I'm coming to you live from Melbourne (at least, my upper body is; my feet have been dead with cold since I touched down at Tullamarine Airport).
I came down to temperate *insert snorts of laughter* Melbourne on Tuesday to give a keynote address at a charity function. My flight was delayed an hour by the Melbourne fog (at least, that's what they told us, and it's certainly a more comforting thought than 'for the pilot to sober up'), so I spent some time in Sydney airport browsing around the shops. I bought a scarf for extra warmth, a shawl for even more warmth, and a ring to remind me that my fingers still existed once they were dangling numb and frozen from my arms. All have served their purpose well.
On Tuesday evening I had dinner with my cousins, all 300,000 of them. We crammed into a Chinese restaurant and ate dumplings and compared photos of our 30 billion children, approximately none of whose names I still remember. (Okay, I remember two of their names. But they have really cute names. NOT that the others don't have cute names. I'm sure they do. I just can't remember them.)
On Wednesday morning I woke up and went outside, which was obviously an insane thing to do as it was about minus 100% and utterly freezing. (And yes, this is an exaggeration, but really only very slight.) So I ran back inside again, wrapped myself in scarf and shawl and ring, and waited to be picked up to go and give my talk.
My speech was quite successful, even the bits in which I wasn't talking about sex or vomit or breasts. And I didn't even need to use the special hand signal I had arranged with my aunt, in whch she had to laugh and applause rapturously whenever I touched my forehead.
Later, I did a book signing, where happily every single member of the audience approached me and bought my book (using 'every single' in it's lesser known sense of 'a small proportion'). Then I ate lots and lots of chocolate cake in my post-speech rush, because - as is commonly known - after a period of excitement nothing contains calories for at least an hour and a half.
After the function I was picked up by my darling friend Kylie Ladd and transported to her home, where I would be spending the night. We were met there by my other dear friend TheNDM, who took me out for coffee whilst Kylie attended to mundane things such as child rearing and finding me a towel.
When TheNDM and I returned, we chatted for a while with Kylie, and were joined shortly afterward's by Kylie's husband Craig. After introductions, and two minutes of chit chat, Craig retired to the bathroom for a shower, before appearing several minutes later stark naked in search of soap. Well, the guy has a great arse, but I probably didn't need to see it quite so soon. After all, I have known many of my friend's husbands for over a decade and are yet to see them stark naked. Still, it certainly accelerated the intimacy. I immediately felt comfortable brushing my teeth in the lounge room, announcing I needed to do a wee, and prancing naked in front of Kylie's family (although I refrained from doing the latter for fear of startling their neighbours).
I later fell asleep in Kylie's daughter's bed, surrounded by a team of Littlest Petshop centurians, who kept me safe all night, except for when I stepped on one on my way to the loo. All in all, it was a most successful visit.
Though when I come back again, I'm going to insist that Craig keeps his pants on at all times. Either that, or he can carry around a bar of soap. Intimacy is good, but I'm starting to think Kylie and I are close enough.