So as you may have seen from the pictures, I managed to get an outfit sorted in the 24 hours leading up to Mardi Gras. This was mainly achieved by Helena driving me around to Op and $2 shops, and borrowing/stealing garments from the friendly poly folk who I met at the pre MG picnic on Friday.
Friday night Belinda cooked the most beautiful meal. We were joined by lovely Ivan, who I met briefly at the DnBBQ, and his lady friend, beautiful French Clara, whom I love not least of all because she made the most delicious chocolate soufflés and a pear, chocolate and nut tart, which henceforth became known as ‘the tart that undid polyamory’, for its jealousy inducing nature! We got a semi-decent nights sleep to prepare for the big day.
Saturday: Fishnets on, false lashes stuck, corsets tied, we made our way to Hyde Park, to the marshalling area to find our float. After much waiting about (which actually included learning the dance routine, shmoozing with our queer peers of the parade – my favourite of whom were the Sydney Rugby Convict boys – now there’s a gay minority if ever there was one! - and general frolicking) the parade was off.
I was pretty much in my element – bar one small moment of realisation, as we approached the oxford st crossroads, the crowds were huge, the press were everywhere, the road was littered and slippery and I became suddenly very aware of my legs, and their inability to continue walking naturally. After a brief panic that I could fall flat on my bare ass in front of most of Sydney, I pulled it together and strutted the remainder of the parade with ease (helped of course by being surrounded by good friends).
The after party was epic. There are no more words. We arrived home about 6.30am. Sunday was spent in the recovery position. Helena had to work, but came home in the evening with Thai take-out (I love you Helena). We made a nest in the front lounge and watched Shortbus with full bellies. Perfect.
|Michael, Belinda and Me in a Cave|
Monday was a very early start – made even earlier by the fact that Simon was at Mum and Pete’s and I wanted to skype – So I woke at 5am and had a lovely long chat. At 7am, me, Helena, Belinda and our new friend Michael (28, Tasmanian rainforest activist and dumpster-diver, all round anarchic pretty boy), drove to the Jenolen Caves and the Blue Mountains.
We had such a super day. The caves were magnificent, despite the less-than-riveting guide (we combated this with a good ol’ fashioned game of ‘spot the rock that looks most like a cock’). The walk through the Blue Mountains was stunning too (although I fear I’m becoming very blasé with waterfalls these days!). And to top off the perfect day, we stopped off in the evening for a delicious pub dinner and bottle of wine.
Tuesday Michael and I went to Sydney zoo with Jamie and Emily. Another perfect sunny day. The animals were pretty bloody awesome. I finally got to see a platypus! And crikey, have you ever seen a Komodo Dragon?? Bleedin’ terrifying! The guys were going ‘oh wow, look at the komodo dragon!’ and I’m going ‘where, where?’, squinting, looking under rocks and nooks and crannies – thinking its small and well camouflaged. Then I see the bigger picture and realise the thing I think is a rock is its hind leg and it’s about twice my size! Bloody loved the meerkats too – they always get me they do!
Wednesday I spent the day cleaning and packing for NZ. Helena’s parents took us out for dinner in Newtown which was lovely. On the way, as it’s a bit of a walk, Helena suggested we take it ‘in stages’, which I was pleased to see meant stopping along the way to have cocktails at regular intervals!
The food at the restaurant was fantastic, a grazing menu – what a fantastic idea, perfect for me, as anyone who has been out to dinner with me knows I want to try a bit of what everyone else has ordered anyway – so what a perfect solution to have individual dishes to be bought out one at a time, for your party to share! – and afterwards we went to that Max Whatshisface for chocolate overdose. Superb!
|H's lovely folks :)|
Helena very kindly drove me to Sydney airport on Thursday where I caught a plane all on my own, for only the second time in my entire life, to Auckland, New Zealand.