What I did on my holidays – New Year’s Eve in Melbourne

Yes, well, here I am. I arrived late Tuesday afternoon and I’ve already had my first hangover. Damn that Vincent; he will be the death of me, or at least my liver. 

It is so good of Vincent to put me up for the rest of my trip but my biggest dread is to be a burden during my stay. He’s got his own things to do and, well, I’ve a list of places to go and sights to see too. Art galleries don’t visit themselves. I am so grateful to Vincent for inviting – nay – allowing me into his home, but I don’t want to seem like I’m treating him like a hotel – which is exactly what I planned to do – but somehow I don’t think he will have much of a problem with that. 

There are a few things I need to be wary of while I’m here, some basic house rules of doors that stay open and others that must remain closed, but they are all because of one thing – the cats. Vincent’s cats are, well, they don’t really look like cats; they’re more like pillows with eyes. They remind me of showground gonks… large showground gonks. There are three of the fluffy felines but there is so much cat hair covering the living room that I think there might have been a fourth that exploded. After spending time in Bendigo with four incredibly affectionate cats that enjoyed nothing more than lying on your tummy and obstructing your view of the telly, it’s a bit of a disappointment to now be with three – how does Vincent describe them? – “disturbed creatures” who scurry at my presence. If I’m lucky by the end of my trip I’ll be allowed to tickle one behind its ears.

Blake, Vincent’s partner of many years, and I are getting on far better than ever before. Not that we never didn’t get on but this trip we’re casually chatting and enjoying each other’s company. This is probably because he’s bought a Mac and so I at least understand some of the technogabble that comes out of his mouth. Blake knows – and I mean – knows computers, and I think he finds it difficult to understand that other people don’t. He reminds me of a Flanders and Swan routine about how to talk to scientists. You can’t say “hello” and “how are you?” and things like that; you have to talk in their language. So: “H2SO4, Professor. Don’t synthesise anything I wouldn’t synthesise! And the reciprocal of Pi to your good wife.” Blake’s a bit like that. 

Tonight I am watching the fireworks from a room at the Hilton. The boys are already there but I didn’t want to start too early in the afternoon as it would mean that I would then be ending too early in the night. I have hopes to head for the Laird Hotel (men’s bar) after the fireworks, so I don’t want to be too messy, just happy. It’s now nearly 6.30; I’ll have a shower, put on a ravishing shirt, and walk out the door by 7. I’ll be at the party well before 8.

Happy New Year’s, everyone.

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