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Dear Posse, or should that be ‘possums’?

You have probably all wondered why Candia has gone off radar,

but I haven’t got time to correspond with you individually. So,

maybe you can make do with reading the communal postcard I

sent to my dear girlfriends in Suttonford, who are probably even

now sharing its contents in Costamuchamoulah‘s must-seen

cafe, as they sip their Chai Lattes– an inferior blend to the original

which I have just imbibed in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

You see, the price of an air mail stamp to Pomland- not to be

confused with Poundland- is almost as much as an additional glass

of Yabby Lake fizz for moi and, on this once- in-a-lifetime walkabout,

I am not about to downgrade to the Red Claw drinkable’ variety.

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So, G’day, mates! I’ve already been down The Great Ocean Road;

seen my first koala in the wild- thankfully unaccompanied by Putin,

One Direction, or Obama- gawped at a joey peeping out of a row of

vines and consumed my first Blue-Eye and Barramundi.  The latter

sounds like Barry Manilow, but is infinitely more subtle.  As far as I

know, it doesn’t attempt to sing.  I do seem to remember Big

Mouth Billy, the singing sea bass, so maybe one could form a

connection.

It’s so good to relax and the upgrade to Business Class from

Singapore was a down-payment of future bliss.  It took a few

moments before I realised that I was watching ‘Brave‘ in Castilian

Spanish on the back of the seat in front, but my personally

appointed steward soon tuned me in to the appropriate lingo.

Better than a remote in the control of The Husband and a tad

more obliging.  It’s good to be treated better than Dame Edna

Average.

I see Billy Connolly is coming to Melbourne shortly. The Scots’

community should comprehend his repartee, but no doubt his

Antipodean spouse has taught him a little linguistic convergence,

so the audience should probably work out that he is not speaking

some kind of Pidgin, or Creole.  Anyway, hybridisation and cross-

fertilisation seem to be the name of the game over here.  One minute

you are in Sorrento and the next you are driving through Blairgowrie.

Talk about fusion!

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The Husband grew some roots in Federation Square as he

downed a Mountain Goat Steam Ale, while riveting his gaze

on the big screen’s events at the MCG and demolishing some

Kanga Bangas.

While Gus, Virginia, Diana, Murgatroyd, Dru and Nigel are

snowed in at the pele tower in The Borders, The Husband

and I are experiencing four seasons in one day down in The

Mornington Peninsula.  The chattering classes of Suttonford

have been silenced by the maniacal laughter of a kookaburra,

who stereotypically does sit in an old gum tree, as well as

crapping all over the garden fence every morning.  But, sans

soucis!  Even the mynahs’ cackles are shriller than some South

of England socialites.

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I know I said that I only sent one postcard, but that isn’t

strictly true.

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I did send Juniper a card of Jean Paul Gaultier’s teddy bear,

which he has cherished since the age of three and which sports

his prototype cone bra.

She would have loved the holographic talking heads on his models

in The NGV.  So would Alan Bennet!  Maybe I should have sent him a

postcard too, but he’s probably a friend of the designer and gets a

personalised one.

Even church-going is a lot more exciting here.  I don’t think Philip

Larkin would have been as lugubrious if he had removed his cycle

clips and gone into the Red Hill Greek Orthodox Monastery of Panagia

Kamariani.

The priest told me that his Christian name- ‘Eleftherios‘ means ‘Liberty’

and he certainly takes a few.  I mean, back in Suttonford, the staid

congregation are startled out of their professed sobriety by the

ringing of a ship’s bell; the crashing of the organ and a cacophany of

bells in the Easter Saturday service in Wintoncester Cathedral.  But

Father Tatsis is much more melodramatic.  Look up http://www.chrispattas.

com and you can see a Youtube clip of the sacerdotal gesture of

celebration to the pronouncement: He is Risen!  Brings a whole new

angle to the phrase ‘shotgun wedding‘!It is a pity that the latter day

Melchisedek didn’t wield his weapon at the teenage thugs who raided

the icon’s golden votive jewellery collection and who made off with a

heist worth $100,000.  Failing that, he could have maybe stowed the

stuff in a safe.  Unfortunately there is Ice in Paradise and I don’t mean

anything as innocent as the latest Frozen movie.

The liberating thing about Oz seems to be that you can act like a big

kid and you are actually encouraged to do so.  Case in point:  The

Husband climbing into the art installation The Island Bird by Ernesto

Neto at The NGV International.

He got tangled up in what appeared to be an unravelled string shopping

bag, or a coloured version of Rab C Nesbitt’s vest.  I was more attracted

by Carsten Holler’s golden, mirrored carousel and managed to restrain myself

from breaking into You’ll Never Walk Alone, though, if I had, it would have been

regarded as a valid interactional response. Like Oz itself, even the artwork

invites us to stand on our heads and re-imagine the world, reconsidering our

place within it.

So, whether it is wallpapering a gallery with anarchic David Shrigley

observations, or sculpting a Sneezing Snub Nosed Monkey -Rhinopithecus

strykerl (McClelland Sculpture Park), the infectious Aussie irreverent take

on life affects even its Un-Orthodox priests and makes one feel that,

indeed, there are No Worries!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachoooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

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