Fitzroy River man, Graeme Kidston (59) has spent the last week in Sydney giving his waterpoof tan-coloured Echho sneakers a work out.

As the husband of a devout Beatlemaniac, Graeme surprised his darling wife Louise with tickets to the Paul McCartney gig at Allianz Stadium for their 40th wedding anniversary.

“I thought we’d give the Brisbane show a miss and make a weekend of it down in the Harbour city” says Graeme, whose has nailed every single element of this weekend away except for maybe the fact that the hotel he booked in Kings Cross also seems to moonlight as some sort of warehouse for airline cabin crews.

“Yeah, the hosties have usually polished off the buffet breakfast by the time we get down there, so we’ve been seeing a lot of the city”

“I tell you what, I never thought I’d ever see myself eating Lebanese food for breakfast, but those chickpea rissoles they make actually go quite well a couple eggs and some toast”

After a week of wandering around the big smoke, these Central Queenslanders have ventured far and wide.

As someone who uses NRL club catchments as the unofficial map to Sydney, Graeme and Lou were keen to visit Manly Beach on the ferry. They’ve also been down to see where the Roosters are based in Bondi, and even found themselves missing Central Station and were treated to the exhilarating experience of walking around Redfern at sunset.

All in all, Graeme says it’s been a great week and a bit. His only problem is that there’s no real pubs.

“Back in Rocky, I’m used to the sprawling Queenslander balconies and Busby Marou making some noise in the front bar”

“I haven’t seen one band in any of the pubs down here. Just rooms full of beeping computers and teenage bartenders who hate small talk”

Graeme points out that, throughout his brief stint in the biggest city in Australia, the pubs down this way seem to either be gaming lounges or woodfired pizza restaurants”

Standing in the most popular tourist hotspot in the country this afternoon, overlooking the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Circular Quay – Graeme can help but imagine what this city would like like with some decent timber hotels.

“Few palm trees out the front” he adds.

“Some old publican that everyone talks shit about behind his back”

“None of this pints rubbish. Just ponies, middies and schooners. Jugs of course”

“Maybe even some Channel 7 news blaring on the TV behind the bar”


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