I’m just back from a lightning two-day visit to Canberra.
I wasn’t expecting to have much to say about spending two days – mostly at the Grand Hyatt Hotel – in Canberra … but you know how I roll …
I was in the federal capital for the Alcohol Beverages Australia Inaugural ‘Celebration of Industry’ dinner and the Australian Liquor Stores Association annual conference.
After heading to the Hyatt to register for the conference and collect my free ALSA puffer jacket and glass of sparkling wine (score!), I met a lovely ex-school-mum friend in the bar for a drink. She moved south a few years ago for a lifestyle involving less rent and more time with family.
We only had an hour, but we managed to cram in two glasses of wine and a whole lot of chitter chat. It was bulk fun.
Then I jumped on a bus to Parliament House for the fancy dinner, where I wobbled around in red stilettos taking social shots and meeting big wigs.
I also ran into a nice bloke who is launching a natural version of V, which I found VERY interesting, it being my favourite energy beverage and all. He was a sweetheart and kept me company while I posted on my work social media accounts. Hashtag #cheers
There were lots of speeches by politicians during dinner and I may have had one too many glasses of wine as a coping mechanism.
Heaps of pollies went to the dinner, including Pauline Hanson, who hung around until the bitter end, posing for endless selfies with every man and his dog, including two of my colleagues.
When it was time to abort the mission around 10.30pm, I wobbled into a cab with a big wig and a child-man who I presumed was some up-and-comer … so I kindly asked what he did at the company and the old bloke chortled “he runs it”!
A furtive Google search revealed the old bloke wasn’t joking. Eeeek, er, thanks for the lift, forgive my what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up? tone …
As I headed to the conference the next morning – via the concierge for some Nurofen – I realised I’d lost my spectacles. I suspect i left them on table 15 at The Great Hall at Parliament House, but the apologetic man at lost property said I needed to email my enquiry (FFS). So I’m stuck with blurry vision indefinitely …
My eyes and head were very hurty as I sat in the conference at 8.45am – the organisers had decided to disco theme it with flashing pink lights and VERY loud music. Ouch.
Layne Beachley was the first speaker, which was pretty cool. She does her public engagements barefoot and is very ra-ra about goal setting and framing things positively. She made us do breathing exercises and hug people and everything.
Many hours and presentations later it was time to head home. It took a while to get through airport security because my colleague had box cutters and a set of screwdrivers in her handbag … as you do … and then we parked ourselves at the departure gate and plugged our phones into a powerpoint to charge.
As we waited at the glamour Canberra Airport terminal (no joke, it’s very fancy) for our flight we had a bit of an oooh-errrr moment as a very ancient John Howard tottered off the plane, followed by Bob Hawke in a wheelchair. Should two ex-prime ministers really be allowed on the same tiny plane? And did they studiously ignore each other in the pointy end? All the big questions …
There was one final hiccup as we were boarding and realised our phones were still charging in the departure area. Argh! Losing glasses and phone on same business trip? Personal Armageddon!
Crisis averted, I somehow managed a glass of wine on the plane (because free stuff!). It’s a bit nuts they serve grog on the flight because the moment they handed it to me the pilot announced “cabin crew prepare the flight for landing”.
Geez that plane swayed and wobbled its way onto the tarmac in yesterday’s high winds. Horrible. Good thing I had that soothing wine.
And now I’m back home in the real world, detoxing my totally cactus liver and wishing I could see properly. But at least I have my phone.
PS You would not BELIEVE the favours I had to pull to get my kids and dogs sorted for a two-day work trip … thank you to everyone who helped out #singlemumproblems
Here are some snaps:
Song of the day: Pink “Get the party started”