We went out for 'romantic' Valentine's Day beers at Brew Nation. They turned out to be like any other beers, but with a rose.
The following day we went to Manuka Oval to watch the cricket as the Prime Minister's XI took on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka won convincingly by five wickets, and we got to see Lasith Malinga doing his stuff.
Kevin of Pact was launching his new L-Yeah Hoppy Lager at The Durham and he requested that Him Outdoors wear the brown flowery shirt I bought him, as he felt it was appropriate for the brew. There was also a tap-takeover by Akasha Brewing, and the owner Wesley White was there representing his brewery.
Later that evening I went to the Open Air Cinema to see Collateral Beauty, in which a successful NY advertiser (Will Smith) suffers personal tragedy and tries to come to terms with it by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. His friends are all very concerned for him and try to help him deal with his grief and loss. Sure, it’s full of mawkish sentimentality, but it was released at Christmas so what do you expect? The stellar cast (Helen Mirren; Ed Norton; Kate Winslet; Naomi Harris; Keira Knightley) are all under-used, and doubtless won’t be giving it top-billing on their acting CVs, but the film is perfectly adequate and in no way deserves the hateful criticism it received. I was, however, distracted by the bats flying past.
At the weekend I went to see The Boss with my boss. Bruce Springsteen was in concert at Hope Estate and we had free tickets so we drove up there to enjoy the spectacle.
|Some Cafe at Collector on the way up|
Hope Estate is a winery, so the wine and food was excellent. They do their own beer too, which is pretty good, but only a dodgy mid-strength lager was for sale that day. We got some smoked salmon salad and, as there was no shelter and a massive downpour, we also got drenched.
|Posh nosh at the gig|
Jet played the warm-up set beneath glowering skies. They were pretty good and got things going with crowd favourites She's a Genius, Are You Gonna Be My Girl and Look What You've Done among others.
And then the sun came out and we danced and sang along with Bruce.
He did all the stadium rock stuff of getting audience members up on stage to do a number with him (No Surrender, Waiting on a Sunny Day, Dancing in the Dark); holding out the microphone for the crowd to sing along with the chorus; incorporating lots of instruments; and jamming with his band.
|Up close and personal with E Street Band guitarist, Stevie Van Zandt|
The fans loved it, there was lots of dancing and singing, and it all went on for three hours as he played his working-man-driven music and people punched the air with feeling. The River, Youngstown and Glory Days were highlights for me, as he seemed to give them meaning and roots.
We slept in the truck (although it was hot, uncomfortable and full of mosquitoes so not much actual sleeping was done) and in the morning we examined the state of our feet.
|Outdoor gig feet|
The truck gathered some of the forest's bounty and the grille looked like it had been festooned with potpourri, which I thought looked pretty cool.