My weekend of degradation

I was in the middle of a Microsoft Teams meeting at 2pm on Friday when my computer screen went blank.

A few minutes later I got a message from iiNet saying: “Our wholesaler NBNCo is investigating an outage in your area which may be affecting your NBN service.”

NBN put it even more obtusely when I checked the outage section on its website: “Network degradation may impact your connection … restoration is underway.”

Degradation. Right. What the bleeding hell does that actually mean and why has our country been saddled with the hopeless scourge that is NBN?

The degradation continued until Sunday afternoon. I was very not happy about it, as I spend most of my life online for my day job and Drinks Digest, but you don’t like to complain too much when other people are dealing with more serious issues, such as battling floods.

I ended up hauling my PC over to my sister’s place so I could leech onto her wifi.

But that’s only half the story I have to tell you about my weekend, so I’m giving this blog post a sub-heading …

I was a door bitch at Mardi Gras

I actually had bulk fun over the weekend despite my internet issues. In fact, had such a good time that I need another weekend to recover.

The festivities kicked off on Friday at the Beresford Hotel with the Virgin Landing Party.

Virgin hosted glittering pride flights, which departed Melbourne and Brisbane on March 4, bound for the 2022 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

There were drag shows on the planes hosted by Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under stars Maxi Shield and Coco Jumbo and bottomless drinks courtesy of Accolade Wines’ Yarra Burn Sparkling and Madam Sass, Mountain Goat Beer, Balter and Archie Rose.

Once the flights landed, the party continued at the pub and a lovely contact at Accolade Wines invited me along for the fun. The vibe at the pub was so uplifting, lots of sparkling decor, drag queens and fabulous disco music.

And then on Saturday night, my work asked me to be the door greeter at their suite at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

And it was AWESOME. For a start, the weather gods delivered a Mardi Gras miracle and there wasn’t a drop of rain in sight.

The last time I went to Mardi Gras was in the 90s, when I was a Dyke on a Bike for a story I wrote for Cosmopolitan magazine (that’s me circled in red above).

This time around, I was a little more removed from the parade action, but I had the most fabulous view of it.

The Dykes were the first to take a twirl around the SCG as Pink’s So What started playing.

DD came along with me and watched the festivities while I ticked people off the guest list.

There was a surreal/awkward moment when the editor of Vogue arrived, who I used to work with in my magazine days. I’m pretty sure she had no idea who I was, as I had no idea who she was until she told me her name.

I kept staring at the bloke who was her plus one, thinking he looked familiar, a bit like a blonde Tim Minchin.

And then she said his name was Shane and I almost fell over in shock at the realization it was my first hairdresser from when I moved to Sydney in my early 20s!

Long term readers of the blog will remember that Shane got me into the VIP area at the opening of Planet Hollywood because he was there to do Cindy Crawford’s hair. He’s just back from being a stylist to the stars in Los Angeles for the last few decades – long time no see!

We didn’t have a chance to catch up properly because I was working, dammit. But how’s that for freaky?

The whole night was pretty surreal really, for example seeing The Wiggles sing “Fruit Salad” was a head spin.

I clocked off at 7pm and got to enjoy the show with DD, while drinking far too many glasses of delicious NSW bubbles.

I wanted to stay for the headline performer Darren Hayes, but we were getting a bit tired and wanted to beat the rush for cabs.

So I reluctantly started heading off, then heard him start to sing as we got to the ground level.

I begged DD to detour, we turned right and walked straight up to the fence on the side he just happened to be performing at.

It was such a glorious, serendipitous, joyful experience.

Then we wandered off into the night as fireworks exploded in the air and costumed partygoers patted police horses.

I give my Mardi Gras experience 10 out of 10.

I’m still a bit knackered though, as the rain was so heavy last night that it kept waking me up. Will it ever stop?

Song of the day: Savage Garden “I want you”

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