Day 333 - Margaret RiverDespite the inestimable pleasure of sleeping in a bunk bed, sharing your toilet cubicle with wildlife, bare concrete floors and Gwendal, it was time to leave the hostel. And yet I did so with an amount of reluctance. I'd become used to the place, a part of the worn furniture, institutionalised you could say. So when the offer of a room in a house came I clung fiercely to what I knew and shied away from a new place and new people. I'm not sure that fear will ever entirely desert me, my nature is my nature, but at least in my age and my wisdom I can push through it with a modicum of sense. The house was familiar, I'd been there before after a night in the pub. As had most of the other patrons once word got around of a party at 46 Tunbridge Street. The 100 or so unexpected guests were soon surreptitiously pointed in the direction of another, 'better' house party at an unsuspecting and unfortunate address down the road. Poor Frodo didn't know what to make of it all, Frodo being the resident gardener. And also being a sheep. Life at Tunbridge Street would be interesting. Coincidentally the weekend of the move was the same as that of another houseparty, though this one was at an abode on the Leeuwin Estate, one of the major wine makers in the Margaret River region. Being Halloween there was a fancy dress theme, my new roommates had opted to go as a gaggle (herd? horde?) of Smurfs. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, as the saying goes and beating a smurf just seemed wrong, although I wouldn't feel that way all night... So, slathered in blue paint and with a jaunty little bonnet popped on my head off we went. Perhaps I felt the need to make an impression, to announce my arrival to this new social sphere in definitive fashion. Thus by the end of what was, overall, a pleasant evening I had called one of my new roommates a bitch, smashed some glasses and got into a fight with another Smurf. In my defence -
1, The bitch comment was a first, rescinded impression.Time passed much as before though, I toiled in the vineyards under a now-baking sun and turned a very non-English shade of brown. I worked with two Cornish lads called Mike and Oli putting wire up to contain the now abundant summer foliage sprouting from the vines in every direction. We hardily battled our own apathy and the swarms of flies that gave the vineyard a low, constant hum from their incessant buzzing. Leisure hours were spent, thanks to Nik and Matt, enjoying drinking games such as 'wizard staffs' where you drink your height in beer cans, each fresh one being gaffa-taped to the ones before it.
2, The glasses may not have been (just) me.
3, The fight was more pushy-shovey than fisty-cuffy.
4, There was free wine.
"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be."
-- William Hazlitt