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The story as I remember it ....Apologies for any inaccuracies, omissions or mispellings, let me know if any facts need to be altered/added.
Sarah and I booked Edrom Lodge for New Years Eve 2002 in November 2000. 14 months later......
0900 29/12/2001 four cars head off from Canberra in convoy to rendezvous with rest of the party goers at Edrom at 1300. In the Silver Bullet we have Rachel Parker (driver), Michelle Meek (navigator), Steve Barber (hung over) and Sarah O'Connor, in the black sports car we have James Walker (Sarahs brother) and Catherine Williams (navigator (?)), in the blue RV Ray Skinner and co-pilot Natalie Hewitt and Daniella Kuklinski(German exchange student), Sarah and myself in the grey Surf.
Stop off in Merimbula at the Dive Shop to get fitted up for the dive the following morning - manage to continue the bluff at the Dive Shop that we are a group of experienced divers, but one or two may need an instructor for a few pointers for the deep dive (more on this later).
Arrive at the Lodge around 1430, a little late, but that 's to be expected. Talk to land lady and discover that one member of team has arrived but has gone off fishing - correctly assumed to be Matt Landos.
Unpack the cars and explore the house. A short while later Caroline Evans arrives from Melbourne, just in time for a wander down to the beach for a swim and some cricket. Matt arrives back from his nature walk with 10 abalone and a few fish, everything is going fine. Chris Thorp and Jacqui Lennon turn up, surfboard ready to go but no swell in sight. There are some concerns over the fun bus that is by now more than a few hours overdue.
Fun bus arrives BRING IT ON BROVER, (in no particular order) Tim Muirhead, Emma Ellis, Peter Getner, Kathy Gard, Lisa Popplewell, Matt Carr, Tina Marjoribanks, Alysa, Anthony (DJ Fritzy) and Richard Camm. Half an hour of celebrations, yelling, introductions and bus unpacking.
Everyone cooks up on the barby and have a few beers, not too many as a few people are up for a dive Sunday morning. Alex Mees and Carole Harris show up late Saturday night.
Discovered slight conflict of interests around the sound system , Ministry of Sound meets The Very Best of the 80's Volumes 1,2,3,4 AND 5! (thanks Caroline). Anthony even remains cool when some beer/Passion Pop stained CDs somehow get into the system!
Merimbula Divers Lodge boat comes and picks up the divers from the front beach at 0930, the divers are Kathy Gard, Sarah O'Connor, Tina Marjoribanks, Jacqui Lennon, Sarah Walker, Chris Thorp and me. The first dive is around 25 metres on the Tasman Hauler, a scuttled tug in the middle of Twofold Bay. Visibility was around 12 metres and the water was warm, dive time was around 25 minutes. Surfaced and went into Eden to refill the tanks and get some lunch. By this time the wind in the bay had picked up and there was a bit of a swell at the second dive site (The Cave) which made getting in and out of the water a bit difficult. I think our "experienced" cover was totally blown when a few of the divers "surfaced like torpedoes" (quote from skipper of the boat) and some where hauled into the boat and lay motionless while the deckhands removed scuba gear - unfortunately no photos. Anyway, everyone survived.
Returned to Edrom to find that Andrew Setchell had arrived from Melbourne, later in the day Chris Evans and Louise Crook arrive, Martin and Sandra from Sydney and Marisa Magiros from Sydney. Laze around have a few beers and get ready for Trivia night. Scene: 15 people sitting around in a circle on chairs, mid afternoon drinking beers, there's a lull in the conversation, Steve Barber jumps up "My name is Steve Barber and I'm an alocholic", everyone glances sideways with a nervous laugh and takes another mouthful...
Main concern on everyones mind - is there enough ice. More importantly is there enough of both kinds of ice - that is cooling ice and drink ice. Finally decide to drive to the nearest service station to get some ice (40km round trip). Matt Carr and myself proceed to the shops in my car which dumped most of its oil in the first 500 metres (loose oil filter). Return to base, news filters back that car is broken down - Caroline: "Oh my god - what about the ice!". Matt and I take the Red Spot minibus to get some more ice.
Dinner was three pastas dishes, salads and garlic bread prepared by the chefs (too numerous to mention and I'm afriad that I may omit someone). Trivia night won by Ossamas in Pyjamas. People cut loose and hook into the alcohol. I remember Ray and Tim taking there shirts off and then the lights going out, turns out Sarah and I were blindfolded and everyone gave us a Weber for organising the weekend - totally unnecessary but thanks alot everyone! Definitely had to party after that, big night finishing up with sing a long down on the beach with Chris Thorp on the guitar.... blurry ending.
