Tag: Rowing

Paris '08

Paris '08

Monday morning we load up in the car with our bags and head to the train station, say our good byes and jump on the train to London to meet Ben (who left with Zoe on Sunday arvo). Corbs and I arrived in London to use the free wireless in McDonalds to catch up on things. I end up on the phone to Mastercard and the Commonwealth bank to find out why my cards aren’t working. So now I have my parents posting me 3 cards to Vancouver!

We meet Ben at the train station and jump on the train to Paris!

On the train Ben & I watched most of Summer Heights High (they had power on that train!). After a pretty fast train ride we find our way to our accommodation in Paris only to discover its just outside of the red light district… down the road from the Moulin Rouge! Paris… crawling in sex shops and strip joints :/

We legged it around for ages before deciding to eat at the cheapest place possible… a Buffalo Grill for 9.50 eruo.

Tuesday
After hardly sleeping because of all the noise outside (it sounded like gang warfare, people were getting beaten up and sirens etc) Ben started knocking on our door at 8:30am until I let him in.

[us eating crossiants]

We surfaced and grabbed some croissants. We went straight to the Eurail office to reserve our seats… we waited for hours and ended up paying 59 euros (after already spending over $200 on our Eurail pass) for the first leg (Paris to Interlarken) only to find out that we can’t book our German legs until we arrive in Germany.

So after being terribly annoyed, we sucked it up and made our way to the Eiffel Tower (and looked at everything on the way). We ended up waiting in line next to two Australian journalism students (from QUT… gosh Paris is crawling with Aussie tourists). We spent the rest of the day with the girls from QUT (the boys were let down after discovereing that one was married and the other engaged… it was good for me because I could have a good conversation with them without stepping in their way :D). The Eiffel Tower was very nice, and very worthwhile, after walking so far to get there (at least 6km) and viewing the city from the top I can now tell you that Paris is a MASSIVE city, very crowded and widespread… all the buildings actually look the same.

After getting dinner (baguette, cold baked beans, cold meat, warm beer) we decided to head across to the Moulin Rouge.

We walked past the hundreds of sex stores, sex shows and strip joints etc to get there and wait in line. We didn’t know that we needed to make a reservation so the guy made us wait at the end of the line until he found out if there were any availabilities. We ended up being let in with two Australian girls (more Aussie tourists) from Melbourne. All of us were pretty stoked because we thought they’d let us in for free,,,until the bill came in for 89euro each… ouch! Nevertheless it was a fantastic night! The performances were very impressive – I wish I spoke French! Obviously there was too much partial nudity but you quickly see past that. There was some Cirques-esk stuff that was very impressive, this very talented man that played the drums by throwing ping pong balls from his mouth (that description hardly does him justice). Anyway, the long and short of it was that it was expensive, but well worthwhile – one of those things that you just have to “have done”.

Wednesday
After a few hours sleep, then laying around in bed for a while we surfaced to our usual breakfast of croissants as we trekked it to the Notre Dame and Louvre. They were very fascinating… that’s about all I can say – you have to see it for yourself, just be prepared to have sore feet and spend hours there.

After getting home we tried, yet again, to find the Paris night life. After having our 750ml Heineken’s and trekking it for a while, we found a Hostel with only a handful of people, but they were having a quiet one and were already pretty clicky and tipsy. So we ended up just heading home after a while.

Thursday
Ben left before Corbs and I woke up so we ended up “shopping in Paris” – as you do! We were feeling pretty poor, so that made it hard, but nonetheless we managed to buy some nice stuff. But the real thing was the browsing… wow! If I had heaps of money I’d exclusively buy suits from Paris! OMG!! Wow! Classy, pimped out suits everywhere! And heaps of cool streetwear and the best fitted shirts you’ll ever come across!

Friday
I’ve had my last French croissants, baguette and expressos… now sitting on a train to Interlarken (Switzerland) writing my blog entry to post when I get internet access and my battery is almost flat. I’m working on getting more photos up on facebook soon too… once I’ve got a good internet connection.

Au revior!

Henley '08 – Instalment III

Henley '08 – Instalment III

Well, as I mentioned earlier we were knocked out by Cambridge last Wednesday at Henley. Here’s the run down of our last few days at Henley.

