All over Red Rover

NSHS 2007 badge

Aaaah, the day after. What a relief that it’s all over.

Our Northam Senior High School Reunion happened last night (Saturday night), and judging by people’s reactions, it was a triumph. I can’t count the number of times I was slapped on the back and congratulated, and my hand pumped, and hugged with thanks. People really appreciated seeing all their old friends and renewing friendships.

I received prolonged applause for my effort, which is very gratifying, I must say. I put in a big effort, especially in the last week, and it paid off, with everyone appreciative of the signage and the boards of old photos and the badges and certificates and the DVD and all. It’s OK, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It was a long day – we, the committee, started at midday, which was after an hour’s drive from my place. Three times during that drive I was hassled and verbally abused by other aggressive drivers! One was for driving at 60km/h in a 70km/h zone. The guy sat 6” from my rear, weaved from side to side trying to push past me in the single lane plus bike lane, then put his headlights on and moved even closer when I tapped my brake lights. Then I got the finger signal as he sped off at well above the limit. Nice.

Another was where we had to merge down into one lane in Curtin Ave, Swanbourne. A guy in a huge black Land Cruiser 4WD tried to force his way in front of me, I kept my car’s nose ahead of him and refused to allow it. I was always the front car!! The result was, I got a torrent of abuse at the next lights. He was spitting with anger and rage and hatred at me. What kind of mind is that?

Anyway, I got here to the Trade winds hotel and began the setup, as well as occupying our room. I’m sharing with my friend Jan.

The next two hours slid by and at 2pm the crowd started building. Meeting and greeting, handshaking and good to see you’s. Some were long time friends, many were names without faces, not seen for 15, 25, 50 years.

We had a nice fine day, if a bit cloudy and cooler than we wanted. Big group photo at 4pm on the top deck and we worried it was going to rain! The light was constantly changing. I was on a stool in the front row and I look so FAT! Workin’ on it.

Drinks and talk until 6.30pm (we’d been told 7pm … huh?) then the dinner. Ten to a table, buffet food, supposed to move between tables as we progressed but it didn’t happen. I was pretty tired and just wanted to sit in my place. Getting up to get the (uninspiring) food was hard work. It was a pity..

One point was that our MC said Grace! This was a surprise to me and I feel I was ambushed here. I don’t want religion forced on me. To me, religion is evil. More on this in a minute.

To my surprise, two of the guys sang a song, with guitar, introducing it as having been written by me! It was Charlie Drake’s song actually, “My Boomerang Won’t Come Back”, with the lyrics altered to encompass maths and laptops (“My Lap Top Won’t Come Back”) and more. I don’t remember doing it, but I must have, although talking about laptops it’s clearly not from 1964. Anyway, it was nice.

We slowly wound it up at about 11pm – we oldies were too tired by then – beddy bumps. Then it was upstairs to a room for more drinks and raucous conversation. One of our guys was especially drunk, but in a happy, friendly way. I’ve never seen him this way before. He was stumbling and reeling. But it was all fun, talking about old girlfriends and incidents at the school and The Hut. Blokes’ talk!

We went on until 3.30am. I was hardly aware of the time, having imbibed a fair bit, but I was fine, if tired. Then it was bed and almost instant sleep.

Breakfast this morning (Sunday) was another gathering with much conversation until about 10am when the “leavers” had to go. I was staying another night so as to wind down and relax. I may go down to the Fremantle town later when the light is nicer. The pool is inviting too, but it may be too cold.

PS: I did go into the pool for about 45mins and did about a dozen slow laps of breaststroke. I was so frustrated to begin with as I couldn’t get the gates to open. It turned out they were all locked. It took the guy more than 10 mins and multiple tries to find the right key.

It was no worse than having a cold shower, but after 45 mins I was a bit chilled. Gee, it felt nice, though.

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I can’t move on without mentioning a potentially wonderful meeting I had. One of the former students came up and sat by me and we had a marvellous conversation. I hadn’t noticed her before, but I felt instant rapport. This must be followed through. I can’t stop thinking about her!

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Now I can get back to the cruise preparation. Yesterday I received an email from the cruise line asking me to log on for important information. But when I tried to log on using my booking number, “Error 5007: Your cruise has been cancelled. You cannot log on using this booking number. Please contact your travel agent.”

WHAT??!! This was a repeat of the March experience where the travel agent, the same one, failed to pass on my money to P&O resulting in my booking being cancelled. Surely it wasn’t going to happen again?!

I phoned the cruise line’s 1 300 number and asked what was going on. They said my travel agent had changed my booking to access a special promotion, resulting in this change/cancellation in my booking.

Bloody hell. Now I have to phone her tomorrow to demand that she fixes this. We have 10 days to go. I was told to log on using Jan’s booking number in the meantime. This works, but I’m not happy about that.

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What an odd hotel this is. The rooms are huge and set up as motel units. This room has a double bed and two singles – three bed places. It has a full kitchen with hot plates, sink, microwave oven, fridge, cutlery and plates and cups. You could live in here, not needing to go to the restaurant or bar. That seems odd if they want to maximise their cash flow. But I don’t care – I brought my own sandwich and salad.

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Now to head home to try to resurrect my main PC. I’m still operating from my laptop. Thank goodness I have one.

I’ll have to go right back to basics on the PC – disconnect all disk drives, format a spare drive (I have many!) and install Win 7 from scratch. Assuming that works, I’ll install Acronis backup and try to find the most recent backup, then try to restore to my last backup point. This will all take hours.

The drive I had that failed first was an SSD and I’m not sure whether I’ll trust that type again. I’ll have to buy a new one and that’s expensive. Still thinking about it. The speed gains with an SSD are very significant, though, and hard to resist.

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I left the hotel at 0930 and it didn’t take long … I wasn’t even out of Fremantle when I had plenty of time to come to a stop at orange traffic lights. But a guy in a 4WD (yeah) pulled out from behind me, planted his foot and drove through the red lights. When I blew my horn I got the finger. I’m sick of this.

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