Perhaps it's because we're packing up 'The Sham' and leaving Sydney that my head can't create a coherent blog. It could also be because Victoria (sorry...Santa) bought me Lego for Christmas and I've got my mind on that. Just like the Queen, I could ramble on about a hat and hope that everybody's still suitably full of brandy not to notice. However, Santa did bring me a load of shiny new bullet points aswell, so it would be a shame not to use them...
Christmas in Sydney 2007
- Crimbo in Australia is an outdoors affair, which is understandable given the shocking lack of festive tv. Most Chistmas orphans head down to Bondi Beach. However, despite having blood stains on the wall where I tried to swing a cat and failed, we spent a cosy Christmas Day in Petersham, just around the corner from Bethlehem.
- Priests have exceptionally soft hands.
- Our yuletide feast was a manipulated version of traditional leftovers, which were amazing. The only downside were the crackers, which all contained the same joke: 'What medicine does Dracula take?....Coffin medicine'. They didn't taste very nice either.
- The day culminated in a recording of a live action Christmas video (no..not the Paris Hilton kind), which we didn't post on the internet in fear that the dimensions of our 'flat' may have been mistaken for a cave, causing the FBI to think that Bin Laden had filmed a new message.
- On the Eve of Christmas, we headed to St.Mary's Cathedral in the heart of Sydney and the beautiful Hyde Park to sing Christian rhymes. It took us a while to decide on a church with a suitable festive service; I guess you can say we spent a lot of time mass debating.
- Feeling sentimental and missing our families, the cathedral was the ideal environment to send our love and best wishes to everyone and hope for a safe remainder to our travels. We were also invited to Christmas lunch by a crazy young lady, who Victoria befriended whilst I was looking around the church mistaking confession boxes for toilets. We declined the offer with two great worries in mind: Firstly, going to dinner with psychopaths is never a good idea...unless they're Richard and Judy. Secondly, they might not have The Vicar of Dibley on DVD.
The phone calls home:
- Richard Barnes's bird table is being attacked by pesky seagulls, which scare the robins away.
- So far we've travelled 43581.42 km as the crow flies (we'll call him Colin). In New Zealand, Martin and Kay castigated us for not having seen enough of the British Isles. Having spent Christmas morning listening to Mull of Kintyre on repeat, my phone call to my family centered around discovering whether or not there was any Scottish ancestry in my blood. Once our world tour has finished, Victoria and I may one day embark on a tour of the UK. I will insist that we visit south-western Scotland and the Mull, which is amusingly shaped liked a man's dinkle. In fact the BBC use this shape to determine the 'angle of dangle'.
- Victoria cried on the phone to her mum when she revealed that her attempt to make the traditional rice salad didn't go to plan. Apparently she forgot the all important prawns. Twentieth Century Fox are said to be interested in the movie rights, but will change the setting to Independence Day. 'Prawn on the Forth of July' should start filming next Summer.
- Nigella Lawson makes Victoria angry.
- Tonight we are leaving for Coffs Harbour, which is halfway up the east coast between Sydney and Brisbane. The Coffs Harbour tourist board are clearly trying to dress the town up as a beach-side paradise; perfect for a relaxing break - meaning the pubs probably close early - and a haven for adrenaline junkies - meaning there's a bit of water and grass nearby. Everyone knows that Coffs' popularity will only ever be based on the fact that it is home to the World's Largest Banana. Its other claims to fame are equally bewildering. Russell Crowe once got into a fight there (he went bananas apparently). Also, the current state MP for the area once famously 'cuffed' the New South Wales Roads Minister, (a bloke called Joe, in case you were wondering) because he was a bit upset over delays in building the Pacific Highway. A clear case of road rage.
Frequently asked questions:
Why are we not in India?....
Didn't you read the bit about the World's Largest Banana? Can't leave Aussie until we've seen that.
When are you going to India then?
January 9th. Provided we get our Visas sorted out. My experience with Mr Patel would suggest that if you popped into the cornershop you could usually get in and out with a bag of Blackjacks in a few seconds. Apparently the same principle doesn't apply to Indian tourist visas.
When are we coming home?
Depends how big the banana is.
What medicine does Dracula take?
Friggin' coffin medicine!
Where did you get that charming little christmas tree?
It's actually a child's play xmas tree from K-Mart that Victoria wanted. It originally had transparent baubles, which you'd fill with coloured paint and shake to create patterns inside. Ours didn't seem to work and our balls just filled with an odd coloured fluid that didn't dry, so we had to buy some proper decorations.
How can I stop pesky seagulls attacking my bird table?
Well, assuming the bird table is outside your house, may I suggest erecting a record breaking sized fibreglass fruit, such as a Kumquat, in the garden. This will draw the seagulls' attention away from the bird table and have the added bonus of you being able to flog them 'I've Been to the Big Kumquat' pencil sharpeners from the gift-shop that used to be your shed.
We're off to go and chill on the beach and see a huge banana (don't think I've mentioned that yet). I hope it's not too hard to find....we'll keep our eyes peeled.
Love Victoria and Tom,
PS. Thank you to everyone who sent cards and presents! You lovely people. xxx