Thursday, November 26, 2009

Seasonal Madness in Sydney

When people used to go on to me about how busy this time of year is, I would roll my eyes and think "It's just a few parties, get over it!" Now, with five family members all doing different activities, I get it. I could go to three Christmas parties just for my own work. Then there is the massive end of year ballet concert with endless performances Bethany must attend, matron of honour duties (the wedding is a month and a half away), lots of people on leave at work and that is before we even begin to think about Christmas presents, travelling on Christmas Eve and what we are going to do with Milo. I have two summer reading clubs to get organised but was able, instead, to go to Sydney for a public libraries conference.

Claire (library manager), Margot (Information Services Librarian) and I all got up at the crack of dawn on Monday morning and drove to the airport. The flight only takes an hour and we were at our hotel in Darling Harbour by around 8am. We left our bags and headed to the conference centre near World Square. We spent a lot of time on the Monorail over two days...

The conference was very worthwhile. The theme was sustainability and there were some great speakers including Hugh Mackay the brilliant social researcher and author of one of our book club books, Winter Close. I could share what I learnt but I'm not sure you'd all be thrilled and, lets be honest, the chance to go to Sydney with colleagues and shop and eat was just as exciting as the conference.

This cool shoe shop was at the bottom of World Square. Most people at the conference went down to Darling Harbour for the conference dinner. We had used up all our budget getting the three of us there so we skipped the expensive dinner and went out on our own.

My attempts to organise a restaurant before we left didn't quite work. We had dinner in China Town, not at the best restaurant ever, but it was fun. We bought some cake to go and then went on the mini London Eye. Poor Margot was a bit frightened when we got to the top! I tried to take photos from inside the bubble but they didn't work very well. I did, accidentally, get a classic shot of Claire telling an amusing story but she made me delete it :)

The city is very pretty at night, I could have walked and walked. Instead, we walked back to our hotel for tea and cake. Margot had black forest cake.

Claire asked for something chocolatey an I chose this brownie for her - it was a bit much. I forget that other people can't tolerate extreme chocolate like I can.

I had this rather delightful tiramisu. It was light, creamy and with just the right amount of coffee.

We had an enormous breakfast at the Novotel before our second day of conference. I confess that after lunch we skipped a session to go shopping. We went to the Queen Victoria building where Claire and I headed straight to Victoria's basement. I bought a three tiered cake plate for an upcoming high tea for Mim.

We also had a lovely time on the top floor of the QVB before rushing back for the last session.

The QVB does look very pretty at this time of year.

At the end of the conference we caught the monorail back to Darling Harbour and said goodbye to this, the view from our room.

We arrived home around 8.30 0n Tuesday night and on Wednesday I was at work 'til 9pm for the end of year book club party.... but that's a story for another time.


  1. Ack! I sent you restaurant ideas too late! There's always next time and it looks like you had fun anyway.

  2. Very cute cake plate and hehe for skipping a session to go shopping! Nothing wrong with that at all :)

  3. How good is Hugh Mackay? I just love his novels (Winter Close is my favourite) he is also a fantastic speaker, I bet he talked about what a great thing book clubs are for people to “Herd” in......MOO!

  4. Amy,

    I started work at George Patterson with Hugh Mackay. It was a new initiative in those days to use consumer research! His research and consequent understanding of what is in peoples minds is extraordinary. I wish I'd known he was coming, you could have introduced yourself as we knew each other well at that time. Love Dad.