Mardi Gras Fair Day
It is Fair Day today! Mardi Gras Fair Day to be more specific.
The Mardi Gras parade doesn’t happen for another 2 weeks, but the street party is today. It takes places in Victoria Park, which is a good distance from Oxford St., but the transit people are running special buses that take you right there and right back. We go over and it a lot like Church Street in Toronto on Pride Day, except that they aren’t cramming all those people into one little street – there is a whole park. The Fair spreads over the entire park, and there are lots and lots of people.
We walk around for a few hours, talking to lots of people at the booths, getting lots of paper to dispose of when we get home, buying lots of raffle tickets to help support good causes. We find the divers group, have a good chat with them – find out that they have a group dive scheduled for next Sunday, which we are invited to join. We also discover something that will bring great relief to my mother – the sharks have all moved out of the Sydney waters at the moment – it is pupping season, and they are all far offshore at this time of year. Then we sit on the grass and listen to the main concert for an hour, enjoying the day before returning home for naps.
Out for Dinner with Fellow Canadians
Around 5:30, Grant and Bob arrive at the apartment to go out with us for the evening with Eric and his friends Graham and Larry. Eric is a Canadian (from Meaford, Ontario) who moved here almost 30 years ago, and Bob and Bill have put us in touch with him. In chatting with me about things we’d been doing in Sydney, he had learned that Grant and Bob were also here from Canada, and invited them to come along tonight – the more the merrier! The plan is to go to Eric’s house for a drink, and then to head out for dinner. We drive in a convoy, too many people to fit in 1 car, to Eric’s home. From the outside it is typical Australian suburban house. Then you walk into a Balinese fantasy – that carries through the house and into the back garden. It is beautiful!
Drinks are served, and shortly after the doorbell rings – it is Julie and Christine – two friends from Victoria (the state, not the city) who are in Sydney at a huge gift show on at the Sydney Convention Centre, which is so large that it is also on at a 2nd site near the airport. Julie owns a candle manufacturer, which she proudly tells us is the largest employer in her small town, and Christine, who is Julie’s sister-in-law, has come to Sydney to help Julie sell. A wonderful cocktail party ensues.
Just as we are starting to think that it must be getting time to head out to dinner, out of nowhere a table and 9 chairs appear. We don’t know how, but Eric has whipped together a feast for 9. Beef and lamb done on the barby, with veg and salad, and wine from a friend of Graham’s vineyard. And this chocolate dessert that even the non-dessert eaters are having seconds of.
And wonderful conversation the whole evening long. Ahhh Sydney….you never cease to amaze us with your wonderful welcoming and generosity!