James’ News & Progress – 15 August 2009

The week kicked off with the first of two keenly awaited lift opening parties – this one for the older generation!!!!. As you would expect, I took the opportunity to escort each and every one of the guests up to the second floor living area, beer in hand. Apart from catching up with many of mum and dads oldest friends and the neighbours, it was great for me to finally meet the builder and have a drink with both the architect and a good family friend who very generously made all the new wooden windows and doors. As you can imagine, given my current predicament, there has not been a whole lot of entertaining going on in the Gribble household recently so it was good to return to form. Now the fogies have set the precedent, the younger version is planned for a couple of weeks time.

To back that up, on Sunday it was time for the worlds biggest fun run – namely the City to Surf (for the non Aussies, this is a 14 km run from the Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach). As is tradition, hundreds of post city to surf BBQs begin to take shape throughout Bondi from about noon, with some of my good mates holding one of the more memorable ones in recent years. On arrival I remembered that the front door sits nicely at the top of almost 25 stairs from street level. After brief contemplation and sourcing 4 of my more sober mates I was escorted Cleopatra style into the building – lucky I was in my manual chair. It is about this time that you begin planning the timing of your evacuation as inebriated lifters become increasingly likely as the afternoon wears on and obviously less reliable. Suffice to say the 4 who helped me up initially had to be substituted late in the day. All in all it was quite a big weekend with plenty of practise trying to hold my drink – that is “grasp” the bottles.