We arrived quietly back in Team Australia this time a week ago. It was raining. It more-or-less hasn’t stopped since.
Since then ‘our’ government has joined another war (joined the dots from the last fuck-up), scrapped the tax on mega-rich miners flogging off the ‘nature’s gifts’ of our anthem, and generally demeaned us as a washed-up, shit-weather backwater. No science. No future. No worries.
It doesn’t take long outside the Team to realise how domestic, Rupert, and small we’ve allowed ourselves to be rendered.
Mercifully, the polls suggest we’re not actually that stupid.
Mercifully, the greatest team of all (Geelong – for global readers) is about to bring physicality and grace back into our lives in the football finals!
The overseas, via sky, actual world was fabulous. We spent some time in Hong Kong and the astonishing built environment, the bustle, the Club Lounge on the 35th floor, the public transport system that works. My Baleno underpants store had closed but lacking layers for the rest of the trip was a gift of Summer.
England, family, kids in the bed at 7am, sunshine, oh clouds unfold, a green and pleasant land. My niece was soon to be married in her garden and we gardened and prepared. And drank gin.
Over to France. Sleeping in till ten. Beer in the bastide square. No underpants.
Why do people work and war? Why is the world so weird when it can be so wonderful? Discuss. Drink gin.
One evening in Monpazier an international cycle race did sixty-four circuits of the town walls. We sat outdoors at street bars and restaurants and admired their passing and passing Spandex, though I privately thought freeballing might be better.
Back to England and up to the Lakes where we hired a cottage for a week and the clouded hills unclouded for us. Magnificent! That worn landscape is gorgeous. We walked and walked and pork-pie lunched with Coniston Bluebird Bitter beer. Sheep. Everwhere.
Sheep and rocks posing, all gorgeous
Wallington and cider posing at The Mortal Man pub in Troutbeck
On our last weekend niece Amanda married Gary. There was an epic wedding party in their garden complete with bouncy castle and bouncing kids and a bonfire and Danny playing brilliant guitar to a shit, happy choir.
Driving to Heathrow the next day with a hangover, for a twenty-four hour flight, was not ideal but that’s a first world problem.