CUWAM…..Its all gone to the Dogs ( and cats)

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Another week passes, and I edge closer to my 5 week European and American Vacation…The news of the world however, suggests that it may be safer to stay indoors and count ones pennies….For amongst my holiday destinations are London and NYC….And the week that was saw UK cities set upon by looters and the United States ravaged by yet another financial crisis of trillion dollar proportions…

It’s all gone to the dogs….and so was the week that was administration chaos…It was a week that saw the chapter of welcoming my 120 inbound exchange students come to a end ( 4 weeks of welcoming is almost over kill) and a new chapter open of sending the same number of local students abroad….Yet this new chapter is far more draining….It involves months of administration, endless conversation and student counselling, and face to face contact with those embarking on either a 6 month or year long exchange placement for a period of up to ONE YEAR….But this aside, it is extremely enjoyable to receive calls of joy, emails of happiness and to partake in casual chit chat from students elated by their exchange nomination to cities such as Berlin, Paris, New York and Auckland.

The week was balanced….Monday a picnic in Victoria Park, and the gym clothes that I carried  to and from the office, were carried home, the gym was bypassed….for I was tired.

Tuesday I left the gym bag behind for that evening I was to be watching the film ‘ Red Dog’ at the cinema with my mate Suz. Suz had already threatened to boycott the evening, as evident in her text to me the previous day. Suz has the misfortune of being both an animal lover and an extremely sensitive soul ( actually the very reasons why we are friends!!)

However, for this movie…the combination was to prove lethal……To reduce tears, I purchased Cheese Twisties, Baby Bell Cheese ( of the small variety) a king size mars bar, mandarins and Coca Cola….Suz added to the smorgasbord of delicacies with pop corn and a frozen coke….But the tears still flowed….Tears of happiness, tears of sadness…Red Dog, the movie of 2011 so far….And this is coming from a cat lover….

Do yourself a favour…see the movie ‘ Red Dog’

Wednesday I ventured out for dinner with the lovely Fernanda and Elena…We dined at the ‘ Nourishing Quarter’ Surry Hills, a vegan, wheat free / diary free extravaganza…A celebration of good food and friendship….Fernanda’s birthday, Elena’s job promotion at work and the impending arrival of her own baby on the 25th of December and my holiday.

Thursday and I engaged in a conversation on Clovelly Road about the wonders of the film ‘ Red Dog’. Proudly declaring myself a cat lover…I chimed in my two cents worth about the film, the beautiful nature of Koko the dog and the charms of Josh Lucas, Koko’s supporting actor!! On Thursday booked tickets to see Mary Poppins in November for myself and 3 friends, sending all attending a message that the event was only 3 months away and Thursday, the day I was made away of a certified nut in Japan, who in the year 2000, felt lost and asked the Gods ‘ What should I do with my life’…clearly she misheard the response as you can view her lifes work on the link below….dear oh dear…..

The Cat Tailor of Japan

Friday….the day that truly went to the dogs…I listened on high rotation to the song ‘ Moves Like Jagger’ by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera…and send out in excess of 122 emails, nominating all students who had applied to the exchange program for 2012…A process that actually felt like I was nominating the whole of Sydney to the exchange program… On

Friday I also chatted on face book to my own version of Australia’s Princess Mary, my friend Australian Liz Mackay….who married her own Danish Prince and moved to Denmark….Two kids later and Liz is now an honorary Dane…Who I have high hopes of catching up with on my vacation….Via face book, at some ungodly time in Denmark, Liz told me that she might be on a mature age camping trip whilst I am in Copenhagen…Please lord, spare Liz from this trip whilst I am visiting her home country….It’s been 10 years since I have seen her and these are my confessions….( How very Catholic of me…to pray in times of need) To round of the week, my friend and colleague Kenny secured me a mug of wine of the Sydney Business School….And whilst it did taste like the wine at Sunday mass it helped restore my faith…and that evening I slept like a baby….

Saturday…a lazy start to the day….and in an attempt to make my life more interesting I decided to forgo my usual coffee purchase from the silent barista at Parc Café and venture into the city…to Café Hernandez, Potts Point…But before I picked up my coffee hit I thought I would live a little, stroll the streets of Kings Cross, soak up a Sydney morning scene, in a place where the drug barons line the pavement, call girls chat to wealthy business men, middle age men dote over pampered pooches dressed in windcheaters….Actually I headed to the Kings Cross Library…as one does when overloaded with stimuli on a Saturday morning….Surrounded by books, an oasis amongst the grit and glitter of the city, I took a brief moment to reflect, felt suddenly spooked by the eary silence then headed back onto the streets for my caffeine hit…From there I drove to Paddy’s Markets for some fruit and veg, and then headed back to Randwick for some more library action and grocery shopping.

After a morning spent in the  Cross,  it felt appropriate to  watch the  Aussie gansta crime comedy movie ‘ Getting Square’ and settled in for a quiet night with my favourite friend Flora.

Sunday, a sleep in and then I embarked on a public transport adventure, the only way to see the true glory of the city of Sydney!!…A bus, ferry and another bus ride to an old favourite, The William Wallace Hotel, Birchgrove for the famous Sunday roast….but my delight turned to shock as I entered the pub to find it had turned into a Chinese restaurant….I fought back tears as I looked over a menu of dumplings, pork belly and spring rolls…

My parents, who I was dining with were also taken aback…Served by a lovely waiter who advised that today was the last day of serving Chinese…next week the kitchen was turning Italian??!!…our mutual dismay soon turned to delight as the flavour sensations of poached chicken, pork and chive dumplings and fish cakes hit the table…Ah the William Wallace, you may have changed, and are about to change again…but I love thee…

And then a stroll with the parentals around Birchgrove and Balmain….a coffee on Darling Street and then a ferry and bus ride home…

Sunday evening…reflections as I come full circle, that my week really had gone to the dogs/ cats….With Flora, one of my favourite friends in the whole world by my side I have set aside the evening to bake for the RSPCA annual fundraiser, Cupcake Day….May many cupcakes being eaten tomorrow, may waist lines expand and cats and dogs rejoice at the sight!!

The week in links

The William Wallace Pub, Birchgrove / Balmain…my favourite inner west pub

The song to data entry too…nothing else!! Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera

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