Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Blagging our way round Australia

"Yes, my drink is quite camp isn't it?" I later drank a couple of jugs of it myself, good stuff.

Four people who all went to Fryern Junior School at the same time. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Nick now demands to be surrounded by a hareem of women at all times

The MCG, Melbourne. Capacity 100'000 (14285 x the population of Cook)

Flintoff throws down another ball which was probably thumped for 4 by them damn Aussies

I hope everyone is feeling festively plump after Christmas? I am, because me and Nick were fed like kings, courtesy of our Aussie friend Amy's family who took us in like english orphans, straight out of a Charles Dickens novel. We will be repaying the favour grandly next year when Amy comes over to Europe. We will probably even be able to match the weather as Melbourne decided this was to be it's coldest Christmas for about 150 years. It was probably warmer than England but then that's never really saying much is it?
For Christmas eve, we went to the Portsea Hotel, basically a massive pub/club about 2 hours south of Melbourne, near the Mornington Peninsula. The nearest thing I have experienced to this day was a university 'drink the bar dry' as it carries the same drinking-all-day-until-falling-down ethic. We were there by 5.30 and it was already pretty full, i'm guessing with anywhere between 1000-2000 Australians. (Waterman's worst nightmare?) So a lot of people had been there much earlier than us. So, as you can imagine, by midnight, carnage. Broken glass all over the place, and walking from one place to another taking twice as long because your feet seem to be sticking to the floor. Nick says he saw at least one projectile vomitter. Possibly the best thing about the event though, was that while guys all turn up in the usual shorts/trousers & t-shirt, the girls all look like they thought they were being taken to a classy dinner dance and somehow took a wrong turn.
After Christmas dinner with our adopted family for the day, we headed back to the hostel only to be told by our old Fryern Junior School classmate Craig, that there was another guy from the same school here now. Having had a few Christmas drinks, this seemed in no way implausible. We've only gone about 14000 miles, and having never really bumped into many people I went to junior school with back home, why shouldn't I meet 2 in 2 days here? So Rob Gasson, was in the year above us at junior school, also went to Toynbee and Barton Peveril. Nick and him did athletics together. Maybe we'll meet our old headmaster next Mr Johnson, maybe he'll be a barman or a croupier in the casino we're going to later? (As long as they don't have any kind of dress code which we have no way of adhering to).
So today we went to the Ashes with Rob. It all started quite well, my hopelessly optimistic prediction of possibly getting them down to 5-100 actually happened. But then the pressure of doing well must have got the England bowlers because they crumbled like the bitches they have so far proved themselves to be. Apart from Monty Panesar because everyone loves him here, the other day there was a big feature in the paper - '20 things you didn't know about Monty'. So I can't say anything bad about him. Apparently, his unusually large hands allow him to get more spin on the ball. I'm sure there's a cheap joke in there somewhere but my grandparents may read this so you'll have to invent one yourselves.
On Friday we're off to Sydney for New Years Eve and a couple weeks more. Having not managed to get anywhere to stay for the 30th and the 31st, we've come up smelling of roses once again as we now have the floor of a friend of a friend's flat to collapse onto. Like a cat dropped from a window, we keep landing on our feet. Having said that, would a cat land on it's feet if you dropped it out of a 20th floor window? I imagine you wouldn't be able to tell from the cat-shaped splat on the ground. As I've now drifted into rambling I shall end here.

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