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07 Feb

A gay, a lady and some sisters

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / February 7, 2007 / 0 Comments
Happy Mardi Gras!

Well what a busy weekend. After the early Bridge Climb it was time for the launch of Mardi Gras 2007. You know Summer is well and truly here when you’re sitting in the sun on the steps of the Opera House waiting for the Mardi Gras launch. It was all arranged by text message so we knew where to meet and when but didn’t really know what was going to happen….it was a kind of attempt at flash-mobbing. There were rumours that the guys from Little Britain would be making an appearance though.

Bob & Aunty Mavis appear

As expected it was a little disorganised at the start, we didn’t really have a clue what was going on, then some people turned up with Happy Mardi Gras flags, hats and plastic Gaydar maracas (yes the full name of MG is “Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras presented in partnership with gaydar.com.au”…snappy ey?). Finally Bob Downe & Aunty Mavis turned up and got proceedings underway.

"I declare this thing open"

By now there were a few hundred of us on the steps, tourists wandered round looking mildly bemused as to what was going on, but what was good to see was some of them joining in, acquiring some maracas and shaking them along to the music, even some olden people too! The short route took us from the Opera House to Customs House at Circular Quay. Firstly there were a few speeches and finally, as expected Matt Lucas and David Walliams from Little Britain appeared as their alter egos Daffyd Thomas (the only gay in the village) and Emily Howard (“I’m a Lady!”) to officially declare Mardi Gras open….and that was it, next big event is Fair Day on Feb 18th.

All the photos from the launch on Flickr!

Scissor Sisters Live 4

Then on Monday night (yes that is a bizarre night for a concert) I went to see the Scissor Sisters at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Support act was Sneaky Sound System, dunno if anyone outside of Oz has heard of them but they’re a reasonably well know dance act over here. They were pretty good tho I’d say the arena was only half full for them. Most people didn’t bother to turn up till about 9pm and the Sisters finally appeared on stage about half past, 2 hours after the start time!….how rude!

Anyways, it was a great gig, well worth seeing, so much energy though Aussie audiences are quite reserved with those in the seating only getting off their arses to dance to the more well know tracks, of course I was up there waving my hands in the air for most of the gig, after all I wanted to get my $100 worth!!

More photos from the gig on Flickr!

03 Feb

Anyone for an early morning bridge climb??

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / February 3, 2007 / 0 Comments
First pic of the day and the best

Well finally after being in Sydney now on and off for over 2 years I’ve done the Bridge Climb….but not just any old Bridge Climb….the dawn one! So the alarm went off at 3.15am to get to the climb for 4am, the most ridiculous thing was paying $295 for the pleasure of such an early start. 3.15am is the sort of time I’d normally be coming in on a Saturday morning, not heading out, however it wasn’t actually that difficult, went to bed at about 9pm so had quite a bit of sleep.

A quick scooter ride into the city and I was at the climb HQ which is a few hundred meters from the bridge under the southern approach road. Dawn climbs start between 4am and 4.30, mine was 4.15 so basically there’s 3 groups that head up for sunrise. Firstly you have to get prepped up which includes a breathalyser test (to make sure you’re not going to vomit onto the cars below or more stupidly fall off), changing into the climb suit, going through a metal detector to ensure you’re not sneaking anything up there and gearing up (including radio pack & headset, cap, handkerchief, lanyard for your sunnies, headlamp, and the most important bit, the clip to connect you to the safety rail for the journey).

There were 8 of us altogether, maximum group size is 12. We set off in the dark and the route takes you under the bridge between the pylons, you’re directly under the road deck so you can hear the cars and trains going over, at this point you’re about 50m above water level. I have to admit that was probably the slightly scariest bit because the walkway is like a metal mesh so you can see right down to the road/water below. My legs were a little bit wobbly. Then you climb a ladder which takes you between two lanes of traffic (of course this is all protected so no fear of being smacked by a lorry) and up to the start of the arch. Once you’re on the arch it all feels a lot more solid and a lot less disturbing.

It’s still pretty dark at this point but you can see the sky starting to lighten over to the east which is over the ocean. The climb to the summit is leisurely with regular long stops to take in the amazing views to the city, Opera House, Harbour, out to the ocean, and loads of Sydney in all directions. There’s a couple of photo stops on the way which, if you decide to buy them, you’ll be shafted for, but more on that later. As the sun rose the sky went from dark blue to orange, pink….etc, etc. The weather couldn’t have been any better, when we started climbing at 4am it was 20C, dry with the odd wispy cloud around. Those clouds made the sunrise even more stunning.

