I began this post on the flight back to Melbourne as I watched the lights of the New South Wales coast slip by beneath me.
I was on my feet at 0715 on the second day in Sydney. I made up a cup of coffee as I dressed and got my suitcase packed. The cab from Silkari to Kirribilli Club (where the offsite meting was to be held) was lined up for 0815. I made my way downstairs and was delighted to see two of my colleagues, one of whom was up from Melbourne and the other from Canberra.
The venue was almost in the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and part of it looked out over the bay. It was, truly, stunning. The sessions were very much worth attending, but I don’t suppose they’ll be of much interest to a general readership. It’s enough to say the business looks like it’ll develop in some really interesting ways in the next few months.
The team is a good one – friendly, clever and accomplished. It was great to catch up with them socially for a few drinks after the day’s work activities were completed. I caught a cab from the venue to the airport (right over the Harbour Bridge, which I got a kick out of – it’s the little things!). I was back in my digs in Melbourne about 0200.
I woke up on the first morning in Sydney feeling much better than I should have done after a fairly late night. In case I didn’t mention it, the accommodation was at Silkari Suites in Chatswood, a suburb which looked like a tightly-packed version of Malvern. I was on my feet a little before 0800. I got a clean suit on and grabbed a complimentary coffee from the cart downstairs.
It took me a little while (and a trip to google maps) to navigate from Silkari to LexisNexis’ offices, and a little longer again to remember that I needed to get to the reception on the first floor to get a day pass for the building. This is what happens when you get very very used to working from home! The offices are on one of the upper floors and it felt good to have windows with a view. I found my way to the desk I’d booked and set to dealing with emails and a few odds and ends of work from both of my jobs. About mid-morning I had a very productive face to face meeting with my boss (the first time I’d met her in three dimensions – which is an interesting commentary on what the pandemic has done to everyone’s working habits!).
I had to attend remotely a mediation for the other job in the afternoon and so I stepped out for some sushi while I had a chance. I’d briefed John Richards QC, who put the plaintiff’s case robustly and adeptly. Sadly, the matter didn’t settle. It was a bit hard to focus my mind after the mediation, but I was able to attended to some preparation for the next day.
I called it a day at about 1815. I picked up some groceries for dinner and decided to go for a run down to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I’ll talk about that over on my running blog. It’s probably enough to say that it’s a great city to run in.
I do like Sydney. There’s a novelty, of course, but it’s a lovely city.
In my last post I mentioned that my job with LexisNexis had included a bit of an adventure. This adventure took the form of an off-site meeting.
The company’s main office is in Sydney, and something like half of the team I work in are based up in the Harbour City. The rest of us are scattered around the country and nearly all of our interactions take place through email and video-conferencing. The powers that be decided that there would be value in us all meeting in person and invited us to come up for the said meeting and to work a day or two from the main office in Chatswood. I hadn’t flown anywhere since 2013 save for an SES deployment to Lismore a few years ago and so this seemed like a terrific idea.
I flew up on the Monday of the week of the meeting. I’d spent the day at my legal practice job and hadn’t had time to change. As a result I was flying in a suit, looking like a throwback to another corporate era. I didn’t mind at all.
I’ve always loved approaching a city from the air at night. Los Angeles from the air is breathtaking – a carpet of lights as far as the eye can see. Regardless, I was smiling as I saw the lights of Sydney coming up beneath us and humming that song by Paul Kelly. Clive James once criticised people who sneer at air travel. I agree with him. I love the sense of possibility that airports have. I like the food. I like airline coffee.
We got into Sydney about 2300. The cab ride from the airport to the accommodation took a while because the cabby (like his passenger) had no sense of direction. I spent a couple of hours attending to emails and the like for both jobs. and turned in at about 0300 after a quick shower.