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2007-01-22 - 9:51 p.m.

So after another day at work on Fri 29/12 we had a party to celebrate Jo's brief return to the country. It wasn't as big as some of our parties- that time of year I guess- but it was a good night and gave Jo a chance to catch up with more people. Mark and Phoebe were there as always (though they left early by Mark's standards), my sister and her boyfriend, my cousin Yas, Steve, Meaghan, Jules and Dan, Tara, Birch, Pete and Mel, Kim and Marty (and Max, who is another friend of Jo's from that circle), and perhaps some others that I've forgotten. We managed to keep the noise down to a satisfactory level after getting a noise complaint at one of our last gatherings (Jo's one night back in town in October), and I actually cooked the BBQ with moderate success (I think I've got better since).

Saturday I suspect we did Yum Cha again, before I worked that one night shift in the time Jo was here that I mentioned. Jo went and saw "Casino Royale" with Steve in my absence.

New Year's Eve I scored off work- pretty much because I had been doing my manager's job and he wouldn't have worked that day- but also because I wasn't really needed for my ordinary job that night either, as no-one was on holidays or sick. Birch had a party at his place in Ashbury (which is funnily enough between Ashfield and Canterbury, and about 20 minutes walk from Canterbury station), and while a fair bit of alcohol was still consumed, it was a fairly subdued way to see in the New Year. Not that either of us minded- I think the whirlwind nature of the time Jo was here made the whole time seem anything but subdued.

I don't specifically remember what we did on New Year's Day come to think of it. I think I might have cooked dinner on the BBQ and just spent the night at home with Jo and Steve. Tuesday (2/1) I was back at work, and afterwards we went up to the new Taqueria in Newtown and had a drink or two at the Townie. Wednesday I cooked one of my specialties for Jo, Steve, Nathan and Kellee, and we played some Five Hundred. Thursday after work Jo and I saw "Blood Diamond" at the Gold Clas Cinema in Macquarie Centre. The whole Gold Class thing is I guess a good idea but I probably would never bother if it wasn't for getting given gift vouchers. The movie was good though- I think with that and "The Departed" Leo DiCaprio has proved once and for all that he's more than just a pretty boy (sure he was in "Gilbert Grape" but that was before "Titanic"). We also had dinner at one of the better places within Macquarie Centre.

Friday after work I met Jo at Opera Bar, where she was with Francis and her sister Jo, Chris (who I had informed of our intended whereabouts so that he could catch up with Jo) and one or two other of Jo's old work colleagues. Megs met us there, as we were en route to Purple Sneakers where Pinky was doing a DJ set. Jo and Francis were in high spirits (pun intended), and were also keen to eat, while Megs, Chris and I figured we should try to get to Purple Sneakers in time for Pinky's set. I've been there a couple of times with Lucy and enjoyed it, thinking it would be a lot of fun with a bunch of people, but either I didn't notice how old I was the other times or it has become more apparent. And the music wasn't as good as on previous occasions. And by the time Jo got there there was a ridiculous line so we decided to just go to the Townie instead. When I first went there I was really keen for Jo to check it out because she is a big fan of the Indie nightclub, but I don't think anything is ever going to compare to Club 77 in it's Indie heydey.

Saturday (6/1) Jo's Dad held a BBQ at his house so that Jo's relatives that hadn't seen her at Xmas had a chance to catch up with her. It actually turned into a fairly late night for one of Jo's family things. On Sunday we caught up with another of Jo's old work colleagues, Sara and her boyfriend Paul. We had brunch in Dee Why and went for a walk along the beach (even though the weather was turning on us). I felt really tired for some reason, but a quick dip in the quite cold water fixed that. It's always good to say I've been to the beach/ been for a swim at least once in a summer. We then went for coffee in Crows Nest and then that night was one of the few we just spent at home (I cooked a requisite curry).

Monday (8/1) we went around to my parents' place to have dinner for my brother's birthday (which was the previous Friday). Then the 9th was our Anniversary, and despite the fact that money is a bit tight with the whole living in different countries and having a mortgage thing, I thought "fuck it, I want to go to 'Rockpool'." As was the case with Tetsuya's, I'm not sure that it was necessarily the best food I've ever eaten, but the whole experience was what makes the night, and the food was pretty damn good. The best of the bunch for me was the tapioca sushi, which consisted of a couple of slices of sashimi on a bed of tapioca instead of rice, and a trio of abalone, smoked oyster and smoked mussell with a kind of truffle foie gras and truffle dressing. Have I mentioned I can't get enough of the taste of truffle?

And that was Jo's time here, more or less. We managed a Cinque breakfast before I took her to the airport, but I think Cinque has lost it's "must do" mantle- neither the Eggs Benedict or the Spanish Eggs were as good as they used to be and the Orange Juice wasn't even freshly squeezed. Hmph.

So I'm by myself again. And as I've already mentioned this will be a difficult year. I wish I did desperately want to work over there, as opposed to wanting it so that I can be with Jo and just experience living over there. I don't know whether it would make it any easier to find something or not- maybe I would be more likely to desperately want to work over there if it was a more logical career move at the stage I'm at (and for that to be the case, there would hav to be more of the type of jobs I'm interested in available). Really I just don't want to let Jo down and have her come back before she's ready, and I'm sick of worrying about credit card bills.

Next entry I'll work out if I need to write any more about December or even November to be up to date, and then I'll try to get back into the habit of updating once each work cycle.


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