Well we've picked up the new car and it has not yet fallen apart. So far, so good. We spent some time on Saturday morning crawling around underneath it in the rain, trying to change the oil as per instructions downloaded from the internet, but sadly when push came to shove, our wrench was just too darned big. So sod that. Instead we had a very jolly weekend going to Healesville animal sanctuary (Koalas, platypuses and superb fairy-wrens) and the Melbourne Show.
I wasn't sure what to expect from the Melbourne Show. I knew it had started out as an Agricultural Fair so I was sort of expecting the prize bull shows and the sheep judging, but I didn't realise that I'd enjoy it all so much. I was chuffed to bits with the chicken - sorry - chook washing demonstration - literally, dump chicken in soapy water, rinse, towel and then hair dry. I was impressed by the mad woodchop competition, where enormous men and women flung a 5lb axe at the log between their feet. I was inspired by the results of the baking contest, which included a gingerbread house competition - the gingerbread beach house was my absolute fave, and Anthony and I are looking forward to making our own gingerbread houses. I laughed at the laid-back Aussie 'I've got some snakes in that bag over there' until I found out said snakes included the taipan (world's deadliest, can kill 140 people with one bite) and he was still merrily chucking them about the place and giving sage advice like 'don't throw rocks at snakes'.... you THINK?! I even found perfect fitting black jeans (only a day after deciding I needed some more trousers to go travelling with), reduced from $140 to $40 and a good make. I trawled every 'showbag' stand to find a bag that wasn't a total rip-off (they're traditional. They're bags of sweets and toys and they're supposed to be a good deal, but I guess that part of the tradition has died) and eventually bought the $1 one just because I needed to get one of them.
But by far the best part of the show was the evening entertainment. Well fed on my Hare Krishna curry and semolina, I got a bit over-excited in the stands and did quite a lot of screaming and whooping for SAMPSON THE MONSTER TRUCK! Man oh man! I'd never seen the attraction really, but then this BEAST roared out into the stadium, a tiny little truck stuck on the world's biggest wheels, and it screams round the stadium pounding out so much power you can feel it reverberating in your chest, and then it does a handbrake turn and you just WANT it baby... so it goes storming up the ramp, sails through the air and crushes some poor little sappy cars.... aaaah, it brought out something very basic, primeval and destructive in me, and I loved it :) This was followed up by a woman shooting herself out of a cannon, which was good but it's far less dramatic when you're jealous as hell, and the same kind of goes for the Rocketman, who, well, flew round the stadium with a jetpack strapped to his back. Very very cool. But I was not jealous of, and was therefore very impressed by, the two lads on the motorbikes whose mis-spent youth had led them to a career zooming up a ramp, flying through the air to land on the roof of a lorry, and 'on the way' getting off the bike, or doing a headstand on the handlebars in the meanwhile. They made me all maternal and over-protective.
So after all that adrenalin, we had to wander around a bit more while I giggled manically and got talked into a free 'trial' massage by some Chinese masseurs who jabbed my shoulders till i owwwed. Eventually we left the show with all the people laden with showbags emblazoned with different chocolate comany logos... and we had our bag labelled 'Sprouts'.... And when i asked Anthony what his favourite bit of the day was, he said 'your reaction when the monster truck came out'.