As 2013 begins, Castlereagh is feeling his age just a little bit more.
I was exhausted from work when I broke for Christmas, and now I’m virtually comatose from all the partying and socialising I forced myself to do over the New Year. Life has become a state of permanent exhaustion, but it seems I will never learn.
As I return to work, I’m nursing a cumulative three-week hangover which has me feeling – and looking – like one of those ravenous trolls in the Hobbit or even a particularly demented orc.
Of course I am not the jawdropping Adonis I used to be, but then I don’t make things very easy for myself.
The Christmas break is an annual Progress up the Eastern Seaboard as I cram in as much socialising with my A-list contacts as I possibly can. There was the Couta Classic yacht race at Sorrento, where I crewed for Eddie McGuire and heard all the goss about Channel 9 with Peter Costello on board. And “on board” is what we can all expect from Peter and Channel 9, take it from me.
Those of you amazed at Shane Warne’s outburst in the Big Bash League would be unsurprised to know that he’d spent the previous few days partying with yours truly in the nightclubs of Prahran. Something just had to give after what we got up to.
From there I headed north, pillaging Coffs Harbour pie shops with Russell Crowe as I endured his tuneless renditions from Les Miserables and moving on to Gerry Harvey’s Magic Millions auction on the Gold Coast.
Then it was a few days of tedious rom-com DVD marathons with Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd in Noosa and on to Japan, where the ski season was in full swing. My skin is still wrinkled from the outdoor spa and the dehydration of all that sake.
On the make
In between, I was required to keep topping up the credit cards of my useless children as I continually told them to stay away from those Bali cocktails and people offering pills. The worries of parenthood.
At least I was making good money over Christmas. You might have seen that it now costs around $20 for a consultation with a shopping mall Santa. And while this is totally unAustralian, it has nevertheless worked to my advantage as I invested in a private equity firm which now franchises the mall Santas at every major shopping centre in Australia. And no, I did not take the role myself.
But it’s a lovely annuity income and part of my New Year’s strategy to explore whatever bizarre alternate investments I can. For example, I’m talking to Solomon Lew right now about a new line of AFL and NRL footy burqas for Islamic footy fans. A Canterbury Bulldogs game will never look the same.
I am highly annoyed though about this Whitehaven Coal share market hoax. I’m mates with Nathan Tinkler and thought I’d help him out and buy some Whitehaven shares. Little was I to know that I’d do it the very day the hoaxer put out the fake press release to send the shares plummeting. So I bought at the bottom and then sold a few again when they recovered and now my tidy little profit is at the whim of ASIC.
One New Year’s resolution I did make, however, was not to follow the investment advice of any of my A-list mates. It’s all right for them – they are already loaded – but some of us do suffer from living beyond our means just a little bit.
So I resisted Singo’s requests for me to pump money into the rapidly deflating balloon which is Fairfax Media, and do not want any more of a haircut than I have already taken on my accursed investment in Channel Ten.
Lachlan Murdoch is a lovely guy and all but after following him into One Tel and now into Ten, I am sworn off investing in anything with him involved. As I said, it’s OK for him but not all of us can afford to lose that much money and keep up the charm offensive.
Right now though, it’s time to get back into the swing and that means lunch.
I was delighted to get an email from my mate Guy “Lunch King” McKanna over the break informing me that after his exit from Fidelity he has now bobbed up at AMP. Now that is a company which understands the power of connections and Guy has them in spades.
So it’s time to call Guy, book at table at the Spice Temple and get a few points onto that new corporate credit card of his. I might even see you there…