Yes I'm very proud of my home town Griffith, always have been. Loved growing up here, all my family are here, so are lots of my school friends, and SOOOOO many memories that even after 18 years I still get sentimental coming home. I’m back for the weekend for my brothers Bucks Night (read about that on Monday!), and to catch up with all the fam. After the past few weeks its perfect timing to come home and get completely boozed up with the cousins!
I lived my whole life here until I ventured out into the big bad world when I was 20 to go to Uni. So it’s been a long, long time since I’ve called it home, but still whenever I’m asked where I’m from I say Griffith. It’s a strange place though, lots of contradictions. It’s a big farming town but bizarrely cosmopolitan. Its got fantastic restaurants but absolutely no decent menswear stores. There are lots of jewellers and hair salons but you can’t get a good coffee past noon on a Saturday.
|Big wine country.|
Now Griffith has a reputation – a long history of scandals. I really didn’t understand it until I moved away and it seemed everyone knew about it. Now thanks to Underbelly it’s taken on a whole new life. I would bet your image of Griffith is completely different to the reality. It’s a good place, normal in ‘almost’ every way. Just a little bit more gold jewellery than your average country town.
So I get home at least twice a year, sometimes more, depending on how many family events we have. I always love coming home. And your hometown is always gonna trigger memories of events and times that are special. I have heaps, especially with my family. But today I'm going with non-family stuff cause I'm sentimental enough as it is, that would push me over the edge.
Between the ages of 10 and 19, if I wasn’t at school than I was at either the indoor or outdoor pool (although now the outdoor is now indoor and the indoor is apartments). I swam competitively for so many years, I permanently stunk of chlorine with brittle, bleached hair. I loved swimming so much but my love for the sport always far outweighed my talent. I am a wide-set midget after-all. But I loved everyone who was ever involved with the Griffith Swimming Club, and I still wear the t'shirts and use the towels. As rampant teenagers we used to have an absolute ball. I loved those pools and everyone I swum with.
I used to be a bank teller. For two years, for the State Bank of NSW. And I thought it was the coolest job ever! It was my first job out of school while I tried to work out what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I worked with this amazing group of women, all hot and all Italian. I went to all of their 21sts and most of their weddings. I think I was a pretty shocking bank teller, spent most of my day flirting with customers or laughing with the girls. I remember at my farewell I sobbed like a baby. Carmela gave me a diamond earring, she was a very special friend and still is!
I had my first ever bourbon and coke at The Area Hotel. Bought for me by a swimming friend of mine to celebrate our HSC results. Yes, and many will find this impossible to believe, I had never tasted alcohol until I was 18 and a half cause I was such a dedicated (and delusional) athlete. The Area Hotel used to go OFF!!! Especially on Xmas Eve and Easter. Easter used to be phenomenal, especially with everyone home from Uni. Every time you’d go there it was a reunion in some way. Still to this day, when I taste a bourbon and coke it takes me straight back to the Area in January ‘91. Back when I had a six-pack.
|The Area Hotel|
So that is more than enough sentimentality for one day. If you ever get the chance to visit Griffith, I recommend you do. Give me a call for all the local hot tips. It’s a town the locals know best. But if you think the streets are going to be overrun with drugs and mafia-types you will be sadly mistaken. Its a very cool place.