Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Leave the dust!

This morning I received an email from someone I met at Unisys Australia on my first day there. Bob, the office manager, took me on the whirlwind three hour tour. Deliberate sarcasm; I wasn't going to remember every face and name, nor would they remember mine.

After the first five or six stops I was introduced to Terri. Given that I included a link to the blog in my reply I expect her to read this which is half the reason I'm writing about it. She always chides me when I relate this story.

Bob did the usual 'Terri, this is Rob the new guy. Rob, this is Terri'. Then he added that she was the single most important person in the office. Get on her right side and all will go well.

Terri always blusters about what arrant nonsense that is but I think it's pretty close to the truth. Terri had and has her finger on the pulse; she knows what's going on and who to watch out for.

Along the way Bob also introduced me to the young lady at the reception desk and as we moved on to the next intro he took the opportunity of putting me on warning that she was his daughter! Warning heeded!

Over the course of a couple of years Terri and I became friends. I suspect it was my purchase of chips at the fast food joint out the back of the building that started it. It became quite the ritual during the second half of 1989 to swing by Terri's desk and offer her some chips. She was always gracious in accepting. Good times.

Whatever the process we became friends and the propinquity of my ending up living a ten minute walk away cemented things. I met her husband Greg and I reckon it took no more than a year for us (Greg and I) to become comfortable with each other. :-)

Whenever I return to Australia Terri and Greg are on my 'must' visit list.

In September 1994 we, my then wife Peta and I, and a few others including Terri and Greg went on a wine tour of the Coonawarra[^] region in South Australia. Unisys were paying accomodation and meals but we were expected to pay for whatever wine we carried home. Seemed fair enough; we still had a good weekend together.

The email that sparked this trip down nostalgia lane asked me what year that was. Like I'd forget! Though, truth be told, hit with the question 3 minutes after waking up I got it wrong; I thought it was 1993 but later reflection tells me it was 1994. Two years to the day after my attending the Melbourne premiere of Einstein on the Beach[^].

I took the opportunity of buying a couple of bottles of St George 1987 (but alas I can't remember if it was Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot) on that trip. Wonderful drop. If I'm remembering rightly 1987 was one of 'the' years for Australian red wine. It seems that Terri and Greg drank a bottle of the St George '87 last night and Greg pronounced it 'bloody fantastic'. I heartily agree with that assessment.

Sometime in 1995 I found a couple of bottles of the St George '87 for sale at Yarraville Cellars[^]. They were marked down as 'old' stock! I think I paid about ten bucks a bottle when the cellar door price was about 20 bucks.

After I set the bottles down on the counter the saleslady whipped out a rag and wiped the dust off! I was mortified! I wanted that 8 year dust on the bottle; it increased the enjoyment of an already great drink!

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