Bonnie Blog

The ramblings of one Charles Stuart

Monday, December 04, 2006

Farewell Australia!

Beannachd leat!

It's been a great couple of months but, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I'm back off home to Scotland (Christmas with the extended family in Glasgow and then a spot of fishing with the old man in the Caribbean). And then, who knows?

You Australians will be hearing from me in the coming weeks. It's the perfect time to celebrate with a glass of the secret elixir in one hand - and I've a few gift ideas in mind for members of the clan! If you've got any friends who want to join in the celebrations, just tell them to visit I will be in touch.

To those friends in Scotland, Europe and out on the boat - I'll see you shortly.

And to you all - as they've been known to say in Scotland since, oh, about 1745: "Cuimhnich An Tabhartas Prionnsa".

Remember The Gift Of The Prince!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Melbourne Party Pictures

Yes, I may have been a bit on the quiet side after all my predictions for the Scottish rugby side - prior to them being defeated by a record margin by the Wallabies. But I've finally got the pics from the party in Melbourne last week. A great night had by all. Click on the photographs above and you'll find yourself on Flickr where you can browse them all. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Glad I'm not English.

Was lucky enough to score an invitation to go up and watch the second day's play at 'the Gabba' yesterday.

I know we Stuarts may have had a few losses to the English over the years, but what the Australian XI have been doing to the English over the last two and a half days is... well it's just not cricket. Except, of course, that it is. Let's just hope that 'the most anticipated Ashes series ever' doesn't end up the shortest.

Not that I'm a real cricket fan (despite Scotland having a team in the cricket world cup next year. Go figure.) I'll be keeping my eyes on the rugby this evening. Thought I may have made it home for it, but still a few loose ends to tie up here. Perhaps a dismal performance by the Wallabies (following on from last week) will counter-balance the cricketers performance.

Have just landed back in Sydney. What a day! (Not too many of them left in this part of the world). I'll see you all back at home soon.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A night in gaol.

Thanks everyone for coming to the Melbourne party last night. We had Old Melbourne Gaol looking so good you would want to spend a night in there. And what a night it was! Thanks to James for playing - again. Great food - particularly the Drambuie jam. And to Mark behind the bar as well. Just a shame we couldn't get you into a kilt.

I don't have any photos to put up yet, so you can just look at the other Charles Stuart. The bonnie one, sans friend. Good to go to Gin Palace and then onto The Supper Club. Thanks everyone for a great night. And to all the new members of the clan... welcome!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Everyone's now on Flickr.

Click any of these shots to visit my Flickr Homepage and see if you can spot yourself at the Sydney Party.

Melbourne Party tomorrow night!

Sydney went off so well that I've decided to bring a few of the clan down to Melbourne for tomorrow night.

Mr James de la Cruz (yes, of The Avalanches fame) will once again be the purveyor of all things musical (with a few other special guests earlier in the evening). There's even some talk of the Bonnie Prince being in attendance.

I'm just off to put some finishing touches on the haggis canapés.

See you tomorrow evening. If you're still trying to get on the list, leave a message and I'll see what I can do (or click on the old Coast of Arms and send me an email).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bring on the Wallabies.

You Australian chaps seem to be having a few wee problems in relation to your national rugby team just at this moment.

A draw against Wales. This morning's loss to Ireland. Then - lo and behold - who should you be coming up against this weekend at Murrayfield? Why, the Scots.

Now I would normally be approaching such a match with a little bit of trepidation (and to be honest, I still am a little nervous). We don't have a great recent record of defeating the might of the Wallabies at home (or abroad for that matter!). But if it's going to happen, it will be happening this Saturday. Let's see if the uncapped Rory Lawson can follow in his old man's footsteps.

Of course between now and then I've got a bit of a shindig to organise. Thankfully it looks like it won't be snowing down here in Melbourne on Wednesday evening. I'd better go and pick up the kilt from the drycleaners...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Some photos of last night.

Have just woken up...

Cheers for a great time last night everyone and thanks for coming.

I'll have some pictures of the evening to post soon.

Thanks Sydney. Next stop Melbourne.

If any of you are down there next Wednesday evening, drop me a note and I'll get you on the door.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dinnae ken aboot the weather!!

Yes, tonight is the night of the Sydney party.

Whilst I've got it from someone in the know that the skies will be blue and the sun shining by the time this evening comes around, even if it doesn't do not fret.

We Scots are experts at having a good time when it's cold and miserable! Even in a kilt we know how to keep warm.

I'm off to check the arrangements.

I'll see you this evening.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why go to Aspen for Christmas...

...when it's snowing in Melbourne in November? I came here for Summer and look what happens. I just hope it's not freezing down there next Wednesday for the party at the big house (I'll have to watch out - there have been more than a few Stuarts that people have wanted to see behind bars!).

