Am back in Canberra for a week or so to attend a work conference and a wedding. Had to make my flight booking through the work travel provider who seem to go out of their way to make the reservation experience as expensive, time consuming and frustrating as possible. Neither my reservation number nor my name was registering at the Virgin Blue checkin kiosk. I was already frustrated by the same travel provider earlier this week trying to book flights for Berlin (they gave me a quote to Frankfurt instead). I did, eventually, manage to get myself checked in and after a harrowing descent into Canberra (I sat next to a nervous passenger), I was met by family and was wisked away for lunch.
The timing of the conference and the wedding this week was sheer coincidence ...a close friend announced his wedding plans at very short notice (hmmm...I wonder if they are 'with child'). The ceremony is to take place at their house. The dress code is 'lounge suit/garden party'. Not sure what 'garden party' means and, unfortunately for me, the suit I bought in Europe a few years ago is a bit tight after a winter spent wallowing in excessive feast (damn those carbs, hearty soups, and spicy curries). I doubt I'll be able to whip myself back into shape before the wedding, especially with plans to catch up with friends and colleagues almost every night I am here. Sigh.
Being the social butterfly that I am, I've already caught up with two other friends since my arrival early this morning. I met up with two of my best friends, Dan and Amy, for a coffee at the National Gallery. The brutalist building is undergoing major rennovations at the moment. It's all a bit of a mess. I found out that Dan and Amy are soon to leave Canberra to head over to the US where Dan will be working as a computer games animator. Don't think Amy (originally from the US) is terribly keen to head back across the Pacific but, alas, she is playing the supportive wife. I'll miss them dearly. Both were hung over from Dan's farewell drinks last night so, after only a brief catch up, I told them to go home for a siesta. After parting ways, I went around for a quick look at the national collection. I really liked this new acquisition in the Asian section...
Apart from catching up today with Dan and Amy, I think I'm going to try to keep a relatively low profile so I can chill out before the conference and spend more time with the family.