In the week following M's dance concert we had my work Christmas party, the next day M had two parties to attend and W had a friend over to play. We then rolled into the week with the school presentation day, followed by the day we left for the Hunter Valley for a weekend away which included A Day on the Green.
These two weeks featured an overlay of extra crazy for me because I was helping to organise the Year 6 Farewell at our school (the traditional job of Year 5 parents). This was an interesting job which included meetings, countless emails, a certain amount of frustration in dealing with the school beaurocracy, many hours spent mucking about with the all important individualised place mats, culminating with a full day of decorating the hired hall for the big night (we had chosen the surprise "HORROR" theme and while I have absolutely no imagination and/or decorating talent in this regard the ladies who were in charge of this job did a mind blowing job and it came together brilliantly).
The day of the Farewell function (and thus the big decorating day) was the Friday we left for the Hunter so it was a matter of working all day at the hall, picking up the kids from school, Big Jay from work and heading straight up to Broke where our accommodation was located. It was just gorgeous to roll up to this dated, though lovely, house surrounded by olive trees and rolling hills, meet our friends and take a breath. I so needed that weekend.
We were there for the Blondie and The Pretenders Day on the Green and it was good, so good. You don't go to the Days on the Green for the sound quality; you go for the atmosphere... the vibe, man. Despite half of Australia being under water Bimbadgen Estate was a haven of perfect outdoor concert weather. Not too hot, not too cold, a light breeze. Perfect.
We camped out in a good spot, spread out our array of snacks and enjoyed a few hours of people watching before the bands. The Pretenders were first and to summarise Chrissie Hynde still has "it"; the original rock chick. I love seeing a woman of advancing years looking like a real woman. She's had a full life and it shows on her face, it's so real and sexy. Not a frozen, plastic face masking reality, erasing history. It was funny to think that the new band members were not even born when I was first listening to Brass In Pocket.
Then Blondie. We saw them a number of years ago at the State Theatre and that was a wonderful, memorable night. This time I have to say they were somewhat "off". Not sure how to put my finger on the problem. The sound just not so good, the timing not right, the vibe a little low. Whatever the issue it was all worth it for the amazing version of David Bowie's Heroes. Wow! Nevertheless I would probably give a limb to hear them do Tear Her To Shreds, a pleasure I will unlikely witness in this lifetime.
[Note to drunk dickheads at outdoor concerts: Please watch out for sleeping children on picnic blankets. They don't tend to like being stepped on. Sleeping children or not, don't step in the middle of people's picnic blankets, if you're not squishing a child you're likely to be squishing a nice piece of brie.]
So where was I? The Monday after A Day on the Green featured the U2 concert for Big Jay (better him than me!). He went early with our friend B and lined up for a special place in the mosh pit resulting in a bunch of great photos (unfortunately they were of U2) like this one:
That same evening Will was dancing in Dance Fever with all the kids from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Dance Fever is a ballroom dancing style competition for primary schools. His school has been involved for the past few years and it is great fun. The kids get to dress up and have a go at some simple dance routines. For the first time Will and his partner made it into the finals of the Cha Cha which was a great thrill for me, not so exciting for him.
Another late night in a string of late nights. The kids were really hitting the wall by now. Luckily the crazy was over for them. But not for me...