Wednesday
After a disappointing loss to Cambridge I went across the road to enjoy a Guinness with my parents, had a enjoyable chat about my plans for the next while… I’m still terribly confused about what I’m doing with rowing, study, travel, work etc – not sure about what I’m doing and the timing of it. Honours or not? Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and/or Macquarie? Rhodes? Masters? Thesis topics? Being in Sydney? London? Boston? Vancouver? Do I hang around and aim for 2012? 2016? Anyway, that will continue to be on my mind for the next while, so I’ll keep you posted.

We followed that with a trip to the Flower Pot (a nice little place to eat near the start line) where I had a MASSIVE fish and chips. The chips were the size of wedges and the fish was incredibly huge! (photo doesn’t do it justice)

[insert photo of meal]

Thursday
We get suited up in our macquarie kit and make our way around the Stewards Enclosure and the rest of the course. We checked out all the merchandise, got given about half a dozen free drinks and bought myself a new pair of cheap sunnies.

Dinner was at the Weatherspoons again (cheapest food & drink in the area). Following that we were chaperoned around Henley by this guy we met earlier called Jeremy. In the end Corbs, Cadeyrn and I were led around henley for about 2.5 hours before we reached the only club where anything was happenning. At that point (1:30am) Corbs and me were expired and legged it all the way home to save ourselves (and the 5pounds) for Friday… Cadeyrn stumbled in at around 3am.

Friday
Zoe and Ben went into London and the rest of us stayed in Henley. Corbs and I met up with my parents to hire a boat, paddle down to the finish line and watch races…moored right on the course markers. It was really fun! We had PIMM’S, beer, baguette, cold meat, lots of cheese and antipasto whilst watching races… FINALLY A SUMMER DAY!

We spent the rest of the day around the Stewards watching races and meeting people. Ended up meeting Rob & Susanne for pizza & wine.

Saturday
The big day… after being too exhausted to go out on Friday we made our way to the course a bit later (around 11am). After taking some crew photos Cadeyrn quickly disappeared again and the rest of us went to have Coffee & Cream and English Tea with a Baileys chaser in the Stewards enclosure.

Following our brunch drinks we made our way to the Fawley Bar where spent hours drinking with Mark Beer (my old MRC coach) and his significant other, Kelly. Mark was very kind by insisting on buying us all drinks (and writing it off as expenses for JCBC recruitment). He got me excited about Cambridge which only makes my decision harder… still it was exciting!

Zoe wandered off to get food and didn’t see us at the Fawley bar, so I wandered down the course to find her. I ended up meeting my parents (squeezing my way through the crowds) and we then headed to the Weatherspoons to use the free wireless. Corbs and Ben ended up rocking up coincidentally (I sent Corbs a message but he didn’t have reception) so we sat there for a while having a few drinks.

I then ducked back to the bank of the river to watch Philthy’s race… it was a disappointing loss to the University of Western Ontario (the eventual winners). His race was essentially the final considering how easily UWO won the next day. I quickly legged it across to the boat tent, bought him a sports drink and promised that I’d buy him something harder later that night.

We went back to meet Rob for dinner, then we found out that Zoe was back at the accommodation so we decided that we’d go home and have dinner there. She was pretty upset that she’d be lost again, unfortunately she left her phone at home so once we were separated she was very isolated. Understandably she didn’t really feel like going out so after stocking up on food and cheap drinks the three amigos headed back in to town to hit up the town.

This was the night we’d been waiting for! We got up to a whole heap of shenanigans, met up with the pontoon boys and introduced the boys to a bunch of girls for them to work their moves 😛 — the photos tell all!

I ended up heading off with Philthy and the Harvard boys toward the end of the night. Some van reversed into me at quite a speed… bloody useless driver – my nose still hurt the next day. I bounced back quickly and then had some burning hot nasty noodles outside the sports bar where we ended up. Then I legged it back to Phil’s and headed across to my place after being pointed in the right direction by pommy lass.

I was laying on the lawn studying the stars for about 5 minutes before being interrupted by Ben & Corbs arriving home. So we went inside, swapped stories grabbed a croissant and went to bed around dawn.