Speaking of which (parties, not prisons), I must say I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening. After the great hospitality I've enjoyed in Sydney, it will be a pleasure to return the favour. It's all very exciting really - a rather regal affair. A little bit of Scottish flavour to the menu. An interesting - to say the least - array of music (something for your gran, even). And a few wee Drambuie recipes a lot of you may not have had the pleasure of trying before.

Also, it's been good to see a few international dignitaries already arriving in town for the party. Particularly your fine self, Miranda.

It's getting very close to that time again. Time to 'Cuimhnich An Tabhartas Prionnsa'.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Take a closer look.

The latest addition to the series, "Charles Stuart. Wildlife Photographer." This one, though, would hurt a lot more than a Mexican crab. If you can't see anything, look just to the left of the rock that looks like it's talking to you. Unsure whether it could get my big head in its mouth, but didn't want to try.

Apparently it's a salt water one. The mean bastards.

The Kimberley. Awesome.

A fast trip and definitely a good one. Thanks to Ed and the boys for showing me a great time. I'm always amazed at how good fresh fish tastes, and in those surroundings, it's just amazing.

The first shot is flying over Mitchell Falls. And for anyone who's wondering, the last one is a queen fish.

It's a big country, all right.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kimberley for the weekend.

No, it's not what you're thinking.

Just got a 'bait' to go fishing up at the Kimberley over the weekend (I don't know either, but it's off the north west coast of Australia - seriously middle of nowhere I'm told. Don't know if it qualifies for 'outback' though. I hope so).

Leaving today, flying into Kunanarra and then staying at a friend's friend's cattle station.

Helicopter pick up each day and then dropped off on a river bank to see if we can catch barramundi (100cm +. Big!).

Apparently it tastes better than haddock or cod. The barramundi, that is.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

An avalanche of quality djs.

Pardon the terrible title. However, I've just finalised the second DJ for the Sydney party. James de la Cruz.

For those of you who don't know, he's been the tambourine man, played keyboard and DJed with The Avalanches (played at Big Day Out, supported The Beastie Boys). I saw him play at Chibuku in Liverpool last year and was kind of hoping he might be around when I was over here.

So he and the Modular DJ's will be playing at the party NEXT THURSDAY. (Yes, that's right. next Thursday. It's come up pretty quick, yeah?).

See you there.

Yes, but is it art?

Thanks to Rahni for taking me out and about in Melbourne.

Or is that 'oot and aboot'?

Lost a camera. Found a camera.

Here's a blast from the past (sure it was only two weeks ago in Melbourne, but there you go). And congratulations to Miss PR for finding the camera in her bag after two weeks.

Back in Sydney after all the festivities of the past few days (and weeks). Just making some final touches for the big event. Hope to have a few more announcements over the next few days.

And, yes, you were right. My tips were pants.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A bonnie tip.

The day that stops the nation. I'm lucky to be here for it. And more's the point, in Melbourne and heading to the Moët tent. But first - why not be like everyone else and pretend I know more than I do about the big race?

Initially, I liked Zipping, because of his hard to avoid form and the jockey factor with the boss on board.

Others I like for a nibble each way are 'Maybe Better' and 'On a Jeune'. On a Jeune seems a seasoned campaigner and smart enough to go all the way.

All in all though my heritage governs my sure bet with my UK compatriot, Yeats, to take it in a nail bitter. (And Geordieland's just a bit far south for my liking).

So my tips are

1st- Yeats
2nd- On a Jeune
3rd- Zipping

Box these 3 and you will not be disappointed.

I'll also have a tidy little sum on the nose for Yeats to win.

Good luck.

Now, off to the race.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Some belated shots from last week.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Off and racing.

I've been out the last two nights in Melbourne. Fun, but no big crowds. (It's like going out the night before New Year's Eve).

But a big weekend of horse-racing, so all should be good.

Building up to a very big Tuesday.

Any tips, chaps?

(Happy birthday, Mum.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DJs for Sydney.

And no, this isn't the start of a discussion regarding the procurement of men's fashion from one of the city's leading department stores.

I've just got the music sussed for the Sydney Party. Should be good.

Am just working on a little surprise now.

And then it's off for a night on the town.

(In Melbourne for the rest of the week. Hope to see you out.)


A number of my Australian friends have asked me about the name of the blog.

Here's a hint. Think of a famous album released in 1984. Now, imagine if the artist was Scottish.

In memory of The Young Pretender.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bondi. 7am.

Was down at Bondi this morning taking some photos. Ran into Uge again. He's the guy who runs Aquabumps. Talk about a life. Hangs out at the beach every morning. Takes a few photos. Posts them on his site. And then seems to be off on a surfing trip around the world every few months. And I thought I had it good...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Charles Stuart - Wildlife Photographer

Someone asked a passing question about the angry crabs. That wasn't code. And I wasn't kidding. While I'm at it, thought I'd add another shot of a beastie that wouldn't be much fun when angry. Both friends I made in Mexico.

