Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Festiva De Mick

There is no doubt that on any given day, many important people fly into our nations capital. Of course, these people come and go, and are usually given little attention by the 300,000 of us who live here and go about our Canberra lives. But every now and then, a certain caliber of person arrives, who commands a little more notice and respect. A certain someone who provides a break from the usual entourage of politicians, diplomats and public servants. And so this was, when Mick Moylan, a good friend from Melbourne, arrived on an early morning flight from Melbourne last Friday.
Indeed, it has been sometime since Canberra airport has seen such a prestigious figure arrive, however, the airport did seem somewhat under prepared for the event. There was no orchestral welcome, no long winded speeches or any sign of the national guard to welcome Mick. Instead, Mick was welcomed by a rather more modest ceremony, involving Affrica and myself sprinting into the arrivals area after arriving later than expected, just as Mick began to walk aimlessly around the airport in search of us. And so at 8:45am, Friday June 17, Festiva De Mick did begin.

It was a three day event, where Mick took on the great challenge of visiting all Canberra's many fascinating attractions. Of course, for his hosts who in addition to Aff and myself, also included Imogen (another recent arrival from Melbourne), the challenge was to find three days worth of fascinating attractions to show him. And to our nation's capital's credit, we achieved this in great style. From the war memorial, to Canberra wineries - from Canberra night life, to quiet lake side walks (nursing hangovers) - from "Belco" mall, to the national museum - Mick saw it all.

I give a very rough summary of events below ...

On Friday afternoon, Mick and I decided to go for a tour of the Australian institute of Sport, which enticed us both with the promise of an elite athlete as our tour guide. I would, however, be lying if I said we weren't a little dissapointed with who they gave us. With all due respect to our tour guides, two unknown pimple-faced 17 year old walkers, we were perhaps hoping for someone of a little more notoriety. However, one good thing that came out of the tour was that I can now officially say I know where Canberra's answer to piss weak world is .. the "interactive sports centre". As part of the tour, you get put in a room of "sporty activities" for about 30 minutes. I was particularly keen to try out the wheel chair basketball, which I had been told about. Well, I found it - in a little sectioned off basketball area (about 4m x 3m), containing only one wheel chair which was disappointingly bolted to the ground. So while it was possible to spin the wheels on the wheel chair, you couldn't actually move anywhere. Other highlights included a "throw the rugby ball through the hole", a mock up Olympic medals ceremony podium which when you stand on it, starts up a voice over the PA system that announces your gold medal triumph, followed then by the sound of a cheering crowd. Of course, being the show pony I am, I milked this for all it was worth and stood on the podium for quite sometime waving at my fellow AIS guests. Mick eventually suggested I get off, and let someone else have a go. I will spare you the details of the rest of the interactive sports centre, but simply say that it was not quite the sporting experience I was hoping for. The AIS tour itself was kind of interesting, if only because you get to hear the crazy training schedules these athletes are subjected to.

In complete contrast, earlier that day we had visited the war memorial where the tour guide was exceptionally good. In fact, he was so thorough that after 90 minutes, Mick, Aff and I had to leave because of time constraints. This tour guide had a few stories to tell, and boy did he tell them. I suspect the tour may still be going.

Saturday was quiet. Mick and Imo were nursing hangovers from their Friday night drinks. Chris was also nursing a hangover from a separate Friday night event. Aff looked remarkably chipper for someone who didn't get home until 3am, and who had to get up at 9am for a shift on a drug support hotline (volunteer work she is doing). I thought it might be funny to ring her and ask whether Panadol or Herron was better for my hangover, but then thought the joke may not go down so well. I was probably still a little drunk at the time. We met up with Mick and Imo later that day. Because we were all tired, and still a little hung over, we decided to cook dinner at our place, and watch a DVD (dodgeball) that night.

Sunday provided a variety of activities and events. Mick and Imogen both stayed the night (our first over night guests in our new house). The morning started somewhat awkwardly when Imogen and myself managed to find a bit of a loop hole in the current protocol for having a shower in our house. You see, the shower has two doors, one that leads from the master bedroom, and one that provides entry for the rest of the house. Both these doors are opposite each other. On Sunday morning, Aff got up first and had a shower. After Aff finished, I thought I would be the polite host and wait a little while, to allow anyone else the chance to have a shower before me. After ten minutes, however, I decided this window of opportunity had passed, and so went for it. Now, without giving too much information, at this point it is important to know that I sleep best when clothed very minimally. Given I have direct access to the shower from the bedroom, I thought it unnecessary to put on extra clothing for the 5 second journey from the bed, through the walk in robes, and to the shower area. Of course, what I did not count on when I slid open the door to the shower, was that Imogen would also be entering the shower area through the opposite entry. Imogen, who was wearing a pair of Aff's pajamas (which probably added a couple of seconds to my reaction time), was no doubt horrified with the sight that very briefly lay before her. To her credit, however, she maintained her composure and did not run screaming from the house. I, however, was like a rabbit caught in the spot light, and did not display quite the same composure. Instead, I let out a high pitch squeal, then scampered back to my bed and hid under the doona. Thankfully, Imo saw the humour in the incident. No doubt this story will be told in pubs and around camp fires for many years to come. I would just like to assure any future Canberra visitors that an inquiry has been launched into the incident, and the current shower protocol is likely to undergo significant changes. Or at the very least, I will just go and buy myself some pj's.

After the events of the morning, the rest of the day was much more dignified. We had Yum Cha in Dickson, and then went on to tour some of Canberra's finest wineries (well, three of them anyway). This was followed by an early dinner, followed then by a very speedy race back to the airport to put Mick on a plane, and send him home. And so ended Festiva De Mick, and I look forward to some more visitors in the next month or so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So while it was possible to spin the wheels on the wheel chair, you couldn't actually move anywhere.
How appropriate for Canberra that exhibit is - the wheels of government continue to turn, but where oh where does it get us!


6/21/2005 01:46:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....Chris and Affs Rancho Relaxo is sounding more like the big brother house....hangovers, nudity...

6/22/2005 10:04:00 AM

Blogger macca said...

if it were the bb house, I am pretty sure I would be up for eviction this week.

6/22/2005 12:17:00 PM


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