Belated seasonal greetings and salutations from another almost-summer in the City of Sails. I take it, from rather plaintive e-mails and Facebook status updates that your nephew Aloysius who is currently in Melbourne has either self-immolated in the heat or is baking himself from the outside in. I wish him a speedy recovery (well, in that any damage is irrecoverable, then a speedy return to eating solid foods).
From the customs declaration on your parcel, I see that you included a plum pudding. Unfortunately, it seems to have gone missing for the second year in a row – I hope someone was able to enjoy it anyway. We had hoped to include it amongst the planned Christmas delights – fresh crayfish, fillet of beef, Poires Belle-Helene and vintage champagne. Unfortunately, due to the global economic crisis, our seafood distributor went bust, the beef supplier now says he has an exclusive supply agreement for his Angus beef to McDonalds for the next five years and out of a fit of pique, Aunt Marie Claire refuses to use any chocolate for her sauce that is not French and not 65% cacao. So much for the special shipment of Ghiradelli chocolates from San Francisco !
2010 got off to a great start simply by not being 2009. In fact 2009 ended in what could only be described as hideously with one television channel rolling out its presenter portfolio to review the decade, had we wanted to review it. To prevent brain shrinkage, we changed channels and fortunately, someone else was running a ‘Top Gear’ marathon so we watched that. Blitzing of the brain cells with bubbles then commenced at the turn of the clock and everyone toddled off to bed at thirteen minutes past the hour.
Life in these remote parts continues somehow and refuses to be subjugated. Perhaps this is a good thing. Bankers have not been lynched and fed to the lions, you can still wear green t-shirts openly in public, we see no reason to bolt on an extra 500 metres to the SkyTower and the airports have yet to install full body scanners for our tourists from Yemen and Nigeria. Yet the country seems to be restless. For what, I am not quite sure – perhaps it’s the prospect of winning some sort of medal at the upcoming Winter Olympics or maybe more brandy-snap flavoured ice-cream which was released to the ravenous hordes a couple of months ago.
In response to your query, no I have not been out much – there have been sightings of many bronzed whalers and hammerheads around what pass for chic bars and watering holes around yonder and I do not wish to be treated as bait despite my flowing locks. I have managed to lose a bit of weight, however, and was surprised at how not eating works wonders. As for drinking, however, this is rapidly becoming a problem. The main culprit is a rather good Belgian blonde. Beer (I hasten to add). Her Kiwi competition beckons, however……….
Must run, I have to get my caulking gun out and fix a small issue in the bathroom. Will try and see you in person later in the year, airport security screening and passport validity willing. All the best to the family and close personal acquaintances.