As we approached the summit the sky was getting lighter but the sun still hadn’t risen above the horizon, the clouds turned from pink to orange to white. We watched the city light up and the fishing boats heading out to see leaving long wakes behind them that slowly spread across the harbour. Although there’s 8 lanes of traffic and two railway lines below you it’s amazingly quiet at the top.

After the free group shot pic you slowly make your way down the western side of the bridge and eventually back to terra firma. Now having spent $295 on this you’d think you’d get your photos for free…..well you do get the group shot and a climbing certificate included. But if you want the individual shots then it’ll cost ya….$65 for four, yes I said FOUR, photos on a CD!!!! It’s an extraordinary rip off but you can’t spend $300 and not have a record of it so I swiped the card and got the pics, the best one you see here, the other three are here on Flickr (yep I’m probably gonna start putting the pics on Flickr instead of Webshots so there’s ANOTHER photo album on the web!).

I’m probably gonna do it again sometime, but not the dawn one. The tour guide said that one of the best days to do it is Australia Day coz the harbour is full of boats and there’s loads to see, so that could be a plan for 2008. Overall if you’re only gonna be in Sydney once and you got the money it’s worth doing, it’s overpriced for sure, but there’s no other way to see the city.

18 Jan

The Joys of Flat Hunting in Sydney

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / January 18, 2007 / 0 Comments
Flat hunting

So the time has come to move on, the flat I’ve got is very nice inside, but I’m just over the noise in the area, here are some highlights from the last few weeks/months:

  • Rubbish collections pretty much every day from as early as 5.30am
  • 25 minutes of smashing glass on a Sunday morning at 6.30am from a glass collection down the road
  • Two construction sites in the same street starting from 7am 6 days a week
  • Re-roofing directly above my bedroom at 7.30 on a Saturday
  • Drunk eediots losing all sense of internal volume at any hour of the evening/morning
  • Regular fire alarms from the apartment block down the lane
  • Downstairs neighbours with bongos and the complete inability to hold conversations at normal volume
  • Restaurant a few doors down deciding to turn itself into a impromptu nightclub with associated thumping bass toons
  • Street used as a car park for western suburb wog blowing in on a Friday and Saturday night (only Aussies will get that one)
  • Piercing continuous tone sprinkler alarm from the rear of a nearby nightclub, think tinnitus

Now of course I know that I could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire and that you can’t guarantee peace and quiet if you’re gonna live near the city. However there are certainly some things that I can get off the list by moving to an area with no/less restaurants and bars, and further away from the ‘entertainment hub’ of Oxford St. Yeah it was all good being close to the action when I first got here but now I’m over it.

I’m not exactly planning on moving miles away, in fact it would be ideal to stay in Surry Hills but to just move to the quieter bits. Having the scooter makes life a little easier as I can get around and not have to worry about buses, so I could move further away but I’d still rather be able to stumble home after a night out rather than relying on Sydney taxis.

Deciding to move is the easy part, then you’ve got the hideous nightmare that is flat-hunting in Sydney. I’m not actually in any hurry and the original plan was to move after Mardi Gras as Jan is probably the most popular month. But I’m keeping my eyes peeled online now and visiting the ones that have potential…..and there in lies the most difficult.

There’s no simple call the Estate Agent and arrange a time to go look at the property yourself type thing over here….oh no! Over here you have the joys of open inspections where the property is open for 15 mins for you to go have a look, and it’s not just you, it’s every bloody flat hunter in Sydney. If the Real Estate (that’s Aussie for Estate Agent) are particularly generous they’ll hold it on a Saturday when most normal people are free, if not it’ll be during office hours when only unemployed people can go and they can’t afford the bloody apartments anyway! If you’re even luckier the property will be open for a whole 30 minutes, if you’re not you’ll get 10!

So for instance last Saturday off I trotted to a one bed apartment on Stanley St in East Sydney. As I approached the building there stood a crowd of about 20 people. By the time the doors had opened more had arrived, then you have the scramble to get in first so you can see what it actually looks like swiftly followed by what looks like a house party which has been massively gatecrashed.

Now if you’re looking at a few that day you could find yourself racing from the 10 minute viewing at 9.40am in Surry Hills to the 15 minute viewing at 10am in Darlinghurst, to the 30 minute viewing in Kings Cross at 10.20, etc, etc, etc…..if you’re really unlucky the 2 places you really like the look of will be showing at exactly the same time or too close for you to be able to see both….which one shall I choose, which one????!?!?!

