The reason you have not had any blog updates from down under is that I have not had any Internet access. Sure Internet access abounds in this wide brown land but not where we were staying on the first leg of our trip.
This was not fault of the telecommunications companies but of the curmudgeonly mean bastards who rented us the overpriced sub-standard house in which we stayed – in the delightful community of Tamborine Mountain.
This is a wonderful spot behind the Gold Coast in Queensland and is an oasis of rainforest and wildlife with not too many houses – but with of course the obligatory street full of schlock filled ‘village stores’ stuffed to the gunwales with crystals, oils, candles, local artifacts, stuffed bears and – in this case - Cuckoo Clocks. (Cuckoo Clocks?). But every town in the known universe has this type of stuff and it is simply unavoidable.
Our house had potential on the Internet but proved to be unworthy of our patronage. It had no microwave, no clothes dryer, a blunt axe and – worst of all – no coffee machine. What sort of troglodytes would rent a so called luxury holiday house without a coffee machine?
The axe was needed because it was bloody cold and there was no heating except an open fire in the lounge room which we had to keep going so that we did not freeze to death. It was not unusual for us to go to bed fully clothed. There was plenty of wood but the axe was so blunt that we had to sort of bludgeon the larger pieces into burnable chunks.
There were also very few of the types of things one would expect in a house like this. There was a gigantic deck overlooking the mountain and the Gold Coast about 30 kilometers away – but no outdoor furniture and no barbecue. A snazzy sound system was installed – but was completely clagged. Any music that was played sounded like ZZ Top playing underwater.
I am guessing that the house was rented to a group of people who had a hell of a party and destroyed the furniture, barbecue and sound system and the owners lost heart and could not be bothered to replace any of this – but neglected to change their website to reflect the changed circumstances of the property from luxury rainforest villa to frozen equipment-free cabin with rooted sound system.
However, life moves on and we are now back in the beautiful house we also rented last year in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. It is a wonderful place in the bush with large grounds, lots of birds, wallabies and other wildlife. I am sure it has its fair share of snakes and spiders but we are not worrying too much about these.
But we should be careful because we come from a country where the most dangerous animal is a hedgehog – so we may have become complacent about the hordes of death-dealing creatures that abound in Australia.
I am pleased to report that PM Gillard has shelved the stupid Internet filter idea and has called instead a ‘review’. This is Polispeak for ‘this is a stupid idea and needs to be buried deep underground until people forget about it’.
Ms Gillard did have a complete brain snap about the refugee issue but I am really hoping this was a temporary lapse and not – as it looked like – a sign of insanity.