A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holiday, by Tim Roxborogh.
We don't really do group T-shirts in New Zealand. Maybe the occasional stag do, but beyond sporting events, the notion of "Hey, we're all going on holiday together, let's get some T-shirts printed up", doesn't really exist. In the US of A though? Well! Whether it's family vacations to historic sites in Washington DC or theme-park hopping in California, don't forget the T-shirts.
It could be the "Wilson Family Vacation To Disneyland 2018" or the "West Milwaukee St Andrews Presbyterian Church Retreat To Washington DC 2009" or "Cindy And Jim's 40th Wedding Anniversary 2014". No matter the occasion, if you're an American it has to be marked with a group T-shirt. And that T-shirt must be worn every day of the holiday, suggesting multiple copies of the exact shirt for all members.
I love the States, but group T-shirts have such an earnest dorkiness I can't believe they're still a thing in 2018. Though in a fast-changing, sometimes scary world, there are perhaps worse things than earnest dorkiness. Ideally, earnest dorkiness will survive the coming decades and the group holiday T-shirts will perish. May it be so.
Being scared to be alone in the Bunya Mountains
Is it embarrassing I still get a little anxious if I'm by myself in a big house? Bunya Mountains, west of Brisbane, 2016 and I was in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of Australia I'd ever seen. The Bunya Mountains get their name from the type of pine that dominates these forested slopes and the combination of cool mountain air, lush rainforest and views for miles make this a must-visit when in southern Queensland.
Travelling without the mighty fine lady who'd later become my wife, I was all alone in a four-bedroom cottage. Surrounded by wallabies and forest and not a whole lot else, I must've checked the locks on the doors and windows about 10 times.
By all accounts, the Bunya Mountains are not a high crime area, so what was I worried about?
It dawned on me that years spent living in small inner-city apartments had left me ill-equipped for the psychological leap to being on your own in a large property. I was in such an enchanting place — the cottage was A-grade cute — and on high alert for any hint of a noise. Wind in the trees? Freak out! I rang my soon-to-be wife and did my best impersonation of a frightened little boy. She calmed me somewhat and miraculously this episode evidently didn't dissuade her from marrying me. Ridiculously, if she'd been there I doubt I'd have been scared at all.