Doing things with Matt

posted on February 24, 2007 in Australia,Travel

Whilst I’m sure Matt would’ve been content with pasta meals and watching Rosey and myself inventing new types of Hi-5 (New 5!), we needed to up the game and actually partake in some activities. To this end we did the following.

We watched a spot of B-Ball; the Sydney Kings versus the Singapore Slingers. A classic game. That’s it lads, shoot those hoops.

Sydney King cheerleaders

Some nice dribbling there.

Cheerleader lineup

Oh, and some dudes turned up to play some kind of ball game.

Sydney Kings

Took a trip to the Blue Mountains. They were disappointingly rock coloured. These are the 3 Sisters, a rock formation rather than some kind of teenage fantasy.

The Three Sisters

Buildings! We saw buildings!


I love buildings.

Climbing. We climbed a bit!

Sydney indoor climbing centre

For Matt’s final evening we went to a place called Ice Bar. The temperatures kept at minus 5 with everything, the chairs, bar and even the glasses from which you sip your cocktail, carved from ice. Genius. You’re only allowed in for a half hour or else you might get tempted to lick the wall and become stuck forever and ever.

Everybody in the Ice Bar

I have found a great wife. I saved up the coupons, sent off the little form and a couple of weeks later she arrived. I ticked the ‘cake’ option, which is awesome. Cake is great.
Katy and me

Later the same evening we hit SideBar. Standard drink photos medley.

Rosey and friend

Beer beer beer, bed bed bed!!

Lewis and Matt

And so we with some reluctance we had to say bye to the big man on campus…

Matt and us

Truly it had been an awesome time.


Jumping from a plane

posted on February 19, 2007 in Australia,Travel

‘Cos that’s always a good idea.

Despite the prospect of throwing ourselves from a moving aircraft at 14,000 ft, Matt, Rosey and myself, were not so much scared as nervously excited. We got to the skydive place at crazy o’clock in the morning ready for the hour drive out of Sydney to the jump zone.

When we arrived it felt a bit ‘realer’, but still not so much to make you think “Woah, hold on! We’re doing what today?”

Fly boys
It was all a bit laid back – typically Australian. We got in our jumpsuits and had our ‘training’. Thirty-five seconds of training later, we were ready to jump. The nerves were building.

Skydive training
Walking over to the airstrip my parachute guy points out the plane. “Nice plane”, I said. I was lying. I expect it had seen action in both world wars. But I guess the safest place to be in a bone shaker like that is with a guy with a parachute strapped to your back. Nine people squeezed into the hold, about the size of the cupboard under your stairs.

The plane
We take off and the little plane claws its way into the sky.

The plane in the sky
We climb up higher and higher. ‘Oh crud’, I think watching the clouds floating below us. Rosey is on my right with the 4ft angry version of Macho Man Randy Savage strapped to his back. Matts in front – his guy had clearly missed his vocation as a film director and was busy taking clever shots of the harness with the little video camera.

The aeroplane levels out. Shit. This is it. I don the plastic goggles. The first guy out is doing a solo dive. He knuckle touches our parachute guys, slides up the perspex door, takes a look out and jumps, instantly disappearing out of view. Gulp. Next up: Rosey. He and his little wrestler slide over to the door, pause on the edge and plummet out into the sky. Well, that’s it, if Roseys doing it, then I’ve got to do it.

Another tandem guy goes, quickly followed by Matt, leaving just me and my dude in the empty fuselage. “Right, slide over to the door and put your feet on the step.” I duly oblige. For a moment we’re sat in the doorway looking down into the sky, the next…

“Aargghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”


“Aarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggg gggggggggggggggggghhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”

This abbreviated video might give an impression of the jump.

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And that was that. The whole thing was utterly surreal, you’re not quite able to comprehend what was happening. You don’t immediately recall the jump but spend the next couple of days remembering bits. It was awesome. As in utterly. Matt loved it so much he got the next plane up and did it again. Mentalist.

Matt parachuting


Two’s company, Room 3’s a crowd

posted on February 9, 2007 in Australia,Travel


We’ve been staying at a place called the English Lodge, suitably named for all the Irish living here. There’s 20 odd rooms and a communal kitchen area, but despite this there’s not a whole lot of talking between the tenants, bar the occasional trans-corridor ‘hello’. People move in and out all the time, so when 3 girls moved into Room 3, we knew it was time to break down the communication barrier.

Lewis, Rosey and myself were sat in the kitchen having just finished our 18th consecutive pasta meal. I decided to initiate a brainstorming session, airing some ideas that might help us better ingratiate ourselves with Room 3. My two suggestions – Naked Book Club and Naked Watching a DVD – were not met with favour by either Lewis or Rosey. Clearly, it was going to take a little more work.

Over the coming days we chat to the girls at meal times; all three of them are friendly and it made a nice change to talking to the food.

One evening the guys and me are idly watching Australian Princess (a ridiculous program by the way), mulling over whether to ask the girls up when I decide the time is now. “Right! I’ll be back in a minute.”

I go downstairs and find them in the kitchen. I clear my throat. They turn around from what looks to be their 18th consecutive pasta meal. “Uh, hi, um, so we’ve got a DVD and were wondering if maybe, um, you wanted to come up and watch the DVD?” They consider it for a second. ‘Quick’ I thought, seal the deal – “And, uh, we usually wear clothes”. I thought I should make clear this was not one of my naked ideas. They said “yes”.


Last Saturday Matt arrived so we figured a night in the city would be appropriate. One of the girls mentioned she had some tickets to Sydney’s Home night club. It was a date. Here we are with Matt.

Us and Matt

These are the girls; Katy, Louise and Frances. Delightful, and not without significant wife potential.
The girls

Home night club.
Home night club

The boys from Swad.
Matt, Lewis and Rosey

Plus girls.
Rosey plus two

You can’t see it, but in this photo I’m gradually digging myself into a hole. Quite a deep one.
Digging a hole

Suffice to say it was a good evening that unfolded into an interesting evening, but regardless it just shows that sometimes in order to make new friends all you have to do is rent a Scrubs DVD and promise to wear clothes.


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