Chocolate Socialist (braisedbywolves) wrote,
Chocolate Socialist

Holiday, Sunburned Leg 2*

Hello, it's me! I'm still here. No wait, I'm not still in Australia! But you probably guessed that from the last post, as my plan to sneakily stay on board and spend 48 hours watching more films came to naught.

Anyway, after I was talking to you last we:

  • Stayed in Canberra, with G's family. Canberra is very planned and has very nice schools and is very very dull. It was nice to meet the rest of the family though: G's aunt who is a documentary film maker and moved back from London was glad to snatch us away and chat (while driving us out to the bush to see Kangaroos!). G's grandma (Who the aunt moved back to be near) was also great, 94 but sharp as a tack - only a shame I didn't get to see her grandfather too, who sadly died last year.**

  • To Melbourne, where we mostly just relaxed and wandered the coffee houses like some sort of fucking hipsters. We took two trips out - one by train to see a friend's mum and step-dad up north in Kynton, great big house full of carefully chosen stuff and enormous outdoors, and a big pirate flag in the back yard, and one by slow bus up to Phillip Island, to see Fairy Little Penguins, tiniest of all the penguins. They gather on the sea side of the shore every evening, waiting until it's dark enough and they have enough strength in numbers to make a run across the beach to their homes in the dunes. They gather, they start tentatively making their way across, they run back, they gather, they go, they run back, we all die of cuet. But mostly we sat around and drank coffee discovered the breakfast Bloody Mary with Marmite, and I was properly introduced to the Proper Australian Meat Pie and the Proper Australian Lamington.

  • To Sydney, where we saw in the new year with ozgirlabroad (Sydney Harbour Bridge! Fireworks! Getting there five hours in advance and filling up the time with memes!) and my 39th year with a trip to the beach (Sun! Sand! Falling for the overcast trap and getting massively sunburned!). Unfortunately my body started to betray me at every turn
    • the New Year's day trip to the beach, where I actually did take appropriate care sunwise, featured a bit of me wandering about barefoot on hot sand & brick, which seemed to bring on a very sudden massive blister on the bottom of one of my feet. A blister plaster took care of it until it started to heal, but still odd lumps of dead flesh hanging around staring at you (er, if you stare at them)
    • The aforementioned sunburn, all over my shoulders and on random bits of my legs (One knee! A strip down one shin! The other ankle, really really painfully to move!), which wiped out the 3rd, complicated the 4th, and largely did for any chance of solid sleep on the plane. It's also the longest-lasting in effect - my ankle finally peeled off at the start of this week, and is still tickling. In general though I think it's not a bad birthday omen - I'm 38 now, it's worth remembering that mistakes have consequences.
    • A really incredibly annoying twinge in my left thigh, down in/near my hamstring if I plant my left foot and advance my body much past it. It turns out I put my leg in that sort of situation a lot, including when I'm trying to get comfortable in a bed with massive patchy sunburn.
    • And, as you may have seen on Facebook, the capper to a long and not overly sleepy trip back to Heathrow was overbalancing in the gents and smashing my forehead into a coat hook - cue much bleeding and another hour in the airport instead of going home and sleeping as every atom in our bodies were crying out to do.

  • Er er, but I had a nice time really! Sun is in general a good thing, the beaches are very nice, and also this holiday thing might catch on eventually.

* Both my legs were sunburned. Is joke!

** Chatting to her at Christmas Dinner, I asked if she'd ever actually met the Queen. Oh no, she said, when her husband Dick was knighted it was in Australia, the Queen didn't come down to it. Oh that's a shame I said, and she said yes, but he'd gotten the Distinguished Flying Cross (for some serious war-time adventures) when he was in England, before they met. So he'd seen the Queen, then? No, he'd been presented with it by the King - there then follows the sound of someone remembering that really old people are really rather old.
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