All of a sudden, I'm kneeling on the floor of the airport with all my bags strewn around me, desperately rummaging to find something cooler to wear than my great big leopard sweater and polar fleece tights. Settling on my now worn-in flanny and jeans, I venture tentatively out, into the boisterous arrivals hall and into the joyful arms of big brother Jase. Jayne's doing laps of the pickup area to avoid paying parking. I'm home in Australia, just as quick as that.
The drive into the city and through to Toorak is still one of my favourites... up over the bridge and down through the city with skyscrapers towering around, listening to the others chattering about all that happened whilst I was gone, and just embracing being home. I'm back in my city and it's a classic 36 degree summer's day - thanks Melbs, none of this 'easing back into it' business. I'm hot and happy.
11 Jan 12
Bristol, on the other hand, was chilly. Mike leapt into the back seat of the taxi as we pulled up - he'd been sitting out the front of the hostel, smoking cigarettes and speaking Spanish to his comrades, I imagine, as he waited for us to arrive. He was very happy to see us, and we likewise. The following days were sunny, friendly and fun.
My favourite memory of Bristol is difficult to differentiate, close competitions. I remember standing on the street in front of the hostel (which is one of the cosiest you've felt), and soaking in the sound of piano accordions carried down to me on crisp, dusky night air. Walking around Bristol during daylight hours, visiting original Banksies and staring at College Green in wonder. Family breakfast with Bernie and Luke, witnessing a late night street brawl with our noses pressed against the upper windows of the hostel, hot chips with cheese and gravy after deep nightly galavants, the Bear Pit, Katies and plane gazing. Pubs with names like The Bay Horse and White Hart. Drinking free Vodka Cranberries at Hush Hush, learning later that you should never watch The Nightmare Before Christmas whilst under the influence of Marijuana. And holding hands. And Seinfield in the cave and sleeping all day.
All good memories (except for that Tim Burton movie - that was a bit hectic).
We left Bristol for London on the 5 o'clock bus after three heady days of fun and recklessness. I slept some of the way, but I was very tired, very cranky and very hungry when we arrived at Victoria Street bus depot later that night. We spent our money on greasy McDonalds and a cab to our hostel/pub, which was nowhere near as cosy or pleasant as the Bristol, and I fell asleep with my head less than 2 feet from the roof - having copped the topmost of three bunk levels. I love my eye mask... over the next few weeks it helped me through much less desirable situations, so I could sleep cosily and in peace.
Lucky I got sleep. The next day, Sunday, Shaggy and I were up and about - first job on the cards being to try and find somewhere that sold cigarettes and booze at 9 am. Getting ready for Church...