I can’t think of a better way to spend a perfect blue-skied Christmas Day than in my own olympic-pool sized, gum-fringed, snake-infested, muddy-beached, tea-coloured Aussie dam. NOW with gigantic death-defying flying fox – which carries you right over the lair of the Black Worm (Cecil, our resident black snake, who lives with his red-bellied friend Melisandre in the long grass on the bank) and drops you splat right in the deep dark middle – unless of course you let go first in which case Cecil and Melisandre won’t be happy to see you. You can just see the flying fox wire in the pic, if you squint.
My kindly and beloved brother, his cliff-climbing, cave-diving heir and his equally daring wife, their two kids (who happen to look like something out of a fifties picture book), and my two little honies spent Christmas morning in the dam, then for variety we all walked to the neighbour’s waterfall – a big deep rock pool where the creek falls over hot rocks and comes down on your head like a warm shower, and the horse flies wait for you to come out so they can have their Christmas lunch.
This is the kind of thing you fantasise about when you think ‘Bugger it, I’ll move to the country!’ As opposed to ‘I know, I’ll give up this nice cosy office job and start cleaning toilets – now there’s a thought!’ It’s also a bit like that thing that happened when you were a kid – you know, how Wendy down the road had a backyard swimming pool and everyone wanted to be invited to her place, and her mum had lemonade and coke in the fridge, and in sum, it was great to be Wendy. Well listen up Wendy, now it’s great to be ME – not only do I have a backyard swimming pool (lake, really), my own river and personal cliff view, but it takes me an hour to walk from one end of the yard to the other!
No really, for a naturally unsociable, lazy and inhospitable person like me, it’s something to at least live somewhere people like to visit. They may not get dinner, conversation or comfortable beds (I exaggerate slightly here) – but they do get Scenery and Swimming. And a flying fox.
Back to the toilets…