Last night Alco called for a farewell drink at Ha’Penny’s, given he’s shipping out to Perth this Friday, for at least five years. The usual suspects were there – the Ben group, Ange (and friend Tracy), Sket & Sean, Lisa, … I think that’s more or less everyone. [Adele’s] Michael arrived a bit later too, actually, as did Sarah & Terrence.
In typical fashion though, half the Ben group were gone by about 9:30, which is a bit sad given I didn’t get there until nearly 9, for an event that started at 8… anyway, I did get a chance to talk with a fair few people – mainly Lisa, Sean, Alco, Scotty, Pauly and [Adele’s] Michael. I’m not sure why I keep insisting on the Adele prefix; habit I guess, and also because I don’t know his surname and thus have no better way of distinguishing him. :)
I was surprised actually that Kim asked about when I was leaving for the U.S., both for the fact that I didn’t think anyone really paid much attention and was aware I was leaving, but perhaps moreso that she took an interest. It continues the inexplicable recent pattern of us getting along fine, although it’s a bit stupid that we’ve known each other for how many years, and yet only now start getting along? Bah. :)
Anyway, I didn’t speak to her much otherwise though. I addressed the group at large a few times with minor anecdotes and whatnot, and mentioned to Sverra the guy I’d shot in the butt at paintball – Sverra brought it up, after someone or other asked how paintball had went; so everyone did know about it, they just chose to ignore my invite. Pfft.
I talked with Sean a bit about the airshow – Sket’s taking him this year, and he’s never been, so it’s going to be a pretty amazing day for him, I’m sure. I told him a bit about it, the layout, how it generally works, but of course in a nutshell the reason you go to the airshow is to feel the F/A-18 Super Hornets moving the ground beneath you, to see the F-111 go through $200k of fuel in a few seconds, and of course to get slightly crispy off the wall of fire finale. And there’s just no way to convey those to someone 2nd hand.
I caught up with Lisa a bit – we discussed the sad state of housing and rental prices these days, among other things, and general travel. Travel was a good topic for me, for the night, given my impending such, which I used for all it was worth as a conversation driver. :D
I also talked with Tracy for a bit about NZ – she went on a Contiki tour a few years back, and is planning another one later this year, both in NZ. She recommended the bunjee jumping – she did two of the three jumps, chickening out on the biggest one :) – and also recommended, of all things, fly-fishing. Although she then conceded that’s simply because you finish up early and spend the night at the pub, or something like that. :)
Talking to Michael I found out he actually works for a cheese company (‘Maple’?) earning rather nice money, for the hours he works, and that he & Adele are soon to be departing their apartment in Frankston for a house in (I think) Carrum Downs somewhere. Or out that way, at least – McClelland drive or somesuch. Anyway, that was a bit scary – now even people my actual age, not just those a few years more advanced, are getting into home ownership. And here I am just contemplating what car to buy, pfft. :/
Next up I chatted with Pauly briefly about general whatnot… he & Joe have also bought a place, in Baxter from memory, and they now have a cat, because, as he put it “she likes dogs, I like cats, so we got a cat”. :)
Talking to Scotty, about travel once more, he mentioned a trip to the U.K. he’s planning in a few months, which I’m sure he’s looking forward to a bit – as he said, he’s been working his current job for 18 months or so without any holidays, so now he’s making good on them with one major bit of solid touristing. Although oddly enough he’s booked a few tours, but not any actual flights yet… he noted that the prices have been all over the place for the last while he’s been watching, so he’s of course wondering when to buy… but he noted that currently a return ticket to London is less than $2k, which is a darn good buy, imho.
And of course I chatted with Alco a bit, mainly about the navy life and general weird comings and goings of the base. I’m still somewhat disbelieving that he’s actually going to ship off to travel the world secretly, under the waves as a submariner, but, as Michael I think it was noted, he didn’t decide to join the navy on a mere whim, and he’s been wanting this for a long time now.
Still, it’s weird. :)
And that was about it, really… I think I left there not long after 11pm, one of the last three with Scotty & Alco. I took a few photos of people where I could, since it’ll be the last time I see them (probably for ever, I suspect, in some cases), but people were particularly disinterested in my amateur photography for the night, so many of the shots were candid, and consequently pretty mediocre. *sigh* I don’t like photos either, as is well known, but you know, when people are leaving on a pseudo-permanent basis, you should at least give them something to remember you by.
It was a shame I didn’t get to chat to more people, but as I noted as soon as they’d arrived they were already leaving, so in many cases I blinked and they were gone. Sket & Sean in particular, actually, disappeared at one point, without saying anything to me that I recall. That seems a little odd, given I’m not sure I’ll see them again before I leave, but, ah well. :/
And of course in some way I was hoping to talk to Sarah before I left. I’ve no idea what we’d talk about, which is probably a pretty good explanation for why we didn’t say a word to each other. But then I amused myself briefly at one point by running through my mind the scenario of kissing her passionately and then running off, leaving everyone to gape and bitch in the wake, so perhaps on that alone it’s a good idea we didn’t really meet. :D
As I said previously, I’m not sure anyone knew that this was the last time I’d see them… but then, I didn’t want to hijack Alco’s thing by making a big deal about it, so I didn’t say anything to anyone. I think that was the right thing to do, but it’s a shame; perhaps people would have stayed a little longer and actually caught up with me otherwise. Ah well.
It was a good night, all in all, even if I was back home before midnight. :P