The Jolly Green Giant

March 30, 2007 at 1:26 am (Uncategorized)

You should just see what I am coughing up at the moment. I guess it’s not so very jolly, but it is certainly green, and it is certainly gigantic. Yes, it’s the change-of-season head cold, currently setting up house in the ear-nose-and-throat wing of this human hotel. Yuck. Massive globules of nuclear phlegm are hacking through my body, and I can’t say they’re making me feel very sexy. On the contrary. I feel like wearing flannel pyjamas, watching The Bold and the Beautiful, drinking hot lemon and honey drinks, and eating buttery soldiers of Vegemite toast.

I haven’t had a cold in about two years, so I feel slightly resentful that this one checked in whilst I was attempting to check out… What is it about the holiday that goes so hand in hand with the malady? Is it my immune system being caught off guard (wow – I am sitting in an internet cafe at the end of my street right now as my internet connection at home is failing to, er, connect, and I just had a profound moment of deja vu), or is it the inescapable, entirely unavoidable bump and grind of human traffic along the way? All those foreign bodies sitting next to each other, walking past each other, using public toilets beside each other… it’s enough to make me feel like going home and washing my hands for the next three hours.

In this case, I think I’m sick because of poor packing. I had a shocker. And it’s not as though I wasn’t forewarned. Sarah flexed her psychic streak before Llew and I headed to WA, having multiple visions of my returning to Sydney detailing freezing conditions in the Margaret River. She said “I keep having dreams that you’re going to be really cold over there.” Did I listen? No. Sarah’s sleep has been all screwed up recently and I thought all the messages were getting scrambled. So I went right on ahead and packed for a beach holiday on the Indian Ocean. Well, I packed my Tokyo beanie (because it’s cool). And a denim jacket (because it goes with everything). But I mainly concentrated on what we call thongs (flip flops elsewhere and something really weird in NZ that I can’t remember…) and sundresses, which I packed in abundance. Sarah was, of course, eerily on the money.

Arctic. It was soooo cold my finger- and toenails kept turning blue. I verily convulsed with cold. Emergency retail sessions were required. We stopped at one Margaret River vineyard, and whilst Llew did a wine tasting, I went the rather more unconventional route of charging over to a lonely corner display to try on their entire clothing range. And I eventually, enthusiastically bought a fleece shell. I forked over those not inconsiderable clams with gusto, and I put my new layer on with the tag still dangling down my back and a gladness in my heart. It has VOYAGER ESTATE sewn into it, so you know things were pretty desperate. I don’t generally go in for loudly emblazoned promo merchandise, but damn it, I was cold.

As I shivered my way through the next day, it became clear that my feet needed more protection and warmth than thongs were designed to provide. A pair of Havaianas, even when you have several in a variety of primary colours, will only get you so far. In this case they got me as far as a shoe store in Margaret River town, where for the first time in my E-N-T-I-R-E life, all I really wanted to find, all that my heart really, truly desired, was a circulation-kickstarting, life-giving pair of Ugg boots. Naturally they didn’t sell them, so I settled for a pair of sneakers. The sales assistant threw in a pair of socks, and I walked out in my new, snugly encased feet nearly crying with relief. Warm, dry feet. My new favourite thing.

So how was the Margaret River? It was cold. And I got sick. But those rounds and rounds of cellar door tastings and tasty treats sure did take the edge off, even if I couldn’t smell the pungent bouquet of horseshit, let alone an award-winning Pinot. Berry notes? Plum and pepper? Whatever. If you’ve got an open fire then we’ll have a case, thanks.



  1. Mike said,

    I believe kiwis call them Jandals. Useful for carrying your chilly-bin over judder-bars.

  2. doctordi said,

    That’s it! Jandals. Jandals… Hmmm…Jandals.

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