The papers are also cheerily running stories about a renting crisis in Sydney, rents due to rise by 20%, landlords getting greedy…etc. So it’s a total lottery, I may well find the place of my dreams but then I’ll probably be against god knows how many others all wanting it, so there’s no negotiation on the rent, it’s full whack or nothing, in fact some people even offer more to guarantee the place….madness!

So wish me luck, so far this Saturday I’ve got 3 to look at and if you’re interested in what apartments are like in Sydney these are they: Zetland, Surry Hills, Surry Hills again but it’s supposed to be a gorgeous day so I might have to drop some for the beach, it’s all about priorities…..

17 Jan

Scooter-tastic!

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / January 17, 2007 / 0 Comments
Scooter

At last I no longer have to rely on public transport to get around, no longer do I have to mingle with poor people, listen to some bint have a loud conversation on her mobile about the fabulous dinner parties she goes to and how incredibly popular she is; "I just can’t decide which one to go to"….I’m finally mobile! It’s got two less wheels than I’d like but frankly owning a car when you live so close to the city would be stupid and expensive, so a scooter it is then.

His name is Monty, he’s 10 days old and he’s ‘Pale Mint Silver’, formally he’s known as a Vmoto Montego 125cc. Now you can’t just go buy a scooter over here, they’ve got a similar thing in place like the UK where you now have to be separately licenced to ride a motorbike/scooter. In the olden days when I was young(er) you didn’t need all that palaver so I happily rode a hand-me-down scooter when I was 16/17 but never actually got a proper licence when all the laws changed.

Step one was to get a NSW Drivers Licence, you can’t hold licences from more than one country so to get the bike licence I had to get ride of the UK licence, well not get rid of coz if I go back to the UK I’ve still got it. Next step was to arrange to go on the ‘Pre-Learner’ which is a two day 4 hour course to teach you the basics of using a bike. The slight hurdle here was actually getting on it, bike/scooter use is going bonkers in Sydney coz the traffics a nightmare and the public transport is crap. So there was a roughly 3 month waiting list, think I phoned in September to get a Jan booking! This I took on a manual, first time I’d every ridden a manual bike and I didn’t fall off, crash or anything…..I did, however, stall a few times. Once you’ve passed the two dayer you have to take a ‘Driver Knowledge Test’ which is just a multiple choice test taken at the local RTA (NSW equivalent of the DVLA) office.

So on the weekend of the 5th and 6th Jan I took the Pre-Leaner, passing with honours…..well actually there’s no honours but there should be. On the 8th I took the DKT….again gliding through it easily, and that was it, licence done and dusted. Of course it’s not quite that simple…..after 3 months but before 6 I have to do the ‘Pre-Provisional’ training and take the ‘Motorcycle Operator Skills Test’. If you’re under 30 you go on to a provisional licence but because I’m over 30, experienced and wise I go straight on to a full licence….yay!

I shall be ensuring that Monty doesn’t turn me into a lazy fat bastard though, I’ll still be walking to work when it’s not too hot, the main aim will be to use it to get to places where I’d normally use a bus and to explore the bits of Sydney which are just too hard to get to if you don’t have your own wheels.

Right I’m off to go see if they local Hell’s Angels will let me join up…..laters!

06 Nov

Kylie Countdown

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / November 6, 2006 / 0 Comments

5 days and counting to the big comeback concert. Originally I was travelling round Oz when her concerts were on and I was never going to be in the right city at the right time. But then they got postponed, and in a fortunate turn of events those people that couldn’t make the rescheduled shows returned their tickets, meaning people like me could jump in and get them instead.

So I’m off to the first night of the comeback tour at the Sydney Entertainment Centre this Saturday 11th November, the night before I fly to NZ for my three week sojourn. It’s gonna be absolutely bloody amazing, can you imagine what’s gonna happen when she comes out on stage, the place will go off!! I suspect gays and 12 year olds will be fainting left, right and centre. Now I’ve just gotta work out how to get an invite/pass to the after party.

At some point during my NZ travels I’ll try and let you know how fabulous it was.

