Monday, 9 March 2009


So where was I?  Ah yes, back in Sydney for a few days.  Well, I did indeed catch up with a few friends that I had met during my previous visit to the city.  One evening I ended up at a Brazilian themed night club and learned how to sambo (well, tried may be a better description).  I also caught a couple of films at the Mardi Gras film festival and ended up chatting to a chap next to me on one occasion.  It turned out he was an consultat anaesthetist.  It seems even going round the world, I can't escape the medical profession.  I don't have much else funny or interesting to say about my sojourn in Sydney.  For most of it I was struck with a profound lethargy and failed to do anything bar eat, sleep and read books.  Exciting, international traveller am I.

Now, coming to a (slightly) more productive few days, I went back to Brisbane agian to stay with Duncan and Maggie.   This time however, they had moved house to a place called Coorparoo.  I have to be honest, but it appears that the names of Austrailan cities/towns/hills is one of three things- either copied from the UK (Perth being a good example), a literal description (Mount Disappointment) or lastly in the case of Coorparoo just made up from a random selection of leters.  There are some claims that these names are Aboringinal, personally I think the Aboringines were playing a joke and no one has cottoned on.

However, despite the silly name, their new house is very nice.  All high ceilings and wooden floors and very tidy.  I immediately threw the contents of my rucksack all over the guest room floor to try and remedy that, but to no avail.  I was then very industrious for  couple of days planning my NE coastal trip that I am due to leave on tomorrow, but this must be kept in perspective, most of my days of late, if I sleep for less than ten hours and have to do more than one necessary chore eg. buy milk, this is a hard day.  

At the weekend Maggie, Duncan and I explored the markets around their new home and looked at a lot of large antique tables.  I was atonished how expensive used goods can be.  I mean it may be stained oak, but some else could have changed a baby on it or something,  yuk.

Anyway, Sunday turned out to be a very exhausting day, especially for me with my busy busy life.  Maggie and Duncan had both entered  a off road triathalon.  For those of you who don't speak crazy-fit, this is a race in which people PAY to swim 1km, ride off road 25km and run 10km.  Yes, they PAY to do this.  And unless you get placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you don't even get a medal!?  What is the point of doing such a thing of you don't get a shiney bobble at the end of it?!  

So I was to be a spectator at this maddness.  For those for you who don't know, I'm a bit of a professional when it comes to other people being fit and exerting themselves thanks to Louise, my dear friend from uni who likes to run a long away, usually in foreign countries that I happen to be in and as such I've seen her race in 3 different countries.  I'm her number one fan, but I promise not to break her knee caps like Kathy Bates (for those of you not acquainted with the book/film Misery- trust me that was a really funny reference).  The down side of supporting Maggie and Duncan was that I had to get up at 4:30.  Yes, 4:30 AM.  What is wrong with these people?  Fortunately, I was able to take a fold up chair so for the duration of their duel exertions, I was able to sit in the shade drinking a chai tea latte, proving to be the worst sports photographer ever.  They both did very well.  Maggie just missed out on a medal and I'm sure there was a conspiracy because the girl who apparently beat her the third had fat thighs.  

However, we were not all to go home empty handed, oh no.  It turned out, I was going to be the big winner of the day.  I have discovered that in a typical raffle in Oz, rather than just the ususal bottle of wine/whiskey or a home bake, that the major prize is a meat tray.  When I heard the boy scouts touting for a raffle and heard the immoral words 'first prize meat tray', I felt curious and obliged to buy a ticket.  Now, I'd all but forgotten this purchase and as we were packing up to leave, they announced the raffle was to be held.  As I looked for my ticket stub, Duncan was regailing me with the tale that 2 weeks ago he had won a meat tray at the local bowling green and how marvellous that had been, when I heard my name over the tannoy.  I had won the grand prize.  Victory!!!!  I ran up to the stage, flung my arms in the air with joy and recieved my winnings.  This was not any meat tray,  Not only did it come with 2 bottles of wine and a snazzy red BBQ apron adorned with two jovial cartoon sausages with crowns on, but it may have been the largest meat tray any put together by a scout group.  It weighed about 5kg and contained 7 huge steaks, 8 lamb chops and 6 very large patties.  

A pretty good investment for a dollar.

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