Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Making history

Early mornings and I enjoy but a nodding acquaintance. I'd vastly prefer to burn the midnight oil. So reach for your calendars, folks, mark them with Texta and celebrate this historic occasion. Let it be known that I threw off my quilt and rose from my comfortable bed at the uncivilised hour of 5.30am not once, but twice, this week!

Tuesday morning saw me striding down the road before 6am to our park by the water where I joined a couple of hundred neighbours in time to see the huge superstructure of the Queen Mary 2 looming out of the darkness, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of small craft with their navigation lights winking as they escorted her into Sydney Harbour.

She made such a slow and stately progress that by the time she had berthed at Garden Island the sun was well and truly up, shimmering off the city skyscrapers, and as I strolled back home for breakfast I found myself actually enjoying this early morning caper and wishing I could do it more often. Alas! the spirit is willing, but the body is just plain slothful.

The Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club at Point Piper (see photo below) was an excellent vantage point from which to watch The Queen Mary 2's little sister, the QE2, arrive later in the day.

Like many Sydneysiders we saw the visit of the two Queens as an excuse to get together with good friends and celebrate by the harbour on what was a quintessentially Sydney summer day - balmy and clear, but with a light zephyr blowing over the water.

However, unlike many who flocked in their thousands to the city to see the fireworks and gasp over these two reminders of a more elegant age, we were fortunate enough to make it home after our barbecue tea without becoming stuck in the gridlocked traffic that took much of the gloss off the experience (if talk-back radio is to be believed) and saw our Premier apologising the next day for being "caught by surprise".

The QE2 off Point Piper as she makes her progress towards Circular Quay.

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