I’m finally free! A very kind, if somewhat startled fella, let me out on the sixth floor and I finally crawl back into that lovely big bed and sleep like the dead …for, well I have no idea how long.
Aarron stumbles in from the club and Jo sits up wide awake.
‘What time is it?’ She asks
I look toward the window and see an orange sky painted with indigo clouds and take a guess.
‘Early?’ I say. Or it could be late.
But now I’m awake too, so we do what all self-respecting British folk do and stick the kettle on. I’m still a bit drunk and Jo is jealous because she missed our night out…so she does what any self- respecting British woman does…she has a cheeky vodka. Half an hour later we’re face- timing home and showing them the gorgeous Terrigal sunrise. A dark orange sun is rising over sparkling water and its breath taking in its beauty.
After a tipsy sumptuous breakfast we wander back up and poke Gingy out of his drunken haze and demand he shows us around. Bleary-eyed he protests that we are evil and to leave him alone but we are relentless so eventually he offers to ‘Take us up The Entrance’.
I blink at him confused. ‘Surely that’s not right, son? I query. Sounds like some kind of hillbilly offer!
I discover that it’s not what I thought. The Entrance is a small seaside town, so called because it’s the where the Tuggarah lake meets the entrance to the Pacific Ocean. It’s lovely, with its Victorian carousel, small cafes and boutiques and its most famous residents …The Pelicans. We stroll around and I feel a little like I’m being watched, in fact no, I’m not being watched at all…..but Gingy is.
As we sit down for coffee there are a few people surreptitiously taking pictures of us and I start to feel uneasy.
‘Um what’s going on?’ I ask.
Gingy waves his hand dismissively.
‘Ah don’t worry it’s the Ed thing’ he says, wiping froth off his shaggy red beard.
I laugh as he explains that a certain red-headed popstar was here last week and people seem to think he still is. Hmmm, now you come to mention it there is a striking resemblance.
We finish our coffee and the sea breeze blows away the last of our hangovers as we stroll down to the prom for the famous Pelican feeding.
Here are some things I did not know about Pelicans.
They are fecking massive.
They fecking stink.
Seriously. My eyes were watering with it. Its like someone rolled a giant cod in a pile of shit and slapped you around the face with it! But, it is amazing to see these wonderful birds up close so Jo and I move in for a picture. Stumpy , the famous one-footed Pelican graces us with a Pelican pose as we snap away, then promptly shits all over our feet. To say Pelican shit is unpleasant is the understatement of the year and we dash away squealing at our misfortune while Gingy nearly pees himself laughing.
More photos (Japanese tourists not so secretly snapping Gingy) then we head back as we are hit with another wave of jet-lag/ nausea/ tiredness. On the way, we see Heston sitting outside his place watching the world go by.We stop for another rib-busting bear hug and a chat and arrange to meet him for a quiet drink on Tuesday evening, then we saunter back to our hotel.
My little one face-times me and merrily waves her cereal spoon as she tells me about her lost tooth. I promise that yes, the tooth fairy will still come, even when Mummy’s in Australia and I ache to pull her through the phone and into my arms. After the call, I pick up my shoes and head into the bathroom. A wave of homesickness hits me and there are tears in my eyes…..Not from the homesickness….but from the stench of pelican shit as I try and wash it off my shoes with the shower head. It’s disgusting. I’m jet-lagged, homesick and barfing in the bathroom. As a trolly dolly this is not a first for me. But it’s definitely something that could have been avoided if I hadn’t been bullied into this trip!
I knew coming to Australia was a bad fucking idea!