14 Oct

2nd Anniversary Edition

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / October 14, 2006 / 0 Comments
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Blimey o’reilly if it isn’t two years since I stepped off the plane at Perth airport and set foot on Australian soil….or tarmac.…for the first time. I would say doesn’t time fly but it does feel like 2 years, not that it feels like a long 2 years. Of course it’s actually 2 years and a bit since I left the UK but there was a 3 week stop in South Africa first…..I completely missed that anniversary on September 12th.

So today it’s 37C which is absolutely ridiculous, I think the first beach visit of the season is very likely. Plus to commemorate the anniversary of my arrival it’s a public holiday in Oz. There are many traditions which must be upheld on this day including; drink at least one vodka and diet coke with lemon in a tall glass, sing at least one karaoke song, visit Westfield Bondi Junction, eat chocolate and make sure you use the word “trousers” not “pants”, “flip flops” not “thongs”, “crisps” not “chips”, “sweets” not “lollies”, “pants” not “jocks”, etc….in other words speak proper English!

Talking of public holidays there was one a couple of weekends ago….Labour Day, dunno what it’s for but it was bloody nice to have a long weekend. You get bugger all holiday over here (I only get 20 days compared to the 25 I used to have in the UK) so the 10 standard public holidays are well needed.

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The weekend kicked off with the ACON Gala Preview of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, The Musical‘ at the Lyric Theatre, Star City. Yes if you haven’t heard already the super gay camp as camp film has made it to the stage and it has it’s world premiere and first run here in Sydney….where else. What we didn’t know when we went to see it was that it was the first night they’d actually run the show on the stage, it was the start of a week of previews before it opens to the public for real.

So as you can imagine there were a few teething problems, including a computerised bus which had decided to acquire artificial intelligence and not move when it should, and proceed to spin round when it shouldn’t almost wiping out the cast. It was amusing for the first hour or so but the breaks got a bit tedious. However the cast were great and the audience got behind them and after about 3 hours the end came.

When it’s all finished and the problems are ironed out it will be amazing, some of the big numbers are fantastic. Luckily they offered a voucher to everyone in the audience to get another ticket to go back and see it again….finished we hope. There would probably have been riot if they hadn’t offered that considering we all paid $100 a ticket! There was an afterparty at the Star City Showroom where local drags, the cast and the audience mingled, all very nice and plenty of cheap fake champagne around.

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On Saturday morning went down to a little ocean town called Kiama for a couple of days with Carl & Carlos (yes they are a couple), and their friend Michael. It’s about 2 hours drive south of Sydney. We stayed in a luxury 2 bed apartment which was pretty close to the water, ocean view from the lounge, lovely lovely. Generally the weekend was spent eating shite, eating out for breakfast and dinner and nibbling crap all day.

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It was also a sporty weekend, not doing, watching. Sat afternoon we watched the AFL Grand Final (that’s Aussie Rules Football) whilst drinking port and eating cheese and crackers….you see that’s how gays watch sport, very civilised. Then Sunday evening we flicked over to the NRL Grand Final (that’s National Rugby League) during the ad breaks in Australian Idol….you see gays do still prefer reality TV singing competitions to sport.

Kiama has a blowhole, it’s very exciting, you stand on some rocks and water spurts up, it’s a big tourist attraction you know. The most amusing part is watching Japanese tourists getting soaked when the wind whisks the water in unexpected directions.

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Kiama is also close to Jamberoo which is some teeny little village inland and is most well known for it’s water park….(sorry “action park”), “where you control the action” apparently. We went there on Sunday, sun was out and sky was blue but there was a slightly chilly wind. However we ripped our clothes off and braved it to go on the slides, fake beach, plunge pools, rapid river…..etc. Darn good fun actually though unfortunately there was lots of screaming brat children but it was tolerable.

So a jolly marvellous weekend was had by all….

Now must quickly jump on my soapbox….you must must MUST go and see ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘, it is one of the most informative and disturbing documentaries you’ll have ever seen. And if you’ve ever questioned the official account of 9/11 then you should read ‘The New Pearl Harbor‘ by David Ray Griffin, it poses a huge number of questions about how a world superpower with all it’s military defenses allowed this to happen.

22 Sep

Karaokey-dokey

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / September 22, 2006 / 0 Comments

I have few singing outlets at the mo, what with not having a car to drive around in and belt a few tunes on the way. How I miss being able to sing in the car, in your own little bubble, no one else to hear you, of course you have to stop when someone’s pulled up beside you, unless you’re feeling particularly brave.