Day 3 BIG ONE
Wake up, first thought - I'm not drinking tonight. Worry that NYE was going to be a quiet one after everyone pushed the envelope the night before. Japanese tourist family visits the house at 0830 in the morning, I can hear this "hewo, hewo, hewo hewo" calling out for about 5 minutes - I thought it was Tim still drunk doing his Japanese greeting impersonation - Sarah finally gets up and turns out to be a Japanese tourist family that have run out of water! Sarah told them to piss off - there's plenty of water in the ocean (just kidding, but she was thinking it). Get up, clean up the house and laze around. Head into town after lunch to get some supplies with the left over cash.
Head into Eden with Sarah O'Connor, Steve Barber and Sarah. Get spearhead for Tim, buy some groceries and get ten dozen oysters (I was concerned that some of the party goers libidos were a bit on the low side).
Return to base, clean up, set up the dinner tables on the veranda and watched Matt open 120 oysters in under an hour. Some late comers arrive - Tony, Carolina and Tony from Sydney, Lynn Glass and Peter Radnai from Sydney and Neville Neems from New Zealand. Official party kick off at 1900 with champagne and oysters.
8 pm - Red Faces: now everybody knew that this was happening and that there was $150 in prize wines up for grabs in three categories, most original, most funny and most talented. Everybody was saying "no, no I haven't done anything" I wasn't sure how hard I should encourage everyone and almost called the whole thing off as being too tacky at one stage - what a mistake that would have been! Of course some party goers actually managed to get themselves into 3 acts, must be short of audiences up there in Sydney.
The acts were:
- Poms in Paradise: (Steve, Richard, Michelle, Rachel, James, Catherine and Sarah) - Dramatisation of two drunken poms visiting Australia - highlights being: Steve "surfing" on the ironing board, Richard (aka Gr-Gr-Gr-Granville) playing the part a little too convincingly, Steve pashing the life guard (Sarah O'Connor) and impressive consumption of beer props.
- Ding-a-ling: (Chris and Matt) Very funny - too hard to explain, even funnier is imagining Chris rehearsing this by himself. Chris Thorp lying on his side running around in circles whilst doing a guitar solo was awesome! - someone must have a photo of that. Scan it and send it to me.
- Neville Neems: Who only showed half an hour previous to the start of Red Faces came in with an excellent third act - a Charade that was "I am honoured to meet you all." With a memorable display of "meet" (hint "meat").
- Fun Bus - Matt, Tim, Lisa, Anthony, Alyssa, Tina, Kathy, Emma, Anthony - who performed a rendition of the fun bus tour (special permission granted to smoke inside). Good group effort but inspired no confidence for the trip back - a bit on the short side. Number of participants correlated to the number of votes.
The Caroline Evans Group - Scottandsarah.com. (Chris, Matt, Caroline, Jacqui, Caroline, Chris and Louise) I reconised the tune "American Pie", but couldn't believe my ears when I heard the first couple of lines (I think I was actually talking to Neville), so I ignored them, then halfway throught the first verse I realised that the song was acually about Sarah and myself! Some very clever words regarding Sarah and I meeting, other intimate details and then asking when the kids are coming along etc etc. When Caroline sends me the words I'll put them up. Now whenever I have a thoughful look on my face, Sarah asks "Is that song getting to you?". Thanks guys. Luckily I don't succumb to peer group pressure.
Caroline has sent me the lyrics and here they are:
A long long time ago I can still remember a lonely Scott who used to cry
Sarah was a Sydney girl
She lived the high life in Rozelle
She'd been flying solo for a while
Then one day in November
Sarah came to Canberra
They went rollerblading
But Scott was really spading
I can't remember if he lied
When he told her of the girls who cried
But something touched her deep inside
And she knew she'd be his bride
How long Scott and Sarah dot com?
How long till you're married and the kids come along?
You've got your own website where people log on
They'll be surfing Scott and Sarah dot come
Surfing Scott and Sarah dot com
Do you have a website too?
Where people log on and look at you?
And photos are posted every day?
Do you believe in the internet?
Have you found your true love yet?
Maybe your own website is the way.
