What a beautiful way to come back into Sydney.
Unfortunately I was all out of travel cliches apart from the ones about returning home.
The trip was a great success. Our philosophies for the trip, holidaying in general and humour made large changes of plan a breeze. I didn't crash her car which I think was a great help. Best of all we saw a great many things essentially randomly. We ate well, drank well and I only set the smoke detector off on two occasions.
The first of these was after the long drive from Echuca to Torquay and I was more tired than I thought, hence I was a bit petulant. The fish was smoking away briskly when my frayed consciousness was assailed by 'that most useless noise', to quote the Duke of Wellington. I instantly flashed to anger and cursed the little bastard as I twisted its head off and ripped its brain out. Childish, yes, but such a satisfyingly primordial way of fixing a problem. After laughing at my display Caroline pointed out how useful it was that I was tall enough to do that. The next morning she set fire to the toast and had to do the traditional tea towel fanning to stop the shrilling. I was jogging along the beach at the time, so I was no help to anyone apart from any excitable young women watching.
From then on, whenever I cooked inside I always disabled the smoke detector.
In Portland I asked the aunt what we would do for the afternoon.
She replied "We can go home. You can take the battery out of the smoke alarm. And I'll turn the toaster up to full!"
We learned never ever ever to go to, nor to recommend anyone else go to, Tilba Tilba. Tilba Tilba is on the NSW south coast - inland a bit. It is very near Mt Dromedary. It received this wonderful write up by a travel writer in the SMH who was simply delighted with the whole place. It is a embarrassment. Caroline ripped up the article when we got back to the car and muttered darkly.
Probably the most important lesson we learned was not to take dining advice from a boat captain who serves packet soup to his patrons. Although, maybe that is what they meant when they talked of Packet Steamers arriving off Eden.
I'll just finish this off quickly like 'Mansfield Park', because even I am sick of writing about how wonderful everything turned out.
The important thing was at the end of it I got my nice wine and a two week growth.
* Actually collect $280 from Lord MattressHammer's final rent payment. Previously he supplied it in an envelope marked "Rent". This one was marked "Whores and Booze".
I called the girls and had each to myself for a couple of hours, and then both together at the end of the night. This is literally true. They know who they are.