Category Archives: Entertainment

Great Gatsby Night


Nothing describes the Gatsby Era more explicit than F. Scott Fitzgerald fictional novel ‘The Great Gatsby’. It was the 1920s an era of extremes of wealth and decadence.

Attending a recent Great Gatsby Annual Ball event, hosted by three local musical groups with a friend at downtown Park Beach Surf Club was a hoot. Everything from the moment you walked into the upstairs area of the surf club demonstrated the 1920s flawlessly. The room was decked out in the 1920s era; tables were beautifully decorated with large white feathers in high glass vases, candles adorned around pearl necklaces and the seating shone with gold shimmering coverings. It made us think we had stepped into a different era, well done Park Beach Surf Club!

On glancing around the room you could see hundreds of magnificent looking women in Gatsby gowns and furs, men is suitably clothed suites some with hats and artificial cigars. Some of the women pretended to smoke their cigarettes in long-stemmed cigarette holders.

We seemed to blend beautifully into the crowd with our outfits, which were in step with the 1920s style of headgear; feather Boer, sparkling top, long gown and artificial fur.

On arrival, we were greeted by two smiling men, one looking like a gangster. They handed us our free glass of wine tickets and we were encouraged to mill around the bar area with the other guests prior to taking up our places at one of the beautifully presented tables.

It wasn’t long before the entrées were placed, alternate drops, in front of us enabling a bit of entrée swapping to happen if we didn’t like what we received. Same alternate drop with the main meal. The choices were excellent selections and perfectly presented, which is not normal for a surf club. Park Beach Surf Club is the exception.

Dinner over it was time for best-dressed announcements followed by the racy music of the 1920s. Again a lot of thought had gone into ensuring the music was perfectly selected recordings and it encouraged almost everyone to head to the dance floor. Some of us, like me, thought that a quick Charleston moves would be in order, well only for a few dance moves. Perfect workout especially when a wine is being consumed.

This is one event to definitely attend again for next year!

Masquerade Party


IMG_2309From the moment we stepped out of the taxi we were greeted with let’s have a fun party mode. Fire dancers greeted our arrival at Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour followed by the most amazing creations of masks to adorn the guests in the room, some you knew straight away, but others kept their secret alive by wearing rather interesting disguises.

Once inside the venue, our lips touched a cold glass full of champaign or here in Australia bubbly, followed by delicious canapés. This, of course, took away any formality as we wondered around saying hello to the people we had the opportunity of catching and of course a photo or two. How could you not partake in photo opportunities, after all this was the first masquerade party I had ever attended in Coffs Harbour, all thanks to the inventive ideas of our hosts at Joyland Carers Retreat, Korora.

With more than 7000 carers in and around Coffs Harbour and only one facility like Joyland Carers Retreat, who raises funds by holding such events to enable carers to have a few days respite themselves.

The bubbly enjoyed, now time for settling into a night full of surprises and most importantly fun!

It was long before our host got the party started by welcoming everyone, especially the sponsors who donated the most fantastic prizes for the raffles and of course a table of eight carers who were special guests for the evening.

As the surrounding area is Aboriginal Country, Aboriginal Elder Aunty Bea Ballangarry, read out a perfect ‘Welcome to Country Story’ welcoming everyone, especially the carers of the country.

It wasn’t long after this that an incredible icebreaker called ‘pass the parcel’ was actioned. This entertaining event certainly got the competitive spirit pumping, as at the end of several wrappings of paper, someone got the prize, unfortunately, it wasn’t me!

A beautiful two-course meal followed with a special birthday cake for our host Ellen who was celebrating her birthday and all the Arians in the room one of those Arians included me. This was such a wonderful surprise and perfect gesture for all the Arians in the room.

Dinner over lets the dancing begin and wow it certainly began. The musicians were without a doubt the best three-piece band, including the guitarist performing the wonderful array of songs, which we could dance and dance the night away, regardless of how tired we were, there was no way that this terrific music wasn’t going to have our full-on dancing skills tested thoroughly.

My colleague, who was one of the carers, just couldn’t stop her motor running. Such a delight to see her dancing to anything and everything that the musicians pumped out, their repertoire was far-ranging, from nice and slow to the country and of course rock. Some of us nicely dress ladies, including my carer friend, adjourned with their fine shoes and went barefoot dancing, why not when you are having so much fun!





A Day at the Races


There’s hardly a person to be seen in uptown Coffs Harbour as it is the 7th August and it’s Coffs Golden Cup Race Day!

I, together with my daughter have decided to join the crowd at the local races to do what everyone else does, bet on horses. But there is one big problem, I have no idea about how to bet on horses, nor does my daughter.

On entry into the racing club, I spotted a local business colleague, so I approached him. “Steve, how are you, can you spare me a minute?” With a surprised look, he responded, “Yes”.

“Steve like everyone else here today we want to enjoy ourselves and bet on some races, but I have no idea how to read the racing guide, can you give me a quick lesson?” He took hold of the racing guide clutched lovingly in my hand and begins to explain in what I would describe as a true punter style, which went in one ear and directly out the other. All I could comprehend was how much money the various horses had won and thought “hey this could be fun”.

The colleague standing with Steve at the time looked at my astounded facial expression and said: “if all fails just pick the horse that has the best-coloured silk shirt on the jockey”. Now that is my type of betting, simple but fun.

I hurriedly went back to the corporate ten to join my daughter, colleagues, and clients, where I proceeded to explain what I had learned about betting.

It appeared that my ability to demonstrate what I had learned was not sufficient for my daughter, but she too caught on about how much money the various horses had won. So she became our official runner to the TAB to do the betting.

Her strategy proved to be highly successful, as we won or came second in every race. She learned very quickly the importance of betting ‘win and place’ after the first race, where she had put the bet on a ‘win’ only and it came second. If we had bet ‘win and place’ our take home precedes would have amounted to some real money for the day.

You certainly couldn’t put a price on the day as overall we had the best time ever, jumping about grabbing one another when we could see our horse nearing the finishing line. We must have looked like two women off their faces, but hey we were enjoying ourselves.

A few days later I ran into Steve and he asked, “How did you go to the races?” To which I replied “we had a blast, we won $’s in every race” he replied; “great, you must have come out with heaps of money!” “Well not really as we only bet $1 to win and place”. He didn’t’ have to respond to the look on his face said it all.

However, for us, it was the best day ever!

We will be back next year and this time we will go the full hog and bet at least $2 each way!