Happy New Year from Sydney. NSW, Australia. 2011

I’ve been so slack with my blog lately.

I could always use the excuse that I’ve been caught up in the social whirl that is what the silly season is all about. I HAVE been socialising an awful lot of late, but that’s still not a good reason for not posting for so long.

Lately I’ve been wrestling with what direction this blog should go. One of the reasons why I have a blog is to practice writing about my early years of colourful stupidity. I know I have at least one book in me. The reason why I write about other subjects besides my past  is to show that I’m not a complete out-of-control-wingnut with poor impulse management. I guess the problem I have is trying to control how, many people are prone to pigeon-hole others. It’s just so easy to form a mental image of someone when you don’t have to use many words to describe them.

I once heard it said that autobiographies are just a self indulgent way to try to control how the subject is perceived and that biographies are much more relevant.

As I think about what direction I should take this blog, I’m constantly conflicted about how much I should expose. Then again, it’s such an act of hubris it is to think that anybody would be interested anyway. I have to admit that such thoughts are fleeting because of all the affirmation I get from my friends.

I think that friends not only enrich our lives, but they are also the benchmark by which we can measure how successful we are as human beings. It’s not success in one’s career or one’s finances that define us in a cosmic sense, but our relationships.

The last week has been a blur of feasting and drinking with good friends. One event after the other. In the short moments between engagements I’ve been catching myself counting my blessings. I feel so lucky on so many levels.

Yesterday I was at a new year’s day get together with one of my wife’s co-workers. I know most of Engogirl’s comrades in engineering and count them among my friends. As the evening wore on I got to hear many accounts of how people spent their new years eve. Sydney is famous for it’s new year’s eve fireworks. People come from all around the world to see the fireworks and each year the crowds get bigger. This year about 1.5 million people lined Sydney harbour to see one of the best and longest fireworks shows available anywhere on planet.

For the well heeled there are very expensive viewing positions but for most people, it’s a case of arriving at least 12 hours before the show to secure a good spot. Of course Sydney at this time of year is stinking hot and many people try to drink themselves into some kind of comfortable place. All along the foreshore in various parks are crowds of hot, sunburnt, inebriated people having a great time. The vast majority of people are in a splendid mood and there is a real party atmosphere.

Luckily for my wife and I, a friend of ours (Peter) has just bought a lovely house in East Balmain that has great harbour views and he invited us to his place to watch the fireworks in comfort. No cars are allowed in of out of Balmain after 3pm on new year’s eve, so we and Peter’s other guests (also our friends) arrived at about 2.30. Before we settled in, to relaxing with food and wine, we took the opportunity to have a walk around the nearby parks that overlook the harbour. Every vantage point had been taken hours ago and there were quite a few people already flaked out on the grass.

A multitude of foreign languages could be heard, and there were plenty of very happy light skinned northern Europeans working on character building sunburns.   

It was pretty easy to pick out the people who are used to living in such a hot and sunny place as Sydney.

The smart people just relaxed in the shade and saved the drinking for later.

Because of Peter’s invitation to his house, we were able to kick back in comfort, drink lovely wines and eat nice food as the day wore on. At one point in the evening, another friend of mine said to all of us at the table with a chuckle, “I wonder what the poor people are doing?” I replied to him, “some of us are sitting with their rich mates drinking their fine wines, in their beautiful houses!”  To which our host beamed with pride and said, “what’s the point of having all this if you don’t have friends to share it all with?”

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12 thoughts on “Happy New Year from Sydney. NSW, Australia. 2011”

  1. Hi Razz and Engogirl, happy new year for you. No worries, Razz, life’s more than the blog. I’m not a fan of socialising too, but sometimes it’s part of life. Firstly, you’re yourself, and because that you had your years of colourful stupidity, today it’s after you. Maybe you can use this blog to show your hobby’s and interest such as travelling, engineering, wines, design, etc. and unpload once a week. Have a good, colourful and stressfree 2011

    Yours, Joost

  2. Happy New Year to you Razz and Engogirl !
    Thanks for sharing the show with us, it looks grandiose !
    Wish you all the best for 2011 !