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So thank god for karaoke, or thank the Japanese. Having not done it for ages I had a recent burst with two events, firstly my 32nd birthday. Off we went to Karaoke World on Elizabeth St. It’s one of these places with different size rooms where you have your own karaoke machines, mics and sound systems and you can just sing your heart out with friends and without disturbing the general public. You wonder what else goes on considering security check you over with one of those metal detector wands before you can get in the door…..some Triad activity by any chance???<

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Even though it was my birthday I was gallant enough to allow other people to use the mic. Those brave enough to come along were King, Chris, Mark, Carlos, Carl, Heiko and Raul. Not everyone sang, Chris unleashed his inner performer….well actually it’s not very inner, it’s pretty much there most of the time. I thought about just working my way through the song book from A-Z but with about 10000 songs to choose from I couldn’t quite squeeze them in to the couple of hours I’d booked the room for.

In the haze of the last month or so I fail to recall exactly what I did sing but titles that spring to mind include ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, ‘Don’t Mug Yourself’ by The Streets, er…um….that’s all I can remember at the mo, but you can be certain that there were many many many many many more during the evening.

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Opportunity number 2 came last week with PKF Idol, PKF being the company I work for, Idol being Idol. The new series of Australian Idol has been on for a few weeks so it was a fitting time to hold the event, the second one apparently. I was hoping that they would have gone to the effort of using the set of Oz Idol and getting the Oz Idol judges in (by the way that’s 3 people you’ll probably have never heard of…it’s all very local). Did they do that? Of course not, we ended up in the function room of The Forbes Hotel (now remember in oz hotel also = pub).

In the end there were 8 contestants including of course me. The excitement and apprehension was bordering on mild. I was 2nd to sing, luckily the first singer was rubbish so I didn’t have much to follow. My song for the evening was Will Young’s ‘Light My Fire’, a song I’ve done bajillions of times. I did wrestle with trying something new but frankly it was too disturbing a thought to cock it up in front of people you work with. The judges comments were excellent, verging on gushing, as to be expected.

In the end a bloody novelty act won!! Two girls singing ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ complete with 80s costumes and an appropriate alcohol level to pull it off. Being gracious in defeat I will say that they were actually pretty funny so deserved the gold cup with microphone for a handle. I’m sure the video footage of my performance will end up on YouTube at some point but I haven’t quite got it all figured out yet. Then I expect music producers and record companies to flood me with offers within seconds.

A selection of pics from birthday karaoke, PKF Idol and the launch of Body Combat 29 at Living Well Hilton are now in my Webshots album so off you go….

16 Aug

Snowing in Sydney???

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / August 16, 2006 / 0 Comments

Well not quite, but a freak hailstorm made it’s way over parts of the city and inner Sydney late yesterday afternoon (Tuesday August 15th). It left a covering of white in many places which, of course, didn’t last long as the sun came out and temperatures rose again. However it’s pretty rare to see Sydney with a covering of white stuff.

15 Aug

Running and Protesting

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / August 15, 2006 / 0 Comments

“What a beautiful Sunday morning, the sun is out and the sky is blue, what shall we do dear”?, “How’s about running from the city to Bondi with 65000 others?”….and that’s how thousands of people started their day on Sunday 13th August. London has it’s Marathon and Sydney has it’s City 2 Surf run. Of course decisions weren’t probably quite as last minute but having been at the start of the race and looking at some of the runners you’d wonder if they just got out of bed and thought they’d give it a go.

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The route takes runners from Hyde Park in the city all the way out to Bondi, a distance of about 14.5km or 9 miles. For many it’s a serious race with weeks or months of training while trying to achieve their best time. For others it’s about dressing up in a Chicken suit or getting together with friends and painting yourselves all the colours of the rainbow. For other’s it’s just a nice stroll on a Sunday morning.

The weather was perfect, blue skies, not a cloud to be seen and a pleasant 18°C. The thought of taking part did cross my mind for a few days but rapidly passed. However having gone down to see the start of the race it really made me feel like taking part, instead I ran in the opposite direction to the gym and jogged for 30 mins on the treadmill, not quite the same I guess.

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Because of the massive number of participants the race winner had actually finished by the time the back of the pack were still crossing the start line. He took 45 minutes to do the course so you can get an idea of how long it took to get everyone through the start. Every runner was given a red cap creating a sea of red as they wound their way down to Sydney’s most famous beach.

