Tuesday! Well, anybody, who knows anything, knows that in Australia the first Tuesday in November is Melbourne Cup Day – the (horse) race that stops a nation.
I had been desperate to find a dress for the HARS ball, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay top dollar, so I scoured the “op” shops – that is the charity shops – for those who are not familiar with the Aussie Opportunity Shop. I couldn’t find a ball gown that fitted, but along the way I picked up another little outfit and spiffy hat. Wouldn’t you know it, I won best-dressed at our local Melbourne Cup party by wearing that ensemble. I told everyone it was on account of them not being used to seeing me dressed in blue.
On top of my fashion win, we did pretty well on the sweep stakes – a kind of lucky dip for horses. It’s our once-a-year dabble in gambling, I hasten to add. Betting on the gee-gees (horses), nor anything else, is not our usual way of blowing a dollar or two.
Wednesday? Well, I’m pretty sure that was recovery day, but come Thursday and we have a regular Bridge game (beginners) and I back up with choir in the evening. We’re practising for a nursing home crawl – more about that in another post.
Is it any wonder that when I set off on my exercise walk on Friday morning I decided to give it away at half the usual distance?
I am flogged! Mercifully, I don’t mean that in the literal sense.
And still to come this Sunday is the birthday celebration for my 80 year old step-mother. I could wish I will look half as good as her at that age – assuming, of course, I can last the distance at this rate 🙂