But the world of fashion was calling me. Or at least recovery at the balcony with the Rosemount bar was. and so I slipped on my borrowed Manning Cartel dress, black tights and some sensible chair pushing shoes, grabbed my coat and the wheels and headed up to meet Asia. She had been dropped off at Taylor's Square which was perfect for me as I wanted to hit the Big Bargain Clearance shop to get a cheap bag to carry my Tupperware in. Yes, I smoke rollies and I store all the bits and bobs in a blue Tupperware sandwich container. It's all the rage in Red Rock.
First up though, was a bottle of Powerade to help sort out my daily dehydration issues. I also decided that I couldn't be the only recipient of a goody bag and that the lovely and accommodating Bec was more than deserving of a bit of appreciation. I had a cute little gift bag and filled it with milk and dark chocolate from Belgium, a container of dried fruit and nuts, a sesame snap bar (I just love them!), some green tea and two plump little orange mandarins packed full of vitamin C. I thought that it contained everything Bec would need to keep her energy up during the hectic chaos that is her life during Fashion Week. As far as I know, all she'd eaten the day before was a bag of chips, so as a mother I was starting to get concerned about her well being!
Then Asia and I respectively rolled and strolled into the Singapore Eating House which is across from the IGA that sells my chili corn nuts. Actually, while shopping for Bec, I bought two bags for myself and convinced Asia to get one for herself. She told me later she ate the whole bag in one sitting, they are that good! I would have gotten some for Bec, but you know how addictive those fashion types are, haha.
Anyway, Asia and I both decided to get Char kway teow as it came highly recommended on the food review clippings taped to the window. The place has less personality than a hospital cafeteria with fluro lighting, large bain maries, beige walls adorned with faded Picasso prints and a location in the Oxford Square. But the food was tasty and abundant and I had more than enough for takeway after eating till I was ready to explode and for $8.50, that's great value! Why that's $4.25 a feed!
I got my crappy handbag from BBC (does that make it sound hipper?) and we headed off on the bus to the OPT (I already know that sounds hipper) and the shows.
Some of the buses in Sydney are wheelchair friendly which means they have a little ramp that can flip out onto the sidewalk so the chair can roll up. This is fine if you have someone pushing you, but pity the person who has to roll themselves. You get to the top of the ramp, take a sharp right and then flip some seats up (which often have to be vacated by some other passenger) and lock the chair in. The person in the chair then has to spend the duration of the trip facing backwards which, if it was me, would immediately lead to car sickness and vomiting out the window. Luckily Asia didn't seem to suffer from any symptoms and we got off the bus without having to clean up any spew.
Getting Asia off the bus was a bit scary because you have to go backwards or the little lip at the bottom of the ramp would send her flying. I did it fine the day before but today was also on a steep hill making it seem even a bit more precarious. Asia was trying to help by shoving the door of the bus which then sent the chair veering to the right and precariously close to the edge. Asia and I were almost hysterical with laughter by the time we got her safely down the ramp. I think a big bloke actually came and helped for the final dismount. I'm glad there were no accidents!
Then we were off down the hills of the rocks which again was pretty intense cos the big wheels of the chair give it some projection and the thing had to be pulled back like the reins of a runaway stallion. Another group of blokes offered to give us a hand which was very nice because I was sick of the workout I was getting, knowing that I was going to arrive at the venue with pit stains on my silk frock!
The day before Bec had suggested that we get our hair done at the promotional Redken Hair Salon located just at the entrance. Asia's cousin was supposedly working there although I seem to have had the only sighting and Asia couldn't even get hold of her on the phone. We humped the chair in and booked ourselves some do time with the stylists. I was keen to go first when offered cos I was ready for a nana nap. Well, I basically came out looking like one. Effin Eff! I told the chick to do what she wanted and then she got all distracted by some people who came to interview her and I ended up looking like a really old conservative woman with a rolled bob and some dead ends hugging her cheeks. Granted my friendly stylist didn't have much to work with and suggested I get rid of my mullet asap. I should have gotten her to curl it up and go for the Liz Taylor Just Been On a Bender with Richard look I had been working all week, but I don't think that would have impressed her much either.
Asia got her hair straightened and wasn't very pleased either. She hates hair spray and her helmet was more than solid. Luckily we knew that there was plenty of booze upstairs to take our minds off our uncharacteristically straight laced hair.
Who invited Nana?
This was after I took the roll out and pinned it up. It was also after several champagnes.
We breezed through the entrance of the OPT like we owned the place and headed up our private lift to find Adam our personal bartender and order our regulars. It was like going back to highschool after summer break, I tell ya. We found a location in the sun, but ended up in a loud argument over Asia's ability to maneuver her chair. It was overheard by a lady and her daughter who asked if we were sisters. How embarassing! And even worse was when we realised we both knew them from Byron Bay! Shame! The good thing was it made us get over our snit very quickly and thankfully it was laughed off.