Later in the afternoon I found myself walking back to Hyde Park as part of a protest against the government’s ban on same sex marriage. Ironically having moved to one of the gayest and most tolerant cities in the world it happens to be in one of the most conservative and backward thinking countries in the world. When Tony Blair was preparing to introduce Civil Unions in the UK, John Howard, the Aussie PM, was busy changing laws in the country to specifically state that marriage is a union between a woman and a man only.

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The protest comes on the 2nd anniversary of that change and was marked by protests across the country in state capitals and rural areas. About 1500 people gathered in Taylor Square on Oxford St to hear a few speeches and wave a few banners. It was a pretty subdued affair but the point was to be there, to be part of the march which held up traffic making it’s way from Taylor Sq to Hyde Park. It felt quite empowering and liberating, cars honked as they passed on the opposite side of the road. Of course it’s difficult to determine if a honk represents a sign of support or a sign of “Get off the f*cking road ya bunch of poofs!”.

This news story from 2004 reports the introduction of the ban. Note the quote which states “Most Australians recognise that marriage is a sacred union the most basic building block of society and the foundation of a family”. Then consider that Channel Ten, one of the most popular terrestrial TV networks here, recently ran a reality TV show called ‘Yasmin’s Getting Married’ in which a woman had 9 weeks to find a husband and get married. Is this the ‘sacred union’ and ‘building block of society’ they’re talking about? And they’re worried that letting gays get married would destroy that institution!! Oh the irony. Luckily that show was canned in 4 days, unfortunately not for being extraordinary hypocrisy but just for crap ratings.

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There should have been more of us. Considering Sydney is a city of 5 million people, even a ridiculously conservative estimate of 1% would put the number of gays, lesbians, bi’s, whatevers, at 50000, and yet there were 1500 of us. As we marched past the homo bars of Oxford St we were applauded and many people raised a glass to us, and that kinda says it all. Too many people are happy to sit on their arse, drinking, letting other people do the work for them.

Many an argument for not supporting this particular protest was the use of the word ‘marriage’. Why do we want to be part of a outdated institution which even a large percentage of heterosexuals choose not to be a part of? As far as I’m concerned I don’t want ‘marriage’ in the conventional religious sense. However the simple fact is I don’t even have a choice. Not having that choice means that should I have a partner we won’t be entitled to various other rights accorded to heterosexual couples who are married, such as pension, next of kin, tax, inheritance, and other financial rights.

One of the most poignant reminders of how this discrimination can affect someone is in death. Let’s say I have a partner whom I’ve been with for years, shared my life with and loved. He dies, be it suddenly or expected. Having been unable to ‘marry’ or have a civil union I have no legal right to be present by my partners bedside, I have no legal right to be present in the hospital, I have no legal right to be at the funeral, all because I am not legally recognised as next of kin. My years of love can be wiped away in seconds if his family choose to do so.

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I pay as much as tax as the next person so why should I not be entitled to those rights. Someone had a placard on the march which said it all; “1st Class Taxpayer, 2nd Class Citizen”….nuff said.

24 Jul

Welcome and enjoy….

In Uncategorized by pauldwade / July 24, 2006 / 0 Comments

Ah the life of an Englishman in New South Wales….well let’s just call it Sydney shall we, though I’m no Quentin Crisp, the original Englishman in New….er, er, New York actually but close enough. You may recall the Sting song of the same name, or maybe you don’t, of course I am by no means condoning the listening to of the ex-Police frontmans songs, god no! Neither do I have a cravat and hat, though through the joys of photoshop I have been able to see what I look like with both….rather dashing don’t you think?? >>>>>

This little blog intends to be the musings of a pommie boy living in a place which shouldn’t really be a foreign land but in so many ways is. For instance, today I bought a couple of packs of McVitie’s Caramel Digestives from the ‘Treats From Home’ store in the Imperial Arcade Pitt St. Nothing particularly unusual about that really, oh and they were a total bargain at only $1 a pack (out of date of course but still entirely edible). No the thing that perfectly illustrates how foreign this country is is the pronunciation of McVitie’s. Us English types will pronounce it to rhyme ‘vit’ with ‘bit’….but oh no, over here they pronounce it with the ‘vit’ rhyming with ‘bite’….McViteie’s…..apparently they pronounce ‘vitamins’ the same way, and don’t even get me started on how they pronounce ‘data’!

So there ya go, just an example, I guess it’ll just be my musings on what surprises, amuses, excites, intrigues and annoys me about living in this island-as-big-as-a-continent they call Austraya….