Sunday
I wake up feeling marginally sick in the stomach after Philthy’s beer & tequila concoction complimented by 3am noodles. I soon came to when brunch was served at 11am.

[insert photo of brunch]

Pretty incredible, aye! Our host, Odette, was fantastic! A lovely lady who made us brunch on our last day. My folks came across and we said our goodbyes. We then played cards for a few hours before I ducked down to the course to watch a few of the finals and buy some merchandise (ouch… pounds!).

Henley '08 – Instalment I

Henley '08 – Instalment I

Yes, I have been very bad at updating this, I’m sorry.

So here’s the run down…

We flew out on Wed afternoon. Nanna, Pa, Auntie Jo and Angus took me to the airport to see me off (which was really nice). After stopping over in Bangkok and getting a Thai massage (Corbs had a guy massaging him and it was rather amusing) we arrived safely in London on Thursday morning GMT.

After waiting another 2 hours because Zoe’s plane was delayed, we located our car and drove to Henley (via Staines BC to pick up some gear). The car is the SMALLEST seven seater you will EVER see, by the time we arrived in Henley to drop off our gear at the accommodation many of us had numb body parts because the bags were packed in on top of us (I don’t think I can emphasise just how tightly we were packed).

Upon arriving at Sequia House, we were greeted by the lovely Odette Moss (and her large dog) who showed us to our rooms and made us feel comfortable. She has been the most helpful, wonderful, generous host and I am so thankful that we were lined up with her.

Quick change in to zooties and we made our way down to the course to rig up the boat and go for a training row.

The training row was tough, we were all so jet lagged and the crew lacked concentration, but this was to be expected after the flight – thank God we didn’t have to qualify on the Friday!

We picked up a bit of shopping and then I cooked us some nice burritos. After demolishing the burritos we all tried to stay awake to get over the jet lag and eventually hit the sack at about 9pm — in the 51 hours prior I had only 2 hours sleep.. zzz…

Friday morning came and we awoke to a fantastic breakfast prepared by Odette, scoffed it down and then ducked away to the course for a training row. It seemed to go all right, however you could still tell we were recovering from jet lag.

Again the process of “eat, sleep, row” carried on for the rest of Friday and Saturday until we had a day off on Sunday (first day off in at least a fortnight).

On Sunday we dropped Ben, Corbs and Zoe down to the train station so they could spend the day in London; Rob, Susanne and Cadeyrn went to Oxford and I hung in Henley for the day. My folks came down from London for the day to meet me which was great 😀 I hadn’t seen them for a few weeks. I took them for a tour of the course and then we ran in to big Philthy Matthews!! So we all went to the Catherine Wheel for lunch which became afternoon tea as well.

We talked with Philthy for hours about his time at Harvard, rowing, politics, Uni, family and all the usual sort. It was great to catch up with him! Ah, I love that kid!

When we all arrived back on the Sunday evening for a wonderful meal that Odette decided to make for us, Cadeyrn was starting to get sick. His sickness lasted through until Tuesday.

This meant that we had not trained as a crew between our last row on Saturday and Tuesday morning when we went for a very short training row.

So that brings me to today. We’re racing Cambridge University at 5:20pm GMT and we are far under-prepared. As Rob said in our crew meeting yesterday, “the only way we can win this first race is with passion, and we’re going to need a heck load”.

Here’s hoping!

Finished!

Finished!

Well, I know you’re probably feeling neglected my poor blog… good thing you don’t have feelings!

So, where have I been? I’ve been finishing off Uni for the semester!!! IT’S ALL DONE!

Trained out at the riff (Penrith) yesterday – ’twas windy and cold ;( – but the pieces were getting faster throughout the day, quite proportionately to the rate, which is encouraging.

Anyway, I’m about to take Jesse to the movies as any good brother should – it’s his Birthday present from me 😀

I’m sure going to miss my family, also some close friends and the rowing season – but apart from that… WHOOOO!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO CANADA!!

Peace out 😉

So close, yet so far away

So close, yet so far away

I think this is just about the hardest part of waiting for something, the part where you are “so close… yet so far away” – it just sucks.

You’re constantly excited but simultaneously reminded that you’re not there…yet.