The first show we went to see was Kooey. Asia was set up in her regular corner by the photogs pit and I scored a second row seat and had a lovely chat with my seatmate who was a buyer from the UK. That also meant a gift bag and I scored one for Asia as well, the poor crippled darling, so we were both stoked! The show was great, although Asia was getting very sick of seeing swimwear as it felt like she was being teased since she could barely go in the shower at the moment, much less recline on a sandy beach all day in the hot sun.
There was a fairly big gap between shows that we were able to go to which meant we were forced to fill in the blanks with alcohol consumption at the Rosemount Bar. Everyone seemed to know us and we were treated like gold from the moment we put in our drinks order to when we left our last show. We eventually set up camp outside on some lounges on the balcony and pretty soon had a posse of fashionistas to hang with.
We ran into Ranui again who introduced us to the beautiful and talented Valerie Tolosa and her friends. We also ran into our actress friend Natasha again who tried to steal Asia. Keep the brakes on tight Asia!
We next went to see the Antonia Paris, Billi Keato, Luela and Sally Koeswanto group show. Billi Keato had a dress cut on the bias that was just exquisite and so perfectly made I almost cried. I also almost cried cos one of the waiters had pushed Asia in and stood behind her for the full show. Seeing her there in her hairdo and her vintage dress in her chair with a big tall handsome dark haired body guard dressed all in white except for his citrus coloured bowtie and suspenders had me cracking up. I also almost cried cos I had second row seats again and felt like I was the luckiest girl in the world. I also almost cried cos I was getting a bit tipsy and emotional. Substituting bubbles for food doesn't really work, I can tell ya!
We headed back to our camp at the second set of lounges and pretty soon had a posse of fabulous and entertaining people to keep us company. Asia's bodyguard and our other waiter Adam kept delivering us drinks and nibblies although no one else was getting table service. Our filters were off and the dirty rock and roll stories were flowing as freely as the champagne. We didn't care who was listening or even if no one was listening because the lights were low, the opera house was pretty and we were at Fashion Week, dammit!
We called Pete up and told him to join us, giving him heaps of advice on what to wear, now that we were part of the scene.
"No cream leather, thank you!"
Of course I missed the first ten phone calls and texts to say that he had arrived and left poor Pete waiting downstairs, but finally he too was ensconced on the lounge and part of the gang.
Pretty Pete looking sweet!
...but not for long...
We were going to go see a show but it was downstairs and with all the crap we had and Asia we thought it would be just as easy to stay up stairs and continue drinking free champagne. Not really that hard of a decision at the time I suppose.
When the show was done, Valerie and Ranui and friends invited us to come for drinks downstairs at another bar. Which of course we did.
Me and Valerie and some strange building in the background.
Me and my super size six year old.
Oh my! What is she doing? It tickles!
Oh! Baby's hungry and wants to nurse! There's mummy's boobies!
And yes, we absolutely needed tequila shots and more champagne!
Me and the lovely Valerie. I think I'm pulling my face back to smooth out the wrinkles.
Now after the tequila shots, the night became very blurry. I remember laughing a lot but I don't really remember this:
I'm not sure at what point I thought it would be a great idea to be a footstool for a cast, but judging by the number of photos, I would say I was pretty committed.
It also appears that everyone else completely forgot I had become part of the furniture.
Several hours later, I was helped to my seat...
At one point, we all decided to meet at King's Cross, but the exact destination was not made clear so Asia, Pete and I ended up at some random pub. Asia and Pete had to take an elevator to get to where we were supposed to go and I ended up sitting for ages in the wrong area until Pete came and got me which gave me the shit and then there was some arguing and I remember sitting in an all but empty ballroom thinking this doesn't seem very happening. We all decided to leave, I don't know when or how and I think I was allowed in the elevator this time cos the stupid arse bouncer wasn't looking so I didn't get separated. Whew!
Then we were out on the street and Pete was ringing Valerie who was already in bed and then we were walking home to Pete's Palace and then I tripped and skinned my knee like a ten year old and then we were drinking Amaretto straight and then I don't remember. Luckily Asia's photos of the night have come in handy once again.
My skinned knee is visible through my tights.
Pete and I demonstrate various ways to enjoy Amaretto.
With corn nuts obviously!
I also gleaned some information from the the texts from Pete (on the top floor) and I (on the bottom floor) sent to each other:
C: Where did you go?
P: Upstairs. Come up. Love you, u big leso with the black hair.
C: I love you too my big gay pete. Where's my sleeping pills?
P: I'm slim gay Pete. And I just took mine.
C: Yes you are and yes you did.