16 June, 2005

everybody's free ... free as a bird

Goodness, what a lot can happen in a week. Michael Jackson is free. Douglas Wood is free. Mick Gatto is free. I am going to jump out of a plane. Sorry, what was that? Hang on, backtrack...

Ryan and munkey's time as pseudo married couple continues most pleasantly. We drive each other around, cook each other meals, bid each other adieu at the beginning of every work day (when Mr Rye is conscious enough) and greet each other every evening (when Mr munkey is conscious enough). It's relaxed, lovely and comfortable, almost to the point of being strange. Shouldn't living with someone you've only known two months be harder than this? Shouldn't we be bickering over every little difference of opinion, and scratching each others' eyes out? Well I for one (and I imagine Ryan for two) am very glad it's working so well *still-touching-wood munkey*. All this wood-touching seems to be working out quite nicely, i might just keep it up (and no that's not meant as a dirty euphemism, but it could be if you really want it to). At any rate, I'm in love and it feels like I've known Ryan for years. What we've found together isn't too good to be true - it's exactly good enough to not be a lie.

Plans were afoot on Friday night. I'm discovering that, with Mr Ryan, plans are often vaguely mused about for a long time, then suddenly thrown into action at the very last minute. This was the case with Munkey And Ryan's Long Wet Trip To Wollangara (cue curtains unfurling and trumpets fanfaring). When I had already been drinking for a good couple of hours, it was finally decided, after long confusion and communication-difficulty between Rye and his Lighthouse friends, that the two of us would be driving to Wollangara Camp - which is between Licola and Heyfield - to participate in part of their annual woodchop weekend. So, after getting to sleep post 2am, a very tired and hungover munkey dragged himself out of bed at 5 and we drove to Narre Warren to meet Rye's friends - who were all still asleep. Eventually we got Ms Nat out of bed, and meandered our way to Traralgon, via a quick tour of Morwell, where Mr Ryan spent many of his most formative years.

It took another several hours to meet up with the other group of travellers (as we didn't know how to get to the camp) and drive the rest of the way there, ultimately taking over 6 hours to do what should have been a 3.5 hour drive. The camp's homestead is a good 1.5km walk from the road, so we unloaded our things and began the trek... and of course it started pouring. When we were thouroughly drenched to the bone, and when the food-box Rye and myself were carrying for his friends had completely turned to soggy pulp in our hands, we arrived at the flying fox. Yes, the only way into the site is on a 4-seat platform which swings across the river. Needless to say, by the time we arrived, we were a bunch of drowned rats.

However it was all worth it. The Wollangara Camp, constructed several years ago by disadvantaged teens, is a beautiful collection of rustic wooden structures, tucked in a peaceful, secluded valley. After drying and warming a little, the rain subsided in time for us to don boots and coats, and partake of a good session of Hacking Up Wood With Axes! It was hot, tiring work, and also extremely theraputic to feel the thud and slight jarr of pain through your hands and arms, and then feel the fibres of the timber crackle and splinter. Fun fun fun. *constructive-destruction-better-than-therapy munkey* After trudging back to the house and enjoying a big communal lunch, Ryan and I bade farewell to the Lighthouse Crew before they hoisted us back across the river, and our exhausted duo headed home.

But, even after the several-hour homeward journey, the day didn't end there. After slapping some consciousness back into ourselves with nice warm showers, it was off to the House Of Hanover for dinner. There we met our hostesses with the mostesses Mistress Corredina & Ms Lili, as well as fellow guests Snazzles, Moodles, Em, Jez and the hilarious Ms Leah. Then we partook of hearty winter soup, before playing my much-fun Scene-It movie trivia game and Trivial Pursuit long into the night. Needless to say, by the time Rye and I tumbled into bed, we were very sleepy munkeys, and we didn't see the light of day until well after midday on Sunday.

Finally summoning the energy to be vertical, Mr Ryan and I headed out to The Hills of Endeavour for dinner with patermunkey and Ms Cait, after a brief meeting at Ms Sheila's to see baby Jett again, and meet baby Max for the first time. Now, this was also the first time munkey had ever brought a boi to a family occasion. I wasn't sure if there would be controversy, but dammit my cousins and their various partners have always been made welcome at family events, so I felt Ryan should be no exception. My 90 year-old Grandma has no need of a lesson in sexuality-acceptance, so to her Mr Ryan was simply introduced as "my friend Ryan" but everyone else knew the score without needing to be told... and my fam came through for me, seeming to accept the two of us there together without question. Dinner back at my old home was a relaxed affair, with patermunkey providing a lovely roast pork dinner, and of course Ms Cait and I preparing our famous chocolate pudding for dessert. We hijacked their TV and watched Ms Michelle get evicted form the BB house, before heading home.

On Monday we gave Oli a much needed clean inside and out, and did a huge buy-up at Coles, before meeting Mr Ryan's Lighthouse friends for dinner. Afterwards, Ms Nat came home with us to booze-up and watch Desperate Housewives, basically leading to an extravaganza of alcohol and fun. *absinthe-on-a-work-night munkey* After our very well thought-out question failed to make it onto Michelle's Big Brother webchat, Ryan was pissed off (and rightly so. bastards), so indulged in one of his favourite making-himself-feel-better actrivities: searching for airfares on the web. Lo and behold, we stumbled upon some extremely cheap flights to New Zealand... in fact, too cheap to pass up. New Zealand is somewhere we have both frequently said we'd love to visit someday, and these airfares were only on sale until midnight. It was 11.42. Out came munkey's shiny new Virgin credit card. We are going to New Zealand!!!

I think this proves it, lovers and dreamers, mindlessmunkey is finally stretching tentatively beyond his hermetically-sealed comfort-zone and tenderly tiptoeing along the never-before-explored path to ...(wait for it)... SPONTANEITY. And, I hope y'all are sitting down, because to add to this out-of-character descent into madness, I have also decided that I WILL GO SKYDIVING! Yes, it maybe that Ryan's passion for crazy danger-sports has rubbed off, or perhaps i was seduced by a glossy
website advertising the most splendiferous tandem skydive in the world, but I have decided to confront my terror and join my beloved as he straps himself to a man who is strapped to a parachute, hurtling towards the ground at 200 kilometres per hour. The dive takes place over the beautiful Wanaka Lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It will be spectacular. We will be just like Frodo and Sam in the gentle claws of the Eagles, soaring alongside the Misty Mountains and over the waters of the Mirrormere to the safe rolling hills of Gondor. Well, that's what I'm telling myself.

So basically, two weeks in November can't come soon enough... actually I'm happy that it's 4 months away, because we'll need that long to save up! But in the meantime, other adventures are on the cards. By this time on Saturday I will be in (hopefully) sunny Palm Cove in Northern Queensland. So think of me while you're slaving away at the daily grind... coz I certainly won't be thinking of y'all while i'm lazing on the beach with a book. HA HA! *smug munkey*


One of these pictures shows the experience of soaring through the air in Wanaka Lake, courtesy of a parachute. The other shows a similar experience, courtesy of the Great Eagles of Middle Earth. Can you tell the difference?



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