Saturday, September 19, 2009

Summer's Coming Like a Freight Train

What's that saying? If February goes out like a lamb, then March roars in like a lion (bad weather-wise). Something like that. Often we'll get a week of very nice weather at the end of February or beginning of March, often coincides with Mardi Gras for some reason. It's a breath of warm weather which I think is Nature's way to prevent some PNW suicides. It seems like here down under, there is something similar. Of course the cold, horrible winter weather in the Gong is nearly down to the low 50's during the day, a far cry from high's in the 30's and wet 30's at that, back home. I've included some pictures of the beach yesterday and from last weekend where it's becoming a typical day. Yes, I was mean by sending these to some friends, dangling the carrot in front of them by implanting the idea that they could have this during their winter (trying to make their winter a little more discontented).

On the social scene; I've discovered free sausage sizzles at the Charles on Saturday afternoon and the Cabbagetree on Sundays. Free is of course the lack of truth in advertising at after a pint or three, nothing seems better than some free meat, cooked up and ready to eat. I'm not going this Sunday as it's nextdoor neighbour's son Jared's 18th birthday (think 21 in the US) so they're all going to go out for tea this arvo (translation = dinner this afternoon) come back to Mark's flat for a beer or two (along with 20 of Jared's mates) and then the kids will be off to go pub hopping. Fortunately, there are buses or shuttles made available by some of the pubs for their patrons so they don't kill themselves by what they call here, 'drink driving.' It should be fun today (and not so fun for them tomorrow).

On Thursday night, I won at the meat raffle. Here's a picture of the leg of lamb plus a couple steaks and sausages (also called snags, which can mean something else, too). Most pubs have meat raffles to bring in customers. It is incredibly popular. So much so, that when I tell fellow drinkers that we don't have meat raffles in America, their eyes bug out and jaws drop in dis-belief. Often they ask, "Well, then just what DO you do?" Pubs here are more of family affair, especially on a Sunday afternoon. In fact, here's a picture from the Cabbagetree when the music was on and a row of kids came in from outside (they're really supposed to stay outside on the patio) to listen to the music and watch the drinkers as that certainly is cheap entertainment.

That afternoon the entertainment was especially good as some of the regulars such as Troy with the Scorpion tattooed on his face, along with Larry who is about 68 years old, bragging about how much beer they'd drank so far that day, beginning with their usual Sunday morning lawn bowling at 8:00 AM! Troy was close to punching out his good buddy with lots of raised voices and concerned on lookers while Larry made the smart decision to leave. Unfortunately that decision was a little late as when we started walking past the band, actually fell into them! The band was great, just backing up giving Larry plenty of room and not missing a beat the whole time.

Poor Larry felt very embarrassed only hurting his ego in the fall. I did tell him that I dance that way myself, but I don't think that helped at the time. The next Sunday, he was in great form...again. What is odd is that thinking about starting off a Sunday that way gives me the shivers but when describing it to neighbour Mark, he seemed to think it was a great idea and wanted more information! I guess I'm not really a man in Oz.

Read, comment and hopefully visit! I'll be back stateside during the Christmas holidays.

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