  3. New Year Greetings, Razz! To you and Engogirl! I wanted to see photos of your view from Peter’s House!! Some photos of the folks in the house like you used to do in your early blogging years! The fellow with the “OBEY” hat reminded me of the single worst exhibition I’ve seen in a long time at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston..Shepard Faierey..I may not have spelled it correctly! He had his first big show there and I was underwhelmed and that was the first I saw of this whole “obey” franchise. To each his own. It stayed there forever or maybe it just seemed that way and I’m sure many enjoyed it.

    I am sorta surprised that you give a toss that folks might think you are an out of control wingnut if you tell your stories AND that feeling might be contributing to your difficulties in deciding to get on with it. You have a book, a TV series, several movies in you, for heaven’s sake. Write it and let people think what they want. I can’t believe that’s the reason, actually.

    So, get on it with cuz I’m surely not holding up my end and besides your stories are more fabulous.

  4. Ross

    Apparently the hand was supposed to represent how everyone can make their mark for a better future……… bleeeech!

    Pat

    I thought the “obey” thing was hilarious because of the fact that the guy wearing the hat had obeyed and bought the hat. For me, it doesn’t get more lemming-like than that.

    It’s not that I care so much about being in control so much, it’s about putting things into a context that people will care about. I don’t know about you, but I don’t that much time for what brainless people get themselves into, so of course I project that feeling onto others. I figure that people would be more interested if I showed a little more thought and reflection than merely relating the foolish things I’ve done in the past.

    I’m still trying to get a handle on how to structure what I will say.

    I did take some photos and there were some quite interesting, wierd and just plain wrong things that happened at Peter’s place, but the fear of offending friends who had their guards down and also getting sued by non-friends has stopped me from posting the photos and talking about happened later that night when we were all deeply in our cups.

    Perhaps, twenty years down the track……..

  5. Hi razzbuffnik,
    I agree with Pat that caring what people will think is less important than letting your stories loose. In any form of art, allowing the work to show the message is usually more effective than trying to “tell” your audience something. At least then the audience has the pleasure of participating in the discovery! I have found this quality in your writing in the past.
    So here’s to a happy, productive and satisfying 2011!!

  6. Y’know…I’ve been thinking about you ever since you posted this. I read your response to my comment. I thought some more. Here’s my latest Lucy 5 cents: I think your storytelling is more about who you have met than you. That is what makes it so interesting. I think of that Jesuit priest, the bull semen catcher (o, dear lord, please have a movie about both)…Razz, you play a part in your travels, I know. But, it is the observations and details of your people watching skills and interactions throughout these travels that have made the reader focus on them and not you. Plus, some of the photography is spectacular.

    Yes, of course, the storyteller in you is on display but, honestly? It is who you have met and what you tell us about them that is the real paydirt.

    Forget about this as a venture that primarily reveals you; you are revealing others. (And, get off your aussie arse while you’re at it as I’m not gettin’ any younger up here in New England with snowflakes the size of mini vans falling from the sky as I write this.

  7. Yep, I’m with Pat. In a rare moment of disagreement with you, I have to say, where ARE you, Razz? Normally you’re not the kind to give a flying monkey’s what other folk think. Has something happened to shake you up?

    Re: creativity and how to express yourself – I do understand the dilemma there, and the past year has seen many quiet patches when things were so busy that I had no time (or concentration) to blog. Planet Ross takes little breaks from time to time. Pat’s changing course. Some bloggers take annual holidays from blogging at Christmas or whatever. So I figure that when you’re creative, taking time out for reflection on direction is necessary at times. Just try not to beat yourself up about it, because it’s not like you.
    Anyway, your readers are a faithful bunch and I, for one, am going nowhere. Take your time. You’ll work it out. And I look forward to seeing your stories in print sometime. BTW do you have Kindle in Oz? Electronic publishing is the way forward.
    Love and Happy New Year n all that to both you and Engo. xx

  8. come on Razz, write more at some point. Your blog on shithole Belize was a masterpiece.

  9. Joe

    High praise indeed!

    I think you’ve given me the extra kick in the pants that I need. Thanks, I needed that. Tomorrow I fly off to Denmark for 5 weeks in Scandanavia, so it looks like should “get my finger out” and blog some more.

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