Sunday, September 16, 2007

Clare's Eighteenth

Last night was Clare's (youngest's) eighteenth birthday party. I do not have photos yet. If any turn out well, I might put a few up.

It was nice.

It was a James Bond Casino Royale evening. Helen (eldest) arranged for some of her friends to act as croupiers. They all dressed up. We had a proper poker table, black jack and roulette.

On arrival, along the red carpet - my wife who has a genius for small touches arranged this - each guest was given a packet of imitation money to exchange for chips. Then Helen with Jenny, a friend, gave them a cocktail.

We had to watch this a bit. One guest was allergic to pineapple juice. So she had to be looked after separately. Then some did not drink. This is Sydney, so we had to take into account both religious and family prohibitions. Then, too, we did not want anybody drunk.

Again, this is Sydney where getting smashed is a right of passage among some. Eldest, who works as a barmaid just up the road, handled this very well. People could get as many drinks as they wanted. But she used half shots, thus spacing the drinking out. Some girls brought in their own, but there were no problems.

I wore a white tux to fit in. The first part of the evening was spent in taking as many photos as possible. The second part in playing black jack.

At various times I wandered outside for a smoke, taking to the two security guys. This is another feature of modern Sydney. You really do need security - and it costs - because if you get 2-3 people SMSing party details it build like a chain letter.

I enjoyed my chats. The chief security bloke was a Malaysian Chinese from Ipoh, a town that I knew. The second a Lebanese of Muslim faith who, while now a pharmacist, still helped his friend out from time to time. I fear that that I was a bit inquisitive with the second, since I am presently trying to find out things about the the Lebanese community in Australia since the lunch at Fatima's.

Towards the end, and this will please Neil (Ninglun), I watched the second half of Australia-Wales in the Rugby with a group.

Why will this please Neil? Well, Neil taught at Sydney Boys High and wrote a post on Sydney Boy's High and Rugby.

Neil, three of the group including Clare's current friend play Rugby with Sydney Boy's High, none in the first, so there you are. The fact that I played for TAS (The Armidale School) against High provided an immediate link. There are some YouTube videos on matches this year between the two schools: I should post them.

And, Neil, you are clearly remembered!


Anonymous said...

My God, Jim, what did they remember?

Lexcen said...

It saddens me to realize that we can no longer feel comfortable and safe in our own homes and need to hire security guards to protect us. I think you were wise to think ahead as the news this week is disturbing when it comes to incidents of gatecrashers.

Jim Belshaw said...

Sorry for the delay in responding chaps. We didn't talk in detail, Neil, because we were watching football. Just clear name recognition when I mentioned you in passing.

Lexcen, it is sad. I suppose that there have always been gate crashers. But in the past, they did not have mobile phones. One tells three, three tell three each and so on.

We did have problems at Helen's eighteenth. But this time it was blissfully quiet.