Sunday, August 21, 2011

A big weekend at home in Darwin

This weekend has been chock-o-block with activities! It's been an awesome cathartic experience of Music, dance, sailing and film. There are many ways to "Suck the Marrow..." and this week it's been with the aid of the Darwin Festival.

Friday - Attended Fun Run with Humphrey: My wife intended to take the kids while she waited for me to finish work... I called her to find out where she wanted to be picked up from and she demanded insisted I come in to Fun Run. There was laughing singing and loud music in the background... It sounded like fun so I headed in. 

Grey Panthers at Fun Run
(Grey Panthers performing at Fun Run)

FUN RUN was awesome! There was so much positive energy at Raintree Park on Friday night you might have thought everyone was High! I stayed from 5:30 until 8:00 my wife and kids got there at 4! 
The show was laced with all kinds of local acts from the Grey Panthers to the D City Rockers - Break Dancing crew. Humphrey gave us an aural history of the Greek Legend of Pheidippides while running the distance of a marathon on a treadmill! The dance crew who were accompanying Humphrey were incredible! They spread the love and smiles around and it was infectious! Darwin City was pumping! People were literally dancing in the street. Everyone was happy and smiling! It's hard to describe the sense of elation our whole family felt during and after this great show! (OK we don't get out much but Wow what an experience!)
I also took the opportunity to take child 2 for a Pedicab Ride! It was so cool! The Pedicab riders (It seems they are all female after dark.) were really friendly and happy to talk about their work, so I had a good chat with my rider about what it's like to be a Pedicab rider, I had been worried about the safety of riders at night and she did mention there is occasionally aggro from drivers but overall they are received well by people around town, and it's a great way to meet people. The riders I met were also enjoying the atmosphere generated by Fun Run!

Saturday Morning - Sailing lessons: It was a bit gusty and my head wasn't properly screwed on... I capsized twice! My poor crew must have been wondering what the hell I thought I was doing. We live and learn. 
Important things for me to remember about sailing: 
1. If you're going to let go of something in the middle of a tack, let it be the main sheet rather than the tiller! (If you let go of the main sheet you're not likely to capsize. If however you choose to let go of the tiller and pull tight on the main sheet..... well, Sailors just don't do that.)
2. DON'T let go of the Tiller!

Sailing Tally 
3 capsize (once turtled), 2 grazed ankles, Several bumps on the head (hit by the boom! More than once!)
Capsized once during attempted Man overboard drill!
I went home with tail between legs but it was fun anyway. ;)

(Pretty sure this is a Cotton plant - Lee Point Reserve)

Saturday Afternoon - Walk with the family from Lee Point to Casuarina Nudist beach. It was a lovely walk and the kids found cotton. Feeling pretty good.

Projector Bike
(Projector Bike)

Saturday Evening - Projector Bike! A bunch of happy cyclists met at the old Palmerston Town Hall in Darwin to join a small film festival on wheels! Projector bike consists of a 3 wheeled Danish Style Cargo Bike which holds a databeam projector and, I presume, a computer full of films and music. The audience all ride their bikes and follow the 'Projector Bike' around town to various locations suitable for projecting images onto a blank wall. This was such great fun and the crew of 3 organizers facilitated the ride beautifully. The films were all Australian Short films and all quite tame and heartwarming themes. As we rode from venue to venue the MC played some pretty cool music through his sound system and the two assistants controlled traffic so the rest of us could ride in a group and not be intimidated by other traffic.
Thanks guys I think everyone had a really great time! There was even a couple who'd chartered a Pedicab especially for the ride.
Saturday Night - Neil Murray at the Railway Club. I only found out about Neil Murray being in Darwin by mistake! I have not sought out events to go to during the Darwin Festival. Mostly I've found out about them via my wife and figured if she's encouraging me to go to something, I won't be looking any gift horses in the mouth. On Friday night before I went to pick them up I thought I'd check out the Railway Club in Parap. I hadn't been in there since, pre-marriage dancing lessons, er... about 12 years ago... long before the old place burned down. Anyway the doors were open so I thought I'd check it out on Friday afternoon and there in the foyer is a poster announcing Neil Murray will be playing Saturday Night! I really like listening to Neil Murray! He was due to start while I was at Projector Bike but I was determined to find a way to do both things.
On Saturday Night after Projector Bike I peddled my heart out as the show was over and headed for Parap pronto! I got there while he was performing the first set and met up with a couple of friends too! This is officially the biggest night out I've had since my first child was born! I have tried to see Neil Murray on several occasions but circumstances had not been generous... until now. I sat blissfully contented, my friends must have thought I was being anti social because I didn't want to talk at all! I just wanted to absorb the atmosphere... listen to Neil sing and enjoy the moment.  Another awesome night! I loved the story Neil told about his Dad and the song was great too but what topped it off was the little jig he danced at the end. "Go Out Dancing!" 

Neil and Dan

Neils songs are a great social commentary in Ballad and I really like his style but the Crowd really went off when he played the old Warumpi favorite "Black Fella -White Fella". The raw rock of that song really gets people motivated.
When it was time to go my 2 friends had missed the last bus home so we picked up a spare bike I had stashed at a place near by and cruised home by bicycle. Putting the Xtracycle to good use one got a free ride home and kacked herself laughing all the way. Apparently sitting as a passenger on the back of a bicycle is a peculiar and hilarious mode of transport! It may be unusual and a little odd but she didn't offer to ride and I think when we got home she was well impressed with the ride.

Sunday - Teddybear picnic... Nuff Said!


Tom said...

Like the capsizing, er sailing story.
Reminds me to get the Walker Bay out before the dry ends.


David J said...

Thanks Tom... Maybe I'll have some sailing stories one day. But after last weeks effort I don't think I'd be accepted into the guild for some time yet. ;)

I checked out the Walker Bay sailing dinghies, They are quite neat little boats. Have fun out there.