Mon, 03 Apr 2006
So, today, I've just arrived back from Sydney with a few of my fellow LCA 2006 organisers where we'd been attending the annual LCA Ghosts meeting.
Next year, as you all know, LCA will be held at UNSW in Sydney, Australia. The venue looks great, and a lot of the ideas the Seven team have in the pipeline sound fantastic. If they pull a couple of them off, then this is going to be a fairly significant turning point in LCA growth. All things considered, this will make LCA 2007 even better than LCA 2006.. if that's even possible :).
Raewyn also came along on this little trip, so that she could have a little holiday, and go shopping - also to add some stamps to her passport, she'd never been outside of New Zealand before.. One of her memorable comments was something like "That's really the Sydney Opera House, not just a postcard". She spent some of her time with the wife of one of the other 2006 organisers, who was there just for the shopping. This may not have been a good thing.
We didn't get to do a whole lot together, since I was tied up for most of the weekend at Jeff and Pia's place. We did however manage to slip in a visit to see a good friend (bod, for those that know him), a BridgeClimb, a diamond ring, and a wander around the city on Sunday evening. I'd highly recommend the bridge climb, if you can manage to go around dusk, it's fantastic to watch the sunset in the west over the Blue Mountains. We also had a lovely dinner after the climb on Saturday with everyone else at James Squire Brewery down on the King St Wharf. I had the kangaroo - there's something pleasing about eating a national icon :)
Yeah, for those of you that read that last paragraph and went "diamond ring?!? Wha?!".. I finally gave in, and proposed to Raewyn on the top of the Sydney harbour bridge. I'm still coming to terms with having a fiancÚ, rather than just a girlfriend :).
For those that are wondering, how do you take the ring up on the bridge, when you can't carry loose items? Well, it turns out it's not uncommon for guys to propose on the bridge.. So the BridgeClimb folk have this thing called an ERD - an Engagement Ring Device. Basically an elastic armband with a ribbon attached. The ring is placed over one side of the ribbon, and the two ends are placed through a small plastic toggle - like the one you have on your sleeping bag cover. When you are up on the bridge, you loosen the toggle, and place the ring on the appropriate finger, hold hands together, and slide the elastic from you to your (now) fiancÚ. It's a bit hard to describe, but it works quite well.
Anyway, This happened underneath what the Aussies call 'Blinky Bill' - the flashing red light on the top of the bridge used as a bit of a warning/navigation aid to aircraft. Our climb group were on the western arch of the bridge awaiting the descent, and the group behind were on the eastern arch after just arriving. Both erupted into applause, and cheering when I went down on one knee... quite an experience! The amusing anecdote of the whole thing was about 3-4 minutes later, as we were descending, Raewyn said "Oh my god, I'm engaged" - it had just sunk in.. At that dinner afterwards? We walked up to join the others, and they erupted into more applause and cheering, in front of the all the other diners.. Bastards.
Right, now back to the real topic... The Seven crew really do have this LCA job all sorted out, and Sydney in January 2007 is the place to be.. Hell, even I'm tempted to put in a paper submission this time around - normally I'd try and avoid it!
(I need to get back into this blogging thing again, it's so easy to just fall out of the habit when you get busy with other things.. I promise to try harder from now on!)