It’s the part where your mind plays tricks on you, where your thoughts can’t stay where they should, where nothing else seems to matter as much anymore, where you think you’ll suffer serious long term problems with your blood pressure for maintaining that consistent level of anticipation 😛

I think the boys at rowing (as I see them all the time) are about to shoot me if I say “I just can’t wait to be in Canada…HURRY UP!” one more time… eek! The only thing stopping them is that I’m pulling bloody hard and they need me to race 😀

Things will probably be more bearable once I’m finished with my Uni work, and much more bearable when I’m flying overseas because I’ll be en route 😀

After Henley I really hope to try and enjoy Europe as much as possible considering my anticipation.

Ha…I seem to get some serious respect every time I mention all the things that I’m doing and why I’m doing them. That only makes my anticipation more intense!

Also in other news… ah, don’t worry I’ve got to clean up – just remember when I try and finish this post I was about to write about why my fist is sore from punching a poster of a good looking woman 😛

…more on that after the break 😉

Henley, here we come!

Henley, here we come!


28May08

THERE will be a second Down Under assault on a very British institution when a rowing team from the northern district bids for the Prince Alfred Challenge Cup at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.

A crew from Macquarie University will be on the river with the best of British from July 2 to 6, hoping to emulate the Aussie team that has just taken top honours at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show.

The local rowers, all former state schoolboys, are now in intensive training on Lane Cove River.

They will be the first Australian team to vie for the cup and also the first Macquarie U rowers to tour internationally.

It has been a long road back for University rowers, whose shed and gear were razed by arsonists two years ago…

Read full article: [Online – may require subscription] [PDF]

