So, I've been gone two weeks, I know you know this, all twelve of the people who might read my entries have been anxiously waiting for some word all this time, it's just not normal for a Livejournal to lie fallow for so long!
Anyway, I flew up to Cairns with the family. The first proper holiday I've ever had with my wife in the nearly nine years we've been together.
Before the flight, I went to TAFE all morning, then caught a train to the city to tour the State Library. Of course I'm a bit biased, but the place is incredible. We went deep, deep underground to the storage rooms, which are these huge concrete spaces filled with book shelves, and a couple of other places, then we went over to the Mitchel Wing. Imagine a big old Victorian library, those ones with stained glass windows, huge stone busts glaring down at readers, and stout wooden shelves rising for several stories, accessible only by narrow walkways. You know, the type that dark cultists seek the ineffible secrets of whatsis in. Outside the Mitchel Wing is a statue of explorer Matthew Flinders. And on a window sill behind, there is a statue of his beloved cat, Trim, that stares appreciatingly up at him.
Trim was the first cat to ever circumnavigate Australia, you understand. And that's the sort of people librarians are.
I was also interested by the large number of homeless people who are attracted to the buildings for some reason. Yeah, I'm a country boy, these things are still a twisted novelty of sorts.
Anyway, from the library, I caught another train to the airport. And away we went, slightly exhausted. Anyone who's bored of life should take a three hour flight with two very young boys at night time. It won't make you happier but you definitely won't be bored. They ran rampant the entire flight, often up and down the corridor. Glenn finally went to sleep just as the plane was about to land, the little bugger.
I'm biased, but Cairns is one of the best places you can hope to see, if you can stand the humidity. Since I moved south, they turned part of the mud flats into an artificial lagoon, which is free for the public to use. Amazingly, the place hasn't been filled with gangs and drunks, vandalised, and avoided by anyone with half a brain. This may be because it has its own dedicated police station. I spent quite some time here.
The second is about the only photo of my wife that survived Evan opening the camera. I had to crop it somewhat to get rid of the red blobs. And of course you can barely see her anyway. Ah well, at least we have the videotapes.
Not shown in the photos is the number of pretty people not wearing much. I think the police, along with troublemakers and park people, also keep away flabby tourists and anyone whos skin tone does not compare to a nut. Here I observed the proper method for lying in the sun if you are a girl in a bikini:
1) After finding the ideal position, poolside or near a walkway for prime exposure, get down on all fours, bending your back in order to thrust out your hanging breasts and your buttocks, while your head stays upright as possible.
2) Slowly slide your front half down, keeping buttocks high. Concentrate on getting your breasts to bulge out at your sides as they contact the ground. Keep your head high.
3) Slide your legs slowly down, until you are lying flat.
4) Cheekily undo your top, exposing the previously bulged breast sides.
5) Pretend to sleep. If nobody notices, repeat process until satisfied.
I'm telling you, they all do it.
Besides swimming and getting nicely brown, I also caught up with some old friends. Which is always great, because you just kind of slot back in where you left off, and even though I've become a father of two, Adam's been around the world and has settled down with a prefabricated family, and Dave was almost killed by a brain tumor since we were last together, it was just like old times.
I also got to see my various neices and nephews that I hadn't met yet. At one stage the entire family was in the house, my parents, my brother and sisters, our various spouses, and all our children. It was the highlight of the holiday, I reckon. Unfortunately all that's on the third roll of film that we haven't had developed yet, but here's me with the youngest Fuller, Aliyah.
And then I came back to Sydney. And I'm reminded of just how shoddy living is down here. Sure there's the convieience of everything, the being part of the global scene, the employment and all that, but everything's so much brighter, cleaner, greener, and nicer up there. You can go to the beach and share it with maybe three other groups of people. You can eat fresh local fruit all year. You can get eaten by crocodiles or sharks or stonefish or box jellyfish or stinging trees. You can get curlews nesting in suburban front yards. Curlews are these charming birds that, late at night, shriek like terrified women.
I'll always be a tropical lad at heart.