I know that she's in love with him
Cause she moved to Canberra and lives in sin
What a sacrifice
Some day she'll be his wife
He's a lucky settled family man
He drinks as often as he can
Not long till the family van
And he knows she'll be his bride
Now for two years they've been on their own
In a little flat they call home
But that's not how it used to be
Cause Scott used to live at home
And his mum would iron all he owned
Life was good for him you see
Oh and when Sarah came on the scene
Scott was really really keen
They couldn't be apart
They listened to their hearts
They moved into their place in Reid
Where they can do the dirty deed
Scott and his mates like to drink
Their nights end up with their head in the sink
Bourbon, wine and good old Jack
Sarah must be a frigging saint
As boys drink beer till they faint
She hopes his mum and dad will take him back
Sarah's a real doctor now
No one's really quite sure how
But no one's died on her yet
Sarah plays doctor, Scott plays nurse
That zip up dress is such a curse
He should be thankful she's not a vet
Oh and Scott's got so many toys
He's the envy of all the boys
He's a real man
He's got everything he can
With the farm and a house and a pick up truck
Here's a guy who doesn't suck
Sarah knew she was really in luck
And so she thought she'd be his bride
We gathered at the coast once more
As we've done so many times before
Laughing, drinking and having fun
We all sit together on the stairs
No worries no problems and no cares
It's the only year we've seen the sun
And back at home we'll go to work
We'll pay the mortgage and suffer jerks
But here all night and all the day
We just drink have fun and play
And here we are in Red Faces
Using dodgy rhymes to fill up spaces
Just so we can win wine cases
She'd better be his bride
- Ray and his bananas - The one and only Ray Skinner with a newie and a goodie. More than one person has commented that Ray has missed his calling as an actor/stand up comedian. I enjoyed the French woman impression the best.
- Man from Ironbark - me reciting some Edrom period poetry.
- Marisa - Do-ray-me University drinking song - fantastic solo act. Germans - these guys were also unprepared for the Red Faces scene but managed to make some fun of the German sense of humour and called a beer break - which proved very popular! They did actually get quite a few votes.
- Stutterrap - Sarah Walker. With absolutely no rehearsing and Sarah was able to recite an entire kitsche 80's satirical rap song (dedicated to Chris Thorp).
And the winners were:
Most Talented: The Caroline Evans Group - Scottandsarah.com
Most Funny: Chris and Matt with My-Dinga-Ling (Ray and his bananas a very close second)
Most Original: The Fun Bus (could have also been most unique)
Without further ado, the red wine was distributed to the winners and Steve Barber was appointed official time keeper and the party continued.
Anthony DJ Fritzy did the best techno/Neil Diamond mix that I've ever heard - Crunchy Granola Sweet never sounded so good - I think there's an untapped niche out there.
On the stroke of 12 there was that surreal atomosphere of streamers, people hugging and cheering and generally having a good time - then Setchell appeared at the top of the stairs in a strange 70's style shiny blue vest open to the navel - I assumed a very late Red Faces entry but apparently it's "tradition". Nice one Setch! Blurry ending.
Slow start to the day, Tim cooks up a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs for everyone. Spend the rest of the day lazing around, swimming and farewelling the folks who have to work the next day. The fun bus was planning on leaving around lunch but was delayed - and then (after a few laps of the circular driveway) delayed by the bushfires that closed the Princess Highway past Batemans Bay. As an aside - apparently the fastest way to Sydney is via Cooma.
Afternoon was spent by starting with a few hairs from the dog, which then turned into a New Jan 2 Eve Party (which included an indepth discussion about the condom found in the urinal, and group sculls from the Passion Pop bottles (retro night)). A take two of Red Faces with Chris Thorp burning a hole in the front lawn by doing his rotating on his back on the ground whilst playing guitar trick, Ray Skinner unplugged belting out some raw blues and Steve doing another count down, streamers etc - sensational stuff.
The morning started off with a physical challenge - I overlooked the fact that the place had to be clean, tidy and vacated by 10.30. At 9.30 the place was like a morgue - so hectic morning waking everyone up and putting them to work. Everyone chipped in and somehow everything worked out fine. Final farewells and everyone departed their own ways .. until next time.
Sarah and I had a really good time, one of the things I remember most was doing alot of laughing and talking and not much sleeping! But it all caught up with me - I slept around 9-10 hour a night for a week.
In the words of Neville, "We were honoured to meet you all."
Enjoy the pics!
The party goers:
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