Saturday, August 21, 2010


Today our town had its Big Show! (County Fair.) Hot Cinnamon Donuts and Fairy Floss on sticks and Rides painstakingly designed to bring your stomach up through your nose and Big Agricultural Halls full of prize-winning Chickens and Pigeons and 9-patch Quilts and Fruit Cakes.
            Tomorrow Mr Tabubil and I, with our friends Sarah and Peter, are going snorkling with the cuttlefish.  Between May and August, Australian giant cuttlefish breed along our coast in the seagrass beds.  Most of our coast is sand flats half a kilometer wide, but about 20 minutes out of town there is a steep rocky coast where the seagrass starts right along the shore.  You walk into the water, and when you're about 4 meters out, you put your head underneath and find herds of cuttlefish swimming and mating all around you. It's one of those natural phenomenons, David Attenborough-style.
            We went to the dive shop this morning and got kitted out.  We expected to need wetsuits and flippers, but Diver Tony and his wife take cuttlefish viewing very seriously.  The water temperature is only 12 degrees C, so we got neoprene boots and neoprene socks, and neoprene under-suits and enormously thick and heavy neoprene wetsuits and hoods and gloves, all of which had to be fitted to a very precise degree of fit, with no excess space at all for water to slosh around in!
            The tightness of the fit caused a few complications.  The first suit I tried on was a size too small.  It felt even tighter than it should have been because I put it on backward.  I had to be dragged out by main force.
            We all thought that was pretty funny, then we turned around and saw that Sarah had managed to get the arm of her suit all the way up her leg to her hip.  It was impressively tight- she had seen me trying to squeeze on the too-small suit and thought a circulation-pinching fit was customary, and while I was being poured out of mine, she was wheezing and huffing that neoprene sleeve all the way up over her thigh.
            It took three of us to get it off her.  One to pin her into a chair, another  with a firm grip on her leg, and Diver Tony's very strong wife, who has arms like sides of beef, to haul that neoprene sleeve back down to her ankle.
            We reckon we've already gotten our moneys worth of entertainment out of those suits and we haven't been near the water yet.

We also had our federal elections today.  Mark your preferred option firmly with a large 1, or list every single one of the forty-two parties in preferential order. At least we're not Queensland.  Up there, they've got sixty.

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