Tired, slow to start, hard to get out of bed. It’s the beer that does it — beer to unwind from the chaotic end to a crazy week, beer to farewell a friend of Jo’s, off overseas for a year.

A day of inconsequential domestic duties… and also the first day of the Year of the Sheep, apparently not a particularly auspicious year.

This evening was an evening of coincidences. We dropped by to visit Marko and Lesley, with a vague idea of going to dinner at a café nearby in Carnegie. Unfortunately Santucci’s was just closing when we got there, since their oven had blown up the night before! We decided to walk up the road to the Rosstown Hotel for dinner and a pint of Guinness— despite it being described as a place with “all the ambience of an airport departure lounge.” There was no Guinness, the pub management have removed it due to lack of sales, but the food was decent, cheap, and quick to arrive.

We’d been given one of the worst seats in the house, hidden from the band behind a pillar, and right next to the queue for the bistro, so everyone pushed past us and bumped us to order their meals. This did have one small advantage though, Jo spotted two friends of hers that she’d met in the UK, and Mark met one of his local shopkeepers! A couple of minutes later I spotted David — a Bund regular — with his camera. They were all here for the music — Andy White was playing. Now on the way in I’d glanced at the posters and the name meant nothing, but on closer thought I realised I’d heard of him — a Belfast musician who now has his home out near Ferntree Gully.