Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The lead up to the Peter Speake-Marin/
Sydney Tarts GTG

Strolling to the water taxi dock just outside the MCA, we were met with great weather and the sparkling lights of the city. The forecasted storms either chose not to arrive or subsequently changed course/ dissipated, so the water taxi ride was dry. Good thing too, since a boat ride in the rain was probably not the best way to greet our guest!

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that although having lived in Sydney for the past 21 years, I had yet to experience a water taxi, and this night was to be the night that popped my water taxi cherry. And what a great experience it was, albeit short… like most other cherry popping activities… the night city view from the water is simply stunning and a memory I will treasure. I’m sure it’s the same for our guest of honour - Peter Speake-Marin, whom the Sydney Tarts were proud to have as a guest for the night.

Yes for sure I’ve always know how beautiful Sydney is, but seeing the harbour city from a different angle this time gave me new found appreciation for the amazing and utter beauty of Sydney. I’ve never really realised just how amazing this city is and how lucky I am to be living here, to be so close to this view every single day, and yet, taking it all for granted, not knowing what I have in my own backyard.

The water taxi goes around the Opera House, near the Bridge, and we could see the lights of Luna Park and then on approach to the restaurant, pass near the Garden Island Naval Dockyards where the Packer family's converted ice breaker Arctic P has docked on more than one occasion. Simply stunning. 

Peter had met with Bani - possibly the most celebrated and respected watch journalist in Australia – earlier today, and tonight was to be dinner with a bunch of watch collectors and enthusiasts, who were all very excited at the prospect of meeting this independent watchmaker. For those who aren’t as horologically savvy, an independent watchmaker is someone who works for himself, and is a true watch “maker” as in, he builds the watch from scratch, and the end result bears the actual watchmaker’s name. In this case, Speake-Marin.

This night would not have been possible without the aid of recent trendy social networking internet sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as the first point of contact was indeed through Twitter.

We almost felt like celebrities as we pull up along side the Woolloomooloo wharf in the boat, looking for a park. You wouldn’t think it so difficult to find parking in a boat, since… well… since not that many people own one. It’s a shame we couldn’t dock at one of the longer jetties, so we can slowly waltz up as people looked on and stared… (Actually, it does say water taxi on the side of the boat so many that’s not such a bad thing then…)

The venue was excellent, being a large private function room with complete privacy. Everyone started off with drinks whilst mingling and chatting, catching up, and checking out new acquisitions from a couple of the Tarts. It was almost as difficult getting everyone to sit down as trying to calm a whole class of hyperactive school kids. Expensive watches were passed around like rental Corollas, and everyone getting their dirty mitts on the stunning Peter Speake-Marin creations, whilst the designated shutterbugs snapped away, one occasionally cursing as his camera refused to cooperate. (Read: lack of photographic skills)

Eventually everyone settled down to order the food for the evening. The long menu was culled to a choice of 3 Entrées, 3 Mains and 2 desserts, just to help people make up their mind easier. This will be covered in more detail in the following blogpost.


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