The next day it was time for the now-traditional post-ATOMS St Kilda brunch with some Melbourne-based buddies.
I had a terrible nights sleep at the Hotel Victoria in Little Collins Street. It's a friendly but slightly shabby place, with mis-spelled signs and strangely random lifts. The swearing in the street below my window punctuated the night, and slightly overlapped with the roadworks which started at 6.00am. The swearing was pretty much over by seven.
In any case, I got myself to Fitzroy St and had a lovely long chinwag with Michael, John, Carmen, Suparna and Alex, over a good greasy breakfast, at a friendly place called Banff.
I haven't seen John and Carmen since their wedding, so I had commanded that they take me home and show me their world (..er, and take me to the airport after). Carmen has three daughters aged 16, 14 and 11, from her first marriage - Alana, Elise, and Carla. The girls are John and Carmen's life to a large extent - driving them here, driving them there, arranging and encouraging and cajoling. A logistical challenge, at the very least. I admire John for the way he has parachuted straight into the emotional minefield of a houseful of strong-willed women, and has just unpicked his parachute and turned it into a set of curtains and a very serviceable pair of pants. Well done sir! He has a shed which I suspect he would defend to the death if it came to that.
The girls are all lovely - the two older sisters talk a mile a minute. When I said I always remembered their names as "Uh-something", "Uh-something else" and "Not-uh", they didn't throw me out, which was nice.
John drove me to the airport via his workplace, which is in the Tullamarine area. He has a surprisingly nice drive through the country (featuring cows) to get to work. Now I can picture where he is when he gets these confusing and inappropriate emails at work.
I caught up on some sleep on the flight home, but even now 48 hours after the awards I am feeling fuzzy, blurry and ... tired.