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Well it’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new adventure for Ms Bek. She is moving to Ireland next Sunday to be with the lovely John and to finish writing her PhD. So to farewell her appropriately, to celebrate me getting the fellowship (I feel I needed at least some excuse), and to be absolutely and completely frivolous, I treated us to a night at the Hilton (at a greatly reduced rate thanks to my ‘connected’ flatmate).

I had been really sick all week with a horrible cold, and as Friday drew nearer I was feeling increasingly gloomy about it – what’s the point of spending money on doing something lavish when you’re feeling like crap? Dave said “well if you’re going to be sick, isn’t it better to do it in a five star hotel?” I took his point. But, as it turned out, by the time I got there after work on Friday the excitement was enough to make me feel quite a lot better, thank you very much.

It was just a fantastic room – our perfect little eyrie on the 29th floor. I wouldn’t have ever thought of staying at the Hilton if Dave hadn’t worked there, but I have to say it really is a great hotel. The room was really well set out, the bath soooo wonderful, the hotel staff were all exceptionally professional and friendly, the toiletries in the room were all Crabtree & Evelyn (sigh), the windows were just wide enough to sit in and gaze at the city lights from, the beds were soft and light and divine, the breakfast to die for…it was really worth it.

My mum joined us after work and the three of us drank some champagne we had brought. Then Bek and I got all frocked up, played with makeup for a while, then swanned out and went downstairs to the exceptionally pretentious (but fun) Zeta Bar where we had some delicious cocktails and compared all the different shades of spray tan in the room. We then moved on to the Arthouse to have some yummy food, but decided that rather than sitting around in a smoky bar it would be much more fun to just go and hang out back at the room.

Jackie had come up from Canberra and was going to meet us. I told her to call when she arrived, as you can’t get up to the hotel rooms without a keycard. I eventually got this phone call on the house phone saying “Um…hi it’s Jackie…I’m on level 21.”

“How on earth did you get there?”

“I talked my way up with the concierge but then got confused and got out at the wrong floor and now I’m stuck.”

After we went down and rescued her, we went back to the room with more champagne which Jackie had brought and we kicked back, chatting, watching dodgy 80s music videos and Bridget Jones’s Diary and eating chocolate. A very agreeable end to a lovely evening!

The checkout wasn’t until midday – very civilised – so we slept in, then wandered downstairs for a most delicious breakfast in glass brasserie, then I went and luxuriated in the bath while bekka checked out the spa and swimming pool. We were reluctant to leave, but as with the best ‘holidays’, it felt like we’d been away for ages once we left and I finally got home.

I’m really glad we did it as it meant I got to have bek all to myself for a day and night and to talk and hang out without having to compete with everyone else who wanted to say goodbye – her ‘official’ farewell was last night at the Rose on Cleveland st, and was also great fun, but when you’re in a big bunch of people you don’t get to talk to the guest of honour very closely. It’s weird to think she’ll be all the way away in Ireland, but exciting that she’s embarking on this new phase of life.

(was going to post all the photos but having trouble uploading to blogger this morning – click here if you want to check them out, as well as pics of the farewell at the rose)