The year started beautifully, waking up at my friend J's place and a fab New Years Breakfast at Darby Street, Zinc. We'd had a great night out with L at the pop-up Hendricks bar at The Landing. So I am hopeful the year will continue as well as it started.
The Library was also closed an extended period over Christmas and New Year which meant a lovely break.
L & I hit The Regal on a hot Friday night to see The Big Lebowski, complete with bowling alley, Creedance, Hotdogs and beer, this was an excellent night out. The Dude Abides.
C & I had a day of art in Newcastle, which began with a delicious brunch at Cazador, the movie Mr Turner (with Timothy Spall as the great but tortured artist, beautifully directed by Mike Leigh with each frame a painting within the movie and outstanding acting). After a splurge at Coco Mondo for afternoon tea we spent time at Newcastle Art Gallery fascinated by the wonderful Patricia Piccinini exhibition.
The family got together for a New Years BBQ prior to me heading back to work fresh and relaxed. Which was a good thing as that first day (and indeed that week) was absolutely insane.
A, L & I caught up with S at Five Sawyers. Was a lovely evening of food, beer, and chatter. A relaxed atmosphere at the bar but no air conditioning on a hot night made for a very hot and icky feeling throughout the evening.
I took myself to see The Imitation Game on a Friday afternoon off work. You can read about it here in one of my many Oscar Watch blogs.
I also saw St Vincent with Bill Murray in the title role. I headed in one Sunday when I was feeling a bit low, Bill will cheer me up I thought to myself. It was a rainy day, but I couldn't find a park anywhere near the cinema, ran in the rain all the way there, and due to the time wasted finding a park, only had a short period of time to shove back something quickly at Soul Food Cafe. Always a delight there, pity I had to rush the meal. The film itself was brilliant and well worth seeing, however it was more a drama than a comedy and a very intense one at that. The cast was sensational, the story amazing, but boy, don't go and see it if you need cheering up, I bawled the whole way through.
J & I saw the mighty Steve Smyth at The Stag and Hunter. This was our second viewing and he was even better than the first time. I was also impressed with The Stag, turning itself into a great little live music venue!! Hurrah!!!
We held our first Movie Night at work mid Jan on a hot Friday night, well attended, it was lovely to hear everyone enjoying The Castle.
I had a volunteer gig at The Regal during the month and even learned some of the tricks behind their famous choc tops! After the session I watched the intense Whiplash.
C & I had an amazing art adventure in Sydney, seeing the brilliant Chuck Close exhibit at the MCA and the Pop to Popism at the NSW Art Gallery. We had brunch at Circular Quay, lunch at the most lovely cafe in Myers of all places and dinner at The Sydney Festival. Add in a bit of shopping, and a visit to Kinokuniya Books, a very excellent day was had. You can read about the art here.
Another family BBQ the following day, and then C & I headed in to see Birdman, followed by an early dinner at The Hood. Yummy hamburgers, chips and shakes enjoyed with a cool jukebox blasting in the background. We cooled off with a swim at The Ocean Baths.
The following weekend J & I went to my local for Chinese, Peacock Palace - always a great meal, and then saw Wild.
The busy and amazing month ended seeing my hero, Neil Gaiman at City Recital Hall in Sydney, and you can read about the experience here.
What an amazing month, January is always full on fun things to do and you feel - despite working very hard - a bit like you are still on holidays.
I feel this was a great start to my year, so hopefully more of the same as the months go on.