Talking of new year, I do hope you all had a pleasing time of your choice. After returning from the delight that was Chrsitmas, poor Maggie had to work and I too had some trip planning to do. So of course I went to the park and read my book (no no not my travel guide!). Yes, in my usual fashion I managed to procastinate fully for almost the whole 3 days Maggie was earning her crust. However, I did manage to purchase a pair of shorts for the tiny sum of ten dollars (yes, me in shorts), meet up with Luke, a lovely guy I met initally in Berlin and of course see a movie.
Luke is a born and bred Brisbaner and he felt it was his duty to how me a good time in Fortitude Valley (or 'the Valley' as the cool kids say). This is the area of Brisbane where the young, the beautiful and the interestingly dressed go out to socialise and be seen (although I'm not sure who by). One of the clubs was having a theme night called Fluffy, in which the dapper young gents of the city gathered to dance merrily together in a spirit of brotherhood. I had a jolly time dancing away in my sensible shoes, drinking the finest gin and enjoying the entertainment by a very tall and glamorous lady named Alexei Paige. I was such a fine time funking down with grooves that I didn't get to bed til 4 o'clock. What would my mother say!
Fortunately for Maggie the second holiday of the season soon came around and we set off again, this time for a different coastal town called Kingscliff to meet up with Duncan and stay at his good friend Paul's house. Now, if you have been reading closel, you will have remembered that in ou lat road trip, the air conditioning in the car had brken down. This was still the case, but on this journey we were driving in the midday sun with top temperatures if 35 degrees. I have had better experiences in my short life, but the extreme heat was made slightky better by a mid-way sop for a nice pie (Maggie doesn't usually let me ave junk food- she is so good). We finally arrived in Kingscliff and may I say that Paul's dad Terry (who I met previously when he came to stay briefly with my moher a few years ago) has a rather spectacular house and pool placed a ten minute wlak away from a most delightful beach.
After a 2 hour, 35 degree heat drive, I must say there is nohing better than putting on your cossie (I am so Australian now, I know the lingo) and running into the sea. Delightful. Then very excitingly , the host, Paul, his brother and Duncan returned from their fishing trip armed with a massive 15kg tuna. Now I don't know anything about fishing, but apparenty This Is Very Hard To Do and is a Very Big Achievement. So despite it being the 30th and most parties kept til the 31st as tradition dictates, a party for this fish was organised. A mere 14 people attended, the fish was cooked 3 different ways and much merriement was had by all. I have several pictures of the fish and it's delightful catcher Paul who must say is a lovely guy (a teacher no less) with a equally lovely aversion to wearing a T-shirt.
Hogmanay then arrived and the weather coninued to get hotter and hotter. So whats a girl to do, but hit the beach, meet some new friends (all school buddies of Duncan) and go to cafes to eat in the sun. Then something quite extraordinary happened. Maggie and Duncan had left for the afternoon to see his family and I decided to stay in Kingscliff to continue my research on whether or not Paul owned a shirt. During our beach lounging earlier in the day, someone had mentioned they had recieved a miniture cricket set for Christmas and we should all go and play in the park. Amd so we did. I played sport. Not only did I play, but I actually managed to hit the ball (with the bat) and run back and forth two bits of wood for quite some time. When I was put out (I'm not sure what the rules of cricket are, but someone told me it was all over), i got a small round of applause and Sean (the owner of the cricket set) said it was greatest cricket performance by a Scottish person he had ever seen. I took that as a compliment.
Well, after all the activities, you would think I would be just exhausted, but it was Hogmanay. After much decision, that after the fish party, tonight should be a quiet affair between friends, of course a massive house party with loud dance music, more barbequed food, small children dancing (wih full supervision of their parents) and fireworks ensued. In fact, it was quite the biggest party I have been to in some time, larger than even my dear brother's 30th and with much less good behaviour. At around 4am and witnessing a party goer trying to smoke a cigarette backwards, I decided it was time for bed. Unfortunately, poor Terry has been the victim of termites and his downstairs guest rooms are a no go area so all us waifes and strays had to sleep in the corridors. This is not a big deal as it is so hot that anywhere with a pillow suffices for sleep. However, this did mean despite by best efforts, I was very much trying to sleep in a thorough fair and presence did not go unnoticed by Paul's other brother Mark and a friend who decided that I would very much enjoy (at 7 am) to be serended by their imitations of crows and attempts at mastering the Irish accent. This went on for approximately an hour and despite my several attempts to explain I was not Irish, they continued. Their renditions were also heard by the rest if the house and I expect most of the surrounding households, so even though it was the first of a new year, I was up and ready for the new day by about 830am. What an achievement. This was aided by an early morning swim and a large bacon and egg roll. Yum.
Alas, good times eventually have to end, and after the worse of the sun had gone, Maggie, Duncan and I made our way home (via his mum's house for homemade ice cream) to Brisbane for a very early night.
Maggie again had to work on the Friday so I entertained myself by going to the art gallery and book shopping whilst the boys watched cricket onthe TV- all day. Apparently, cricket lasts 10 days!? The weekend brought 'a change in the weather' heralded by the newspapers. It rained so heavily on Saturday that we had to shut all the upstairs windows and rescue the outside dining table. The boys were still watching cricket so Maggie and I decided to be very wholesome, do some baking and buy a jigsaw. However, the only one we could find in the limited number of shops in her neighbourhood was an 1000 piece Star Wars themed puzzle. Maggie wanted to do it by house rules ie you are not allowed to look at the box. This jigsaw has become an obsession. It is incredibly difficult, massive and has consumed Maggie and I's time for the las 2 days, so much so that the baking didn't get done til Sunday. We both just had to get out of the house for a walk yesterday, but couldn't stop thinking about it the whole time and hurried back. I thought I heard someone move the table this morning so had to get up and check the puzzle and check it was alright (it was).
It's all been very stressful and the worst thing is- it's not finished yet.