- January 23
To the Victorian countryside in a blue Toyota on loan from the odious Avis rental car company. They are jerks and screw you with hidden costs. Bollicking bastards. Not only that the CD in the car doesn’t pump out enough bass. On the plus side, we arrive at 4.59pm - one minute before they close.
We reach Guildford and the Divine Miss Lovely’s 40th birthday party at 8pm, six hours after party started. That’s okay there’s still nine hours of fun to go. Miranda looks exciting and muscular and she is speechless throughout.
The party is a bloody ripper. The microphone needs to put a restraining order on me.
At one point, G Roy has the weight of the world on his shoulders and his ankle gives out.
Wake up next morning covered in bites. After a splendid bbq breakfast, supplemented by a Martin Amis-like routine from G Roy involving his feet (two English brothers: one is an effete, intellectual; the other an uncultured thug) we’re feeling fine like it’s 1989. A group of us bids farewell to our darling hosts to take a dip in nearby Vaughn Springs, only to be forced out when a leech grabs KB and refuses to let go. Everybody shrieks out, except G Roy who stays in the murky drink until he is attacked; it takes awhile perhaps due to his toxicity levels, sadly the suction occurs out of reach on his backside, and its not until courageous daughter Sadie joins him in the muck, destroying the leech and dragging Dad out of infested Spring water to safety.
The entrepreneurial Hugh sees moneymaking potential in this and suggests we make a sea-devil out of G Roy and charge admission, using Vaughn Springs as a pilot before taking the show to Europe.
It makes sense.
Following this, a three-car caravan reconvenes for jugs at Guildford Pub in their great, big beer garden with sizable thrones to match. Fond memories of our time there being recalled just now.
Next stop Book Heaven resulting in the procurement of a veritable phalange of hot titles. Waugh, Portis, Nabokov, Paris Review from ’63 (cranky interviews with Waugh and perelman inside), De Campee snares an old German camera that sounds abominable when it clicks. This trip took place so long ago I have already finished Norwood, Charles Portis’ debut from ’66, though that’s not saying much, you can get through it in a couple of days. It is exactly the type of book I would love to write some day. The comedy hits that awkward pitch that I find endearing without ever drawing attention to itself or announcing its attentions: the literary deadpan. Brilliant.
We stay at Woodend and drink a paddle of beer at Holgate brewery, an ingenious way to consume seven shots of dark beer, prior to gorging on three courses.
Sanatorium Lake the next day for an up-close visit with a falcon and over to Dayleford’s Lake House for a decadent lunch during kookaburra feeding time. The mains are $38 and to be honest they aren’t that good.
Oops, I almost forgot our visit to Mt Macedon winery. Go there now, it’s lovely. Drink a bottle of their blush and eat cheese on the porch.
In Daylesford we find Double Nut Chalet, a marvel of splendid accommodation, look it up, it is a dream.
We drive home the next day.
Now I took down something I posted drunk Friday night at 3am because I wanted to make a few amendments to it and lift my work up to a standard of professionalism I deem acceptable. Instead of the German Shepherd taking a most extraordinary shit it is now simply an enormous crap. Revised entry reads thus: "I got off the tram the other day not feeling my best and on the footpath there was a German Shepherd taking an enormous crap and its owner, this bald prick in a pink shirt, forearm covered in tatts, snarled at me and then looked down at his dog, whose mouth he had tied up in his lead and shouted c’mon, dragging the dog away and leaving the pile in the middle of the footpath; meanwhile today I was in a cab driving by a parked car and there was a dude who opened the door and tossed two banana peels out on the street.”
I also wanted to add that all people are stupid and lazy and we need to collectively join together to remove all the scum off the streets.