Party at my place!

For any friends from overseas who may be visiting in the coming months, as a little extra sweetener I just thought I'd inform you that I'm having a little shindig whilst I'm in Oz. Or two. So pencil dates in.

November 16: Sydney

November 22: Melbourne.

(Sounds like I'm on tour doesn't it. Which, I suppose, I am).

Still finalising djs etc., but should be good.

Oh, and any new-found friends from out and about - see you there.

I'll have a couple of bottles of the secret elixir put aside for you all.

Went to the ARIAs last night.

Thought I'd take a front row (or table) seat and see if the Aussies were giving us Scots (or Glaswegians, more specifically) a run for our money in terms of taking the music world by storm.

Now I could go through an indepth account of the evening (Silverchair were pretty amazing).

But, for me, one thing stood out. Or four.

Now everyone's got their boy bands and I'm not bagging that. (Shame they have to exist but it's a fact of life). But doing an album of Motown covers? And then trying - being the operative word - to perform them live. Bad enough. BUT. And here's the big one. Playing them to a room full of musicians who - you'd think - have all had a listen to the original Motown stuff in their time.

(Here's a hint: the ones with the Motown label on them are by people who can sing.)

Now it may be the best selling album. But I'm guessing the people buying it aren't pulling a Motown record off the turntable and putting the boys on to see how they compare. BECAUSE THEY DON'T!

Anyway. Enough from me. Apart from that an interesting night.

Thanks for the tickets Michael.

Sorry. I could get started about their dance moves now. But I'll spare you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Now that was a whirlwind visit.

I get a call from Pierce (a very old mate) very early Saturday morning. Seems he's having a wee shindig just south of Cancun (yes, the one in Mexico). Not only does he insist I'm there, but has made all the arrangements. So before you know it, I'm on the plane. Didn't even have time to leave the Melbourne digs in any reasonable order (apologies to Dana).

So I arrive in Playa del Carmen. Staying at a lovely place right on the beach, Basico. Old water tanks as pools on the roof. A polaroid camera chained to my bed. Apparently the same in all the rooms. Not posting any of those shots here, however. (Not that i had any, of course, But some of the other guests...).

Spent a bit of time at the beach club (don't let anyone tell you that the OC hasn't influenced anyone in Mexico). And I'm pretty sure I saw Fidel chilling. Don't believe the reports about any illness.

Anyway, the party that night's at Deseo (same guy who owns the hotel - and a new found friend of Pierce's). On the roof of an old cinema. All nineteenth century furniture with a Mexican outdoor twist. Quite a nice idea, really. Might see if I could use the same idea at some of the parties I'm hosting here (I'm writing this back in Melbourne).

Good party. The night of the angry crabs. But talk about a flying visit. Will have to get back there soon.

Now I'd best get ready to go out tonight.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Whooosh! Off to Mexico.

Long story. Short notice. See you on the other side.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Although you can't tell from the last post...

...I've found my way down to Melbourne. Got down on Tuesday. Everyone in Sydney told me to expect a big country town, although with slightly better dressed locals, but I must say it kind of agrees with me.

Been out to get a bit of culture at the art gallery. I didn't realise there were any Australian painters but they've got rooms full of them. (Only joking! - it was actually very nice). The weather's been a little more pleasant as well.

One thing I must say - and I do have a bit of an interest in it - magic bar scene. May have been a bit tragic of me to hit the sights by myself on a school night, but made some very nice acquaintances amongst the local mixologists. Some evidence of such, you will find below.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What do these three gents all have in common?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Christ, kid, you're a weirdo...

I've been here a while now so I decided to immerse myself in all things Australian, and thought perhaps a good way would be to watch a few Australian films.

Stuff 'Crocodile Dundee'. I thought I'd go a little more weird, so, at a mate's suggestion, got out Bad Boy Bubby and The Proposition.

Whoooah! Bubby is genius.

And I've always liked Nick Cave. The Proposition is amazing. I knew it must have been hard coming out here as a convict (bloody English know how to treal a fella). The way they did the whole 'how grubby you'd be living in colonial times' really was eye-opening. And the unculture/cultured thing. Very interesting film.

I've been told to watch Puberty Blues next.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Out and about

Here's a few blokes Morgan and I met out on the weekend. Good laugh. If any of you boys back home are watching, may I suggest you transport yourselves down under in the month of November. Melbourne Cup approaching. And I'm thinking of holding a little bash of my own, so best you do.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A classic bit of Scottish and Australian culture

R.I.P. Bon

Thursday night out