You’ll probably deduce from the title that I’ve had a wee deviation from sobriety, and all is well in the sinus/chest/foot department.

Yesterday was St Paddy’s Day and, despite a dearth of Guinness, we managed to mark the Great Saint’s Day rather well.

I’ve been here for a week now, and have finally found a reason not to move to Australia.


Well, pests that have the ability to kill you.

For sure, I’d been warned about snakes, spiders and insects that could either terminate you or make your life as miserable as being forced to listen to a Kylie Monogue album while watching the back catalogue of Neighbours.

But until precisely 4.05am this morning I hadn’t actually seen one. Sitting on the bog, catching up with the evening correspondence from home, a coach roach the size of a small house brick muscled through the floor drain, winked at me and disappeared behind the bin.

I’ve come across these fellows before, many years ago in New Orleans, and I certainly wasn’t going to hunt him down, show him my special skills, and kill him.

I think we need a bigger boat!

I think we need a bigger boat!

And then, several hours later, with the Manly sun breaking through thundery skies, we hit the beach only to find a sign advising us that a shark had been spotted and anyone stupid enough to enter the water was likely to be eaten.

Further along the beach, in the small slither of water not affected by rip tides, unstable currents or twats boarding in the wrong place, a lifeguard was erecting another notice warning us of Bluebottles.

Intrigued by this, I asked him why large flies should be a problem to swimmers.

‘They’re jellyfish, mate,’ he replied. ‘Not enough poke to kill you but they’d lay you up for a bit.’


‘What about the shark?’ I asked. ‘Great White?’

‘Didn’t see it myself, mate, but could well be.’

I noticed, over my left shoulder, a group of  shark baitschool kids on a beach outing with boarding instructors about to run into the swell.

‘Mind… we’ve not seen a Great White around here for some weeks now.’

Oh good.

I didn’t go into the water myself; but then there are plenty of public toilets on Manly Beach.

This evening ended with a few drinks at Hemmingway’s.

This is a terrific (gay) bar on the main drag which plays the coolest music and is well worth a visit, aside from sporting one of  Hemmingway’s most verbose and uninspiring quotes on the wall.

Now, left to me, this one would replace it: ‘An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend his time with fools.’

Goodnight from Aussie.

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