There are many advantages to living in Australia, including (to name but a few) the weather, water temperature (and if you were brought up on bracing dips in Loch Lomond and off the beach at St. Andrews like me, you’ll know what I’m talking about here), fabulous food and wine, great open spaces just begging to be explored, multicultural and vibrant cities, and a sports-mad population. I could go on for pages here, but assuming you’re not a spotter for the Australian Tourism Board you’d probably rather I stopped—and if you are a spotter in search of purple prose extolling the virtues of the Great Southern Land, well I’m your woman.
However one of the disadvantages for a transplanted Scot living in the Land Down Under is that there is no correlation between either Mother’s or Father’s Day in the U.K. and Australia. This year, Father’s Day in the U.K. was mid June, whereas the Australians have just raised a paternal glass; likewise Mother’s Day was celebrated early April in the U.K. and mid May in Australia. As a result my poor parents miss out big-time in that I never realize, and/or get my act together in time for the U.K. jollifications, and it then seems ridiculous to send a card at what would appear to be a totally random time of the year.
Our builder is still out of action, having fallen down his own stairs and fractured his skull badly. Husband, who is a man of action and rash enthusiasm, has become bored with staring at building site of back garden and decided to take matters into his own hands. As a result, Father’s Day dawned in our household with frantic texts to various friends in the hope that they might number a wheelbarrow amongst their goods and chattels—bad news on that front, based on the scientific texting survey conducted, our friends fall into the Margo and Jerry end of the Good Life gene pool so far as gardening equipment goes (you can tell here I’m trying to maneuver myself into a position where I can bracket my name with Felicity Kendall, the earthy heroine of that particular series, now where did I put those dungarees?) Despite its location on our very up-market high street, the local hardware shop came up trumps and I wheeled the newly purchased wheelbarrow past the coffee shops of Mosman with the pride of a woman about to indulge in some forced labor in the garden. Husband had already dug trenches and buried drains and formed Drama Queen No. 3 into his own particular earth moving squad, Drama Queens 1 and 2 had sensibly found pressing engagements after the initial family bonding experience of moving the enormous steel beam deemed to be in the way of the garden project, an exercise that nearly resulted in a mass family booking at the chiropractor.
The back garden is certainly looking tidier, and the turf-laying exercise that went on has definitely transformed it. However the female majority of the household has expressed disquiet that the turf laid completely fails to match the existing grass, but Husband has assured the Doubting Thomasinas that within weeks it will have all merged and they won’t be able to tell the difference. I’m actually running a private book on that one if anyone would like to join me in a small Father’s Day bet.