BOXING DAY at the Melbourne Test will be a sight to behold. Most of us Five Testers have ordered our fancy dress and are ready to suffer for our art.
For my part I'll be dressed as Yoda from Star Wars, which may sound a trial in itself but I will not be anywhere near as uncomfortable as my mate Hull Greg, who is about 6ft 5ins and will be accompanying me as Chewbacca in full, 100 percent brown fur suit. He looks incredible in it, but is going to be rather warm I fear.
The idea to go in fancy dress started with Watford Pete. The deaf lad has ignored our pleas NOT to go as the Pink Panther (all cricket lovers know there already is a pink panther, and he is expected to attend the same Test with his pal Sylvester the Cat).
The Designer has opted to go in full Lederhosen, mistaking the name Australia for Austria, while the twins from Blackburn and Scouse Grant are going as the Three Amigos and Leanne, girlfriend of one of the twins, will be rigged out in full Flamenco outfit. Also there is Ollie from Taunton, whose hopes of going as Shrek were crushed but settled for the Grinch instead.
We have all spent a fortune in the local fancy dress shop but I am sure it will be worth it and hopefully we can grab our 15 minutes of fame on TV.
Last night we all had a meal together at the Mill. Pretentious? I had my suspicions when it advertised live Jazz but to be honest the food came in small portions yet cost over the odds, and the menu was extremely minimalist. I made do with eating up everyones leftovers as my plate of assorted meats contained about 10 slices of two meats and a load of uneccessary garnish, green and tasteless.
At least I am back into the swing of the tour after my illness. On Thursday night I had a great time, joining up with Bedford Mal and meeting a few others, first in the Turf Bar where the manager generously provided all the Barmy regulars with a free pint, and later at PJ O'Briens where Christmas-partying Aussies mixed with Army followers.
Here I met Fay, pal of my mate Ben from Chippenham. Fay is a huge Swindon Town fan and also likes a dance so we did a bit of an Irish jig together, at once stage circumnavigating the entire pub. Fay is here with her boyfriend for her birthday on Christmas Eve, she will be 26, and is not doing things by halves. Ben cruelly took a video of her later in the night where she bore a passing resemblance to a rag doll. Apparently Ben and her boyfriend had to virtually carry her back to the hotel.
Yesterday was spent at St Kildare's beach where we played cricket, dived in and out of the sea, and sat outside a bar swatting away the millions of annoying flies bugging us. Ozzy, the big Brummie from Halesowen, managed to find time to help a Swiss miss in trouble. She couldn't speak much English but the chivalrous Oz offered to show her round, much to the amused consternation of his mates.
The trams here are fantastic, but we have yet to work out how to pay and have been therefore travelling for free around Melbourne. Naughty boys but we will just plead English as a defence if caught.