You grew up in Australia in the 90s if…

You grew up in Australia in the 90s if…

  1. You watched the ABC more than any other station. Those days are long gone.
  2. You made worms by squeezing your Vegemite or peanut butter crackers together.
  3. The best parties always had fairy bread.
  4. The Waugh twins. Go! Aussie! Go!
  5. Super League almost ruining rugby league in Australia.
  6. Getting the Easter Show guide from the paper and circling all the show bags you wanted.
  7. You thought everyone in America carried a gun and you never wanted to go there because you were were scared you’d get shot.
  8. Blinky Bill, Mr Squiggle and Gumby.
  9. You always used to see that dried out, white dog poo on the footpath. You never see that anymore.
  10. SuperTed, Widget The World Watcher and Samurai Pizza Cats.
  11. Going to the Easter Show with a big group of friends from school once you were old enough to go without Mum and Dad
  12. Doing research for school projects by going to the library or looking up an encyclopaedia rather than using the internet.
  13. Brian Henderson and Richard Morecroft reading the news.
  14. Paul Keating was some guy that ran the country and John Howard became the only PM you really ever knew because you were too young to care before that.
  15. Banana Man, Bangers and Mash and The Raggy Dolls.
  16. Game Boy.
  17. Waking up early everyday to watch Agro’s Cartoon Connection or Cheez TV.
  18. Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
  19. Everyone got the Coke bag at the Easter Show and it was only $10.
  20. Buying those 6 packs of Coco Pops, Fruit Loops, Frosties, Rice Bubbles, Nutri-Grain and Corn Flakes so you could have a different one each day and then opening the packets really carefully and removing the cereal so you’d have a mini wardrobe afterwards. You also most probably just let your parents eat the Corn Flakes.
  21. Trying to make the Rainbow Road shortcut on Mario Kart 64.
  22. Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and Lift Off (that show with the dirty, eye-less doll named EC).
  23. Playing GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64 and arguing over whether Oddjob was allowed to be used in multiplayer.
  24. The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  25. Super International Cricket on the SNES.
  26. Arguing over which was better – Nintendo 64 or PlayStation.
  27. Don’t push me, push a push pop!
  28. Nobody made “not” jokes… NOT!!
  29. Bathurst stopped being Holden vs. Ford and all those European cars came in until they came to their senses.
  30. Who shot Mr Burns?
  31. Watching Captain Planet and then driving your parents mad by always singing the song.
  32. That’s so funny, I forgot to laugh.
  33. WWE was WWF and they actually had cool wrestlers like The Rock, Mankind and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  34. Playing Gran Turismo and MGS on PlayStation.
  35. Roller coasters at Wonderland, Sydney.
  36. You decorated your room with glow-in-the-dark stickers.
  37. SBS didn’t have any ads. Not that you ever watched it anyway, except maybe for softcore porn.
  38. You played marbles and could name all the different types like blue moon, oily, candy, red wine, galaxy and red devil. You never played anyone for your god marble.
  39. Feeling sad when your Tamagotchi died.
  40. Singing “a ram sam sam, a ram sam sam, guli guli guli guli guli, ram sam sam, a rafi, a rafi, guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam”.
  41. Seeing a small rack of DVDs in the video store and wondering if anyone ever rented them.
  42. Dolly the sheep.
  43. Getting up early to watch the Rage Top 50.
  44. Friends when they were all actually just friends. Why didn’t Phoebe and Joey get together?
  45. Sonic the Hedgehog.
  46. Watching The Simpsons back when it was funny, every night on Channel 10.
  47. Power Rangers becoming cooler than the Ninja Turtles, even though the Turtles will always be cooler.
  48. Watching South Park for the first time and being really excited by all the swearing.
  49. Watching Hercules and then being disappointed when Xena Warrior Princess replaced it. Nobody was cooler than Herc.
  50. Blowing on the Nintendo cartridge before putting it in the console to make sure it worked properly.
  51. Smell the cheese.
  52. Vulcan, Tower, Flame… Australian Gladiators.
  53. Playing Mortal Kombat and trying to do a fatality but just ending up punching accidentally.
  54. Pokemon! Gotta catch ‘em all!
  55. Watching Hey Dad! and then seeing little Arthur McArthur go on to star in that famous Sorbent ad.
  56. Full Frontal, not Comedy Inc.
  57. Wolfenstein, Doom and Duke Nukem.
  58. Downloading music from Napster.
  59. Chatting with your buddies on ICQ.
  60. Going to see Titanic.
  61. The winner is…Sydney.
  62. Mighty Max and Polly Pocket. Max and Polly always got lost because they were so bloody small.
  63. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
  64. Waiting for Tony “Plugger” Lockett to break that record.
  65. Australia didn’t always win the cricket.
  66. The Socceroos couldn’t qualify for the World Cup.
  67. John Eales captained the Wallabies and we won the World Cup.
  68. Ray Martin hosted A Current Affair.
  69. Zoopa Doopa ice blocks were only 20c and if you couldn’t afford it, you asked the canteen lady to cut it in half so you could split it with a friend.
  70. Listening to boy bands like Human Nature and girl bands like Girlfriend.
  71. Barbie, not Bratz.
  72. The Spice Girls.
