Welcome Home Gigs

The nice thing about the tour being over and us being home is that we get to do our ‘Welcome Home’ gigs – pretty much being able to tell people exactly how much ass we kicked when we were away! (not that we’re fond of bragging or anything!) The first of these gigs took place in Bookfinder’s Cafe in Belfast. This is a monthly event and a good nights craic (as well as some brilliant poetry) is guaranteed.
So the touring group did their Oz set which went down a storm. Many people commented on the change in our performance and our confidence levels….which I guess is what 38 shows in 42 days in Oz will do to ya!
The next ‘gig’ was had was really an after tour party. We all descended on Gordon and Charlottes house on a Saturday night, ate, drank and partied til 7am, oh and in the middle of it all we did our set. It was great and such a nice supportive atmosphere to be performing in….if not a little surreal!
The moment of the night for me –  There was a guy who at the begining of the show didn’t want to be there cos “poetry is all for academic wankers and has no relevance to anyone else”. At the end of the show when he marched up to me, told me I was brilliant, and the show was fab and he was gonna make a special effort to come to the next Bookfinders gig – I think I could have died and gone to Poet Heaven. So its like Gordon says – this is why we do what we do, to make a connection with even one person in the audience who had no interest in poetry before.
So there you go, Oz 06 Tour has officially wrapped (thankfully ending on a high) and we are now getting geared up for Oz Tour 07. You’ll find me in the next few months buried under funding forms and wishful thinking 😉

Bridge Climb and Bondi Beach

So starting this blog is kinda sad cos to get to the cool stuff thats happened this week I have to remember the sad stuff. Firstly Steve Irwin died which hit us all really hard. We had just been to his zoo in Brisbane and then we’d gone to the Barrier Reef and we must have been there at the same time as him. He’d been swimming and was hit in the chest by a Sting Ray barb which could have happened to any of us as we were swimming in the reef. It was hard for all of us to hear as he’s a bit of an icon at home and all through the trip we’d been cultivating our Ozzy accents based on his. At the zoo his image is everywhere and that of his kids too and it really is such a shame. I hope they’re able to keep the zoo open as they do a lot of great conservation work and we had a really great day there.
Secondly we said goodbye to our wee poetic touring family! Ellen and I flew to Sydney to get our flights home while Chelley, Gordon and Jenni stayed in Perth to do some more gigs. It’s so weird not to see them everyday, after all we’ve spent five and a half weeks living in each others pockets, and we’ve been used to travelling together and so now for there to be just us two is … well…. just plain weird!
Anyway the cool stuff – Yesterday Ellen and I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (another tick off my list!) Yes, little old used-to-be-afraid of heights me climbed 1,337 stairs attached only by a wee harness (and dressed in a rather fetching jump suit) and arrived 134 metres above sea level and bloody loved it! The view is amazing. You can see for miles! They promise you the climb of your life and it really is, well worth every penny. I would seriously advise anyone visiting Sydney to do the climb. Before we arrived to do it I thought, I’m bound to panic at some point on the climb up, but I really didn’t. Not even during the part where you walk across this mesh stuff and you can see the cars whizzing by below you, not even when I was climbing the stairs (which are practically vertical) and there are trains shooting by on either side, not even when I was stood at the top looking out at the Opera House which looked like a tiny toy! I think I’m braver than I give myself credit for!
So that was a perfect way to spend our last full day in Sydney. Today we got kicked out of the youth hostel early and we had some time to spare before our flight tonight so we decided we’d go to Bondi Beach. Just to say we’d been there – thats another one of those tourist things!  Its really windy today and the waves are massive and there’s sand blown everywhere. So we got some really funny pictures of us! Managing to look windswept and interesting!
So there you go – adventure almost over. Everything ticked off the list and so I guess its time to go home and write a new list….for next years trip!