29.11.2003 - 03.12.2003 28 °C
Sat 29 November 2003 Depart Sydney – via Hong Kong (purchase “The Riders” at Syd Airport and read it cover to cover before getting into HK! As soon as it was dark. During departure could clearly see the city and the house at Annandale as I was in a window seat on the RHS and we took off to the north. Careful on this occasion to ensure my pocket-knife was in the checked-through baggage!
It is easy to be complacent about the town where you live but there are times when Sydney can really smack you in the face, sometimes it’s like an angry enemy sometimes it’s like a playful lover. The image out of the window was the latter rather than the former. There laid out before me were the glories of our age, that house of high culture and it’s attendant fireworks launch pad!
Because it was dark before we got to the northern coast I had ample time to complete reading “The Riders”. It was for me an absorbing book because the tale of a man struggling to find his love it was played out in a global setting. As always Winton’s characters have a strong link with Western Australia.(a place close to my heart too) in this case they originate in Fremantle. Ah, Freo! What can you say about a town that once so neglected and shabby that is now so cool and hip and vibrant – there is a place I love returning to.
Anyway transit of HK was uneventful (well, apart that is from being a little overwhelmed by the size of the place!).
Sun 30 November 2003
land Paris 07:00 local time (very cold) then TGV to Lyons. Check into Richelieu at 10:00AM local time.
Get food at nearby shop and store it in between double glazing to keep beer, cheese and wine cool.
I unpack my portable kitchen which consists of knife, fork, spoon and bowl along with a tea-towel packed in a vinyl wallet.
Monday 1 December 2003
A day off – spent sight-seeing in Lyons (park at sunrise, croix rousse, confluence of Rhone and Saone – rather bizarre monument to the new millennium (my prediction is it wont last through the next century – it already looks tired and a bit weather-beaten!)
Tue 2 December 2003
App Server Course
Ate lunch at Café on Course Lafayette where I had eaten on several occasions before.
In the morning I connected to the company network and downloaded my emails and to my surprise found I had a new boss. A man I had worked for before and found less than a happy experience. Accompanying the unhappy announcement were urgent messages from my current boss to contact him straight away. I did and learned the awful truth, my happy and fulfilling working life might be coming to an end.
One of the advantages of sleeping poorly is that occasionally one sees real gems broadcast on television. I saw Two things that attracted my attention, the first were reruns of a 1997 situation comedy from France called “Two from Three” or something similar. The star of the show was Emma Colberti whose sole purpose seemed to be to find excuses to wear a shorter skirt than last night! Very entertaining! On a serious note there was a program (subtitled) from the US called, “Inside the Actors Studio” which took the form of a talk-show in front of a live audience from an acting school in Los Angeles. I had the enjoyment of watching hour long interviews with such celluloid luminaries as Ron Howard (fascinating, truly), Meg Ryan (errr, okay), Bert Reynolds (please!!?) and others… No, the Ron Howard interview was quite entertaining and revealed a humble and down to earth man.
Wed 3 December 2003
App server course continued
I ate lunch at Quick Burger because Stefan (German Engineer) was not feeling very adventurous and did not want to spend too much as he was foregoing his EUR$8 voucher.
At night the course attendees all headed home and I was left to my own devices again. I spent the time trying to plan my time off.