Despite a Pommy monarch literally living half a world away who actually had her real birthday in April and most of us wanting a Republic, we Aussies are still never going to knock back a day off.
Our three days were spent doing activities that avoided the rain but still:
- Allowed us to clean up the litter in our street, respond to some lip given by loitering teenagers (yes, to one boy - at least I think it was a boy - I actually curled my lip and said, "Pull UP your pants, fool") and give Milly the dog some nice walkies at the same time ("That's right sweetie, you can chase those friendly kids away, that's right....")
- Taught us that Footscray Markets are to avoided at all costs if such issues as the odouriferous fug of fermenting fruit, pre-WW2 prawn heads, overly-elastic hygiene guidelines and the beauty of decaying Soviet-era concrete design are of concern
- Showed that home-made pasta is fiddly and time-consuming but very delicious. Especially if done by Love Chunks and Sapphire whilst I am reading the paper and patting the rabbit.
- Proved to me that blowing on cooked and freshly served food is essential before greedily inhaling. Hot caramel sauce studded with chunks of banana with lava-like tendencies will steadfastly stick to the roof of my mouth and create a painful blister that protests against any food hotter than refrigerated chocolate for days afterwards if I don't blow.
- Allowed us to witness the Crows defeat Essendon in Melbourne. One Bombers bloke in a newsboy's cap saw my wild clapping further along his row and, in frustration, he yelled something about my having a 'Far Cough'. I feigned indifference and added to the maturity level of our shouted discussion by poking my tongue out and showing him my grandmother's gold ring on my middle finger. Sapphire was shocked, LC resigned.
However, in amongst our various activities, I was subtlely trying to get a photo of the three of us together; looking casual: an informal portrait, having fun, just being a contented family enjoying each others' company. I'd noticed that our photos tend to feature only one or two of us in them and a Lockett Triple was becoming rarer than a happy marriage in Hollywood.
In addition, like the badly-timed and later-regretted re-telling of jokes at dinner parties, we three tend to be folk who are best viewed 'live', as in "You had to be there." The camera doesn't seem to flatter us much, let alone cast us in an optimistic light.
No, I'm not being overly harsh. These photos below were taken at the footy by a kind bloke who sat directly in front of me and even offered his M magazine (containing the essential TV guide for the week) to help me mop up the Diet Coke that I'd dropped and then opened only to have it fizz directly down the neck of his parka. They clearly illustrate how difficult it is to get the three of us photogenically acceptable:
I tend to resemble an elderly potato, Love Chunks is obviously sitting on something excruciating (or just did something excruciating) and Sapphire is at that oh-so-helpful 'let's make a funny face' stage. *Sigh*
I didn't feel like asking my soggy Diet Coke victim to take a seventh picture, especially when his three mates were standing impatiently nearby rocking on their heels kicking at crumpled beer tumblers and muttering, "Come on Trevor, this is our last bloody night before we fly back to Adelaide and our wives."
But how was I going to obtain a recent family portrait that exemplified the ideals of work/life balance and not the less attractive ideals of facial tics, self-abuse, uncomfortable stadium seating, disrespect and too much sugar?
Perhaps the Star Wars exhibit at Scienceworks would help?
Hmmm. At least posing with a gender-reassigned Senator Palpatine and Luke 'This is my Warwick Capper hair' Skywalker made me feel a bit better about myself. There was a Princess Leia in her Planet Hoth (the icy place) outfit that made me wonder if she'd enjoyed too many hot toddies at the rebel base, an Obi Wan Kenobi who was channelling Marlon Brando rather than Sir Alec Guinness and the less said about Darth Vader and Leia as the bikini-clad slave the better...
A smaller and slimmer Darth was found in the gift shop, slumped forlornly against the wall. After an hour of queing to get into the musuem followed by another half hour queue at the cafe for lunch before the final half hour queue to get into the Star Wars exhibition, he was feeling as tired and emotional as I was.
So the fabulous family foto will just have to wait for another day. A day of soft lighting, forgiving camera work, a malleable child and comfortable husband, a tan for me and a graduation course in Photoshop and Picasa. Cross your fingers and hope that the force will one day be with us.