  73. Happy Meals were only $2.95 and the toys were simple but actually good.
  74. Person 1: Who farted!? – Person 2: Whoever smelt it, dealt it! – Person 1: Whoever made the rhyme, commited the crime!
  75. Brad Fittler was the best in the world.
  76. Thorpe won lots of gold medals and wasn’t so gay.
  77. Opposite day.
  78. We all loved Pat Rafter and almost cried when he lost to Goran Ivanisevic because our Pat deserved that title more than anyone. Definitely more than Hewitt ever did.
  79. Playing tackle Bull Rush at lunchtime and having tackling banned. You had to resort to grab 1-2-3 or tip. Same goes for footy.
  80. Giving a friend a backage in the canteen line. If it was your best friend, you gave them a frontage.
  81. Pogs and Looney Tunes Tazos.
  82. Nobody won Wimbledon unless their name was Pete Sampras.
  83. You laughed at the fat kid on the Cottees cordial ad and changed the song to “My Dad picks his nose…”
  84. You ate Smarties instead of M&M’s.
  85. You tried Dr. Pepper and hated it.
  86. Service stations didn’t need space for 4 digits on their petrol prices signs.
  87. Girl germs! Boy germs!
  88. Goosebumps.
  89. You had to actually call your friends rather than send them an SMS.
  90. Wearing a Chicago Bulls T-shirt or cap. Wearing the cap backwards.
  91. Arguing over who got to be Warnie in backyard cricket. Six and out!
  92. Paul Jennings’Gizmo books.
  93. Matchbox cars.
  94. The feeling of wonder you got, the first time you were able to see the image in one of those Magic Eye 3D pictures.
  95. The Secret World of Alex Mack.
  96. Talk to the hand!
  97. Johnson and Friends, Noddy and Humphrey B. Bear.
  98. You wished you had enough Lego to build those amazing cities they displayed in the brochures.
  99. Collecting Yowie toys. Aussie wildlife was way cooler than any stupid Kinder Surprise toy.
  100. Playing truth or dare with your secret crush.
  101. Mark Taylor equalling Don Bradman’s record.
  102. Slap bracelets.
  103. Jurassic Park and those toy dinosaurs where you could pull a piece of the skin out to see its insides.
  104. Roger Ramjet, he’s our man, hero of our nation.
  105. We had paper money.
  106. Telling those Dobbers where to stick it by singing, “Dibba dobba dibba dobba number nine, wearing nappies all the time” and, “Dibba dobba Cindy went to kindy, stepped on a bindy wa wa wa.”
  107. Good on ya Mum! Tip Top’s the one!
  108. You could buy more than enough food from the school cantee
    n
    for only $2.
  109. Begging your parents to go to McDonald’s for dinner.
  110. Rocko’s Modern Life, Rugrats and Hey Arnold!
  111. Noni, Monica and that bald guy named George on Play School.
  112. Going to World 4 Kids to look at all the toys.
  113. Watching The Lion King and feeling Simba’s pain when Mufasa died. Disney just doesn’t make them like that anymore.
  114. Soft serve cones were only 30c and they never tried to up-sell a Flake because they didn’t have it.
  115. Wanting a Brain or Silver Bullet during the yo-yo craze.
  116. Nesquik without the Nes.
  117. Troll Dolls.
  118. The Kids’ Works at Pizza Hut with unlimited drink refills. You made an ice cream mountain covered in choc chips and marshmallows and could never finish it.
  119. Thomas the Tank Engine and TUGS.
  120. Ba-na-na-na-na! Ba-na-na-na-na! Make those bodies sing!
  121. You had to get your photos developed.
  122. Your family didn’t own a 4WD unless it was a real one like a Land Cruiser or Patrol. Range Rovers were tough and nobody thought BMW would make a 4WD, let alone Porsche.
  123. Street Sharks and Biker Mice From Mars
  124. Competing with your friends to see who could eat the most sour Warheads in one go.
  125. The Channel 9 logo had dots next to it and the Channel 7 logo wasn’t a folded piece of paper.
  126. No Hat, no play.
  127. Dr. Dreadful Food Labs. Kids these days wouldn’t be allowed that because its not healthy enough. We didn’t give a shit about our health in the 90’s.
  128. High five! Up high, down low, too slow!
  129. Watching Round the Twist and getting pissed off that the actors kept on changing. You still loved it though.
  130. Cheating in Heads Down, Thumbs Up.
  131. Watching that game show called Vidiot. Game shows didn’t have to be educational back then, like That’s Academic… that show sucks.
  132. Collecting basketball cards, whether you followed basketball or not.
  133. You always wished your parents had bought you a bigger Super Soaker for Christmas. Christmas is hot in Australia… the more water, the better.
  134. Collecting hundreds of tickets from Timezone just so you could trade them for some crappy prize that you could have bought from Woolies for ten bucks.
  135. Healthy Harold day was the best because you got to miss class to sit in a tiny caravan and listen to a talking giraffe.
  136. Playing handball with Ace, King, Queen and Dunce and making up stupid rules as you went along.
  137. Skipping ropes and Jump Rope for Heart Day.
  138. Chewing the crappy gum in Bubble-O-Bill’s nose and wishing they could just use Hubba Bubba instead.
  139. A*mazing.
  140. The Ferals. Rattus, Modigliana, Derryn and Mixy were cool until they started that five minute piece of crap, Feral TV.
  141. Hypercolour T-shirts.
  142. Who Dares! Who Dares! Who Dares Wins!
  143. Having your very own Dollarmites account and getting really excited when you earned a tiny bit of interest.
  144. Growing up in Australia in the 90’s was rad.

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