Day 6 – A quiet night out
We wake early, 5am to be precise. There was me thinking I’d tackled jet –lag. Hell no! But we make use of the early start by binging on another huge breakfast then ….More shopping! We have discovered the huge Erina Fair shopping mall and we drag Gingy around while we pick up Australian clothes in the sales. They are exactly the same as anything you can buy in the UK, yet we are thrilled at the prospect of buying actual Australian goods, the only difference being the carrier bag. Gingy shakes his head at the logic of women but being the good son and nephew that he is, he endures the trip with his usual good grace.
After lunch we head back and spend an hour or two people watching in Terrigal as the sun glistens on the cerulean ocean and people enjoy a stroll along the Golden sand. I guess it’s only cold in Sydney? We have arranged to meet Heston later for a few drinks and Gingy knows a pub that does Karaoke. He warns us it will be quiet on a Tuesday.
It all starts out quite innocently as we get the first round in. Some shifty looking locals knock out a few tunes and we smile and clap along merrily as the pub slowly fills up …to oh at least six more people. The host comes over for a chat and shows us some photos of his Tranny alter-ego.
‘Come on Saturday!’ he enthuses ‘I’m Sharon on Saturdays’.
We praise him heartily for his pink, glittery fashion sense and exotic eye make-up and he rewards us with a 25 dollar drinks voucher. Well, cheers, Steve/Sharon/whatever, how lovely.
Gingy gets up to go to the bar and a few of the locals stare at him while a group of girls whisper energetically in the corner. We presume it’s because four young lads have arrived, all very handsome and smiley and the girls flash their teeth at them and undo a few buttons on their tops as the lads cluster around a table at the front and start to write out their tickets to sing.
Jo and I, fortified with three or four vodkas now, step up to the mic and belt out a couple more tunes and we’re met with applause and few whistles and I get the feeling this will be a good night. The crowd’s very jolly and warm and everyone’s all clapping along as each singer channels their X-factor god or goddess. One of the handsome boys gives me a high five as I leave the podium and I get the feeling they’re a nice bunch of lads.
Steve/Sharon sidles over a whisper’s ‘They’re the mariners.’
Well that’s nice I think. Nothing like a bunch of young sailors to pep the night up!
‘Nooooo’ scowls Steve/Sharon. The footballers, ‘The Mariners’, they’re the Central coast’s premier team. We blink at him/her, non-plussed. Ah right! Ummmm, nope …never heard of them.
‘And you’re …’ He/she trails off and giggles at Gingy and gives him a swift nudge in the ribs. Oh no, not the curse again.
Sharon/ Steve goes over to the lads and we see them turn and look at us. Steve/Sharon is a naughty gossip! I give a jolly wave. They whisper among themselves. Then Gingy makes toward the stage. In his wisdom he has chosen to sing ‘Photograph’ by Ed Sheeran…..Why? why? Why? why? I put it down to the five vodkas he’s now had and watch with interest and a slight feeling of trepidation as everyone in the pub makes a beeline for the front of the stage. Dear God, I hope Gingy can sing!
Heston arrives and gives me a rib crusher and pats Gingy on the back as he passes, looking every bit like a giant bouncer.
There are cheers, the air buzzes with anticipation and the jolly sailor footballers start off the loud clapping and shouting as Gingy grins from the podium and then the rest of the pub goes mental as the first chords of the song start.
Jo and I decide if you can’t beat em join em and laughing hysterically, we join the crowd. Everyone is singing, the Mariners are jumping up and down, no-one can hear whether Gingy can sing or not, they ask our names and Jo tells them she is Gingy’s mum. …its rather pleasing to have four handsome young men on their knees bowing and chanting Mrs Sheeran at you, so she tells me afterwards.
Gingy finishes, there are selfies, more drinks, introductions, Harry, Mathew Jake, Mathew, Josh was it Harry? Who knows…we try and explain….but its loud and they are thrilled , more selfies, more booze more singing, we have bonded with the sailor footballers and so the night goes on . The grand finale ensues. Heston, who has been watching quietly from the sidelines with a wry smile sings the final song….and nearly blows off the fecking roof! He growls his way through ‘The midnight Hour’ with a voice that would rival any superstar, even Ed, and the crowd goes wild once more. Steve/Sharon declares it his best night ever and tells us we must, absolutely must come back on Saturday.
We are vodka- addled so it seems like a good idea to take a taxi on the suggestion of the Mariners, back to their house. It’s about twenty years since I went to a garage party but I find myself limbo – ing under a mop with a supermodel by the name of Tameka (I think), where did she come from? There is more vodka, more singing and so many belly laughs that I fear I may have pulled a stomach muscle. These boys are funny , charming and totally in awe of the amount of booze two middle aged women can sink!
Eventually, Heston takes control and we stumble home, me and jo swinging off each of his huge arms. At least I think its home. ….
Until a few hours later I wake shivering. I have no blanket and I almost certainly swallowed the Gobi desert, a large carpet and a tramps sock.
There is a groan.
‘What time is it?’ rasps Jo
‘Oh dear God are we in hell?’ I ask
‘No, were in a backpacker’s hostel.’ She replies.
My befuddled brain tries to assess the situation but I can’t raise my head without shards of glass piercing my eyeballs. I need fluids, and a blanket and my lovely big bed at the Crowne Plaza. So much for a quiet night out! There is a ping from my handbag, which I find under the bed and I squint at my phone.
‘Thanks for a fantastic night! See you Saturday! Love Matt and Josh’
I groan and close my eyes. I feel like I’ve been in a train wreck. I knew coming to Australia was a bad fucking idea!