Tasmania, day 1
So Mark, who has been visiting his friends Nic and Ross in Brisbane, entrusted himself to Virgin Blue for them to fly him down to Hobart. Virgin Blue's service is cheap and cheerful with an emphasis on the cheerful. The only glitch came when a stewardess tried to sell Mark a copy of Richard Branson's autobiography, and Mark tried not to snigger. Neither was at all successful.
Mark had been reflecting on the strangeness of the Australian Christmas - it takes a while to get used to being surrounded by Christmas decorations when it's 34 degrees in the shade. But Hobart seemed made to make him feel back at home. It's full of turn of the century red brick buildings, that would make you think you were in the North of England if it wasn't for the tin roofs. Oh, and more to the point, it was 13 degrees and pissing down.
So what was the first place that David and Mark visited together in Tas? Yes, a distillery! Look, we have a reputation to keep up, you know...
Well, the distillery did a very nice range of stuff, with a (highly pricey) single malt, and a range of gins and vodkas flavoured with Pepperberry, a local spice. And David got to drink none of it because he was on his way to work....
David was doing things with electricity at a nearby substation, where the local boss-man very kindly let Mark into take a couple of pictures. The original plan was that David would just be needed to carry out a few tests to make sure that everything would be fine to be switched on properly the next day. So he set to work quickly - as can be seen from the blur below.
Well, it was a bit of a pain that the tests David did revealed that a number of things needed to be corrected. So in fact it turned into a substantial afternoon's work as things were plugged and unplugged, meters were examined, numbers were read out over phones. And David spent most of this time grovelling on the floor connecting large things that made quiet humming noises.
Well, we felt we deserved a drink after that. So Steve, who will be familiar to our regular readers from his famous Mussolini impersonation towards the bottom of this page, was summoned to join the party. And in the meantime, David and Mark decided to sample some of the products they had bought earlier.
Well, after that it gets a bit hazy, to be honest. But a very long night in a Hobart bar followed, somehow everyone got back where they were supposed to be at the end, and steaming hangovers awaited us in the morning.