Struggling today. It's not an hour into the working week and I feel like curling up into a ball and falling asleep again. It's days like this I feel most like one of the drones. Given free choice I'd be unconscious to the world. Why must I conform to the routines and schedules of the world? Why is it so unprofitable to be out of step? <End of rant>
I complain about the trials of the weekly schedule, yet I had weekend that conformed to a classic pattern. Pizza and beer for lunch Friday; after work drinks at World bar; then a short trip to St Kilda for vodka and more pizza sitting out doors at the Secret Garden on a balmy evening.
Saturday out early to take Rigby to a vet appointment in Glen Waverley, then the usual, some shopping, a load of washing, the newspapers read before heading out again.
Saturday night was Moonlight Cinema with the yoga teacher. It was a lovely evening. I loaded up with a bottle of bubbles and another of pinot, so cheese, some dips and some of my home made bresaola, then drove to the Botannical Gardens.
There were people everywhere and traffic searching for a place to park. I knew a spot and safely parked in one of the back streets before meeting up with the YT.
It's a great event this, though not necessarily ideal for the close watching of any movie. It was a lovely evening and we joined the crowd streaming into the park and found ourselves a small patch of free ground to spread our rug. There were people everywhere with picnic baskets full of goodies. I reckon at nights end there may have been 600 people or more in attendance.
We sat and drank our bubbles and talked while the sun slowly set over the distant peaks of the city. It was a beautiful scene, the sky blue and the city in the distance through the trees amid all this lush greenery. For some reason I was reminded of the movie Cloverfield, as if about to intrude upon this tranquil scene was some great Godzilla type beast.
Then the sun set. The bats flew overhead in the dying light in ever greater numbers, and then the movie began.
It was The Social Network, a well reviewed movie I enjoyed despite the occasional difficulty in discerning all the action through the outdoor speakers. It was a fascinating story about a fascinating phenomenon. Two things kept running through my mind as I watched it. I felt myself roused to greater aspirations, to do something wonderful or great or just simply big: why limit yourself? Why consider yourself an also ran when you don't even line up at the start?
The other was much more prosaic. I am building an intranet for work and my mind is saturated with it. I've read several books, conducted endless research online, and have completely and thoroughly immersed myself in the subject. I'm becoming a bit of an expert, though I'm a bit over it right now. In any case I have high expectations and am looking to incorporate many of the principles of social networking into my site. And so watching my mind ticked over looking at the beginning of all of this.
Yesterday I had one of my semi-regular massages before catching up with Becky for a drink. We ended up visiting the PA - The Prince Alfred - in Chapel Street, Richmond, re-opened finally after 3 years of doors closed.
The PA used to be one of my favourite drinking holes. I used to live nearby and would often find myself there before, and more often after, a match at the MCG. One of its great features was a beer garden where I spent many an hour with a beer, friends, and a counter meal. It's closure was sad and, I thought, a sign of the times.
That it re-opened then was great news for me. Arriving there yesterday in blazing sunshine we walked through the front bar, not dissimilar to before though a bit more elegant. Out the back there used to be a pavilion I always thought a bit incongruous, around which were arrayed long rustic tables with bench seats. The pavilion is gone now and against the far wall is now a bar.
There are more upmarket tables and sun umbrellas on tile paving. It seems a smaller area than previous, but that may be my imagination. As you would expect on a day like yesterday it was doing good business.
Back in the day the PA was a bit of a student pub - uni students and ex-private school types happy to let their hair down in convivial surroundings. It was laid back, relaxed, you'd often bump into someone and end up chatting about the footy or latest scandal. While I was not exactly of that mileue (though a private choolboy myself) I found it easy to slip into and the vibe easy and welcome to me.
I'm older now and maybe seeing things with older eyes, but while it retains some of the clientele it seems different - maybe it''s the same crowd older and more established? In any case there was a sense of casual affluence. I doubt there was anyone there who did not belong to upper middle class or above. Most of the men were dressed as I was, in shorts and casual shirt, a beer in their hand. Many of the women there wore high-heeled shoes with shorts - a look I hate - and it felt a little too cosy and self-satisfied.
I'm not sure why I should object to this. I fit in seamlessly. By and large I am a lot of what the crowd there represented. I don't know, I guess I just wish it was a little more ragged at the edges. I know people who hate going south of the river because they feel uncomfortable with the general polish (though technically, this is north of the river by about 200 metres). I've never had any problem rubbing shoulders either side of the river, but I am by general upbringing a southerner. It's never meant anything to me, but yesterday I felt it.
I'm sure my assessment is premature. There was nothing objectionable yesterday, and I'm guessing through the week and in footy season it will have all the spontaneiety and general rough and tumble of any good pub. It was okay yesterday, if a bit contrived, a little without soul. It's only been open again a little over a month and guess must find its groove.