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Real Groovy, originally uploaded by Annalise Davidson.

So the buzz going around this week… Real Groovy has gone into receivership and could eventually be shutting its doors. The sad thing is, I was just thinking to myself the other day… “I can’t believe Real Groovy is still going, thats amazing, I can’t even remember the last time I went there.” Which is a shame considering how much time I used to spend in there… hours & hours, sometimes it felt like days. In fact, if they had a café in there I probably would have spent days in there hanging out.

What is more sad is that this isn’t just the loss of an awesome music (and books, dvds, games, clothes) store, this is the loss of an Auckland institution. This is our Empire Records. A place where you met people, made friends, went on dates and fell in love.

Not only that, but this is the end of music as we know it. Sure I love my iPod and I really love iTunes but does anyone else feel like music just isn’t the same anymore? Now we live in a fast food world with fast food music. Manufactured pop downloaded in seconds, instantaneous and disposable. Does anyone remember the last time you bought an album, sat down listened to it and appreciated the whole thing as a piece of art, a piece of the artist, of the musician, just as they intended it to be? Remember the first album you bought as a kid, remember what it meant to you? The memories and the moment in time when it represented who you were. Do you feel that way about most of the music these days?

That is what we’ll be losing when Real Groovy finally shuts its doors and its a whole lot worse than just losing a music store.

So, finally it feels like spring has arrived. I’ve been seeing more sun than rain clouds for the last few days and everything just starts to feel different. I’ve been noticing the magnolia blooms throwing their petals to the ground and the green buds of the plane trees in our street. I love this time of year because the air feels full of anticipation, a feeling that around the corner something exciting is waiting for you.There are exciting things coming up though, and not the figurative kind.

Queen of the Nile Costume - Women's Sexy Roman Costume

NOT the outfit I'm going to wear

The Auckland Warriors surprised everyone on Sunday night (including themselves I think) with a win over the Melbourne Storm. This means a play-off home game between the Warriors and Sydney Roosters this Friday night. I was hoping to get some tickets but they sold out so quickly… I think I used up all my Ticketek luck when I managed to score the Chris Rock tickets.

Also, next month I have an Egyptian Party to go to which I’m very much looking forward to. As for the costume, well I’m still working on ideas and I don’t know whether I should buy one or try my hand at making my own.

It has been fun researching it though and I’ve found a couple of good sites but I don’t know if its really going to get to the point where I want to papier-mâché anything! Maybe I should just stick to buying a costume.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to join Mr Fletcher in Sydney for the weekend as he was already over there for work. We had grand plans: hit the shops, wander through the art galleries, make fun of the bats in the botanical gardens and chow down in Three Hat restaurants.

It started well, I was flying Emirates and was lucky enough to get upgraded so I spent 3 hours lying back, relaxing and sipping Moet but when I arrived, Mr Fletcher’s plane from Melbourne had been delayed… for an hour and a half! As you can imagine, my champagne buzz wore off pretty quick.

But even better than that was the fact that Mr Fletcher had come down with a very nasty flu [man flu] leading us to spend 75% of the weekend in the hotel room while Mr Fletcher moaned, groaned, coughed and sneezed. Perhaps this was some kind of karmic revenge for the time I went to Melbourne for the weekend and got the flu BUT at least I dragged myself out of bed to go out to dinner 3 nights in a row, this time I had to suffer the indignity of 2 nights of mediocre, hotel room service.

Mr Fletcher did manage to redeem himself on the Sunday night with cocktails at the Opera House and dinner at Aria Restaurant. Yes, it IS one of the most expensive restaurants we’ve dined at and probably not one you would choose for a random, sunday, early evening but the food WAS amazing & the wine outstanding. Lovely warm, inviting dining room with a fantastic harbour view and looking right at the Opera House. Starting with an amuse bouche of Sweet Potato Soup topped with Parmesan foam which was divine, followed by my entrèe which was an amazing variation of the traditional Caprese Salad but with Buffalo Ricotta, Jamòn & toasted Focaccia… this dish was just incredible.. with its use of tomatoes and herbs it managed to transport me to a sunny summer afternoon. For my main I had the Lamb Loin which because of its tender, juicy texture I will venture to say was probably sous-vide cooked, and was accompanied with deconstructed ratatouille, this dish was great but after the mind-blowing entrèe it had too much expectation to live up to and suffered just a little because of that. We had asked the sommelier to recommend an Australian chardonnay for us, as our knowledge of Australian wines is still only limited to an (excellent) handful. Instead he actually pointed us in the direction of a Montrachet which was beautiful but sadly I can’t remember the name of. My only regret that we were too full for dessert, what a shame.

So yes, it was a rather disappointing holiday and probably a fairly large waste of money but at least I had one very memorable meal and that is definitely, always, worth something.