Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Out of the tent and straight into retail mode

Wednesday 22nd April

Have just got home from a spot of retail therapy. Having received my $900 tax rebate bonus from the Australian government I promptly invested in a haircut as after a week’s camping the overall image was less Vidal Sassoon and more Spot the Loon. Revived and restored by the snip of Roger’s scissors, I then skipped past an accessories shop, always fatal with money burning a hole in your bank account, and popped in on the off chance that they might have a bracelet to replace the one currently missing in action. Part of the rationale for the purchase, is that past experience has taught me that no sooner do I buy a replacement, then lo and behold the lost object is found. The usual places in which lost objects resurface in our household are a) in the dressing up basket b) under Drama Queen No. 3s bed, an archaeological dig site rivalling King Tutankhamun’s chambers or c) at the bottom of the ironing basket (in which case it won’t see the light of day for a number of years).

Bad hair week aside, our week’s holiday was filled with drama, including a last minute change of campsite owing to a flooded river. Needless to say the change of destination, decided upon in a gloomy round table conference in McDonalds, Armidale didn’t involve just popping down the road to an alternative site. With commendable and indeed frankly astonishing good humour, we set off in our three car convoy for a five hour drive inland and the technically and temper challenging feat of setting up three tents in the dark, on an unfamiliar campsite. I have to say we all sank down in our camp chairs with relief when the whole thing was done. As a footnote, I’ve come to the conclusion there are very few camping crises that can’t be helped by lots of sparkling shiraz, can’t recommend this bubbly red, a peculiarly Australian speciality highly enough.

The Warrumbungle National Park where we ended up is a fabulous place to visit. The scenery is absolutely spectacular with jutting rock formations that are the remnants of past volcanic activities. The walking was fantastic with lots of challenge for the gung ho group and other tracks with high interest value for the group who took seven children off on a 3 hour trek, euphemistically termed ‘not a walk really, darling, more of a wander’.

The Australian wildlife cooperated magnificently to the extent that our UK visitors, who had been initially concerned that they might not see a kangaroo during their Aussie trip, became complete blasé and indeed Rob was heard to complain about the kangaroo lying at the foot of his camp chair whilst he was trying to read. We also notched up echidna and koala sightings as well as a couple of large red-bellied black snakes, the latter sighting had us all combing the highly venomous snakes section of the guidebook with great interest.

The downside of camping is of course the return home and the pile of filthy washing covered in dust and stinking of smoke. The weather is being incredibly uncooperative and every time I peg out yet another mammoth load of washing, now all dyed a uniform grey as a result of my impatient reluctance to sort the giant pile into whites and coloureds, it absolutely pours. The dog however is in seventh heaven with masses of dirty or damp underwear to forage through.
Whilst on the underwear theme I’ve just read courtesy of a Good Housekeeping blog that sales by Jockey of pink Y fronts have gone through the roof. Apparently men are attempting to lighten their mood by investing in cheerful underwear. I am currently trying to deicide whether to order the baby pink or the pistachio for Simon. I am sure he could cause a sensation in Aussie male circles as the Pom in the Pink Pants!

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