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Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back

What a fantastic couple of days! Getting into the Florence & The Machine secret show was such an unexpected joy – posing as media from Nova no less – and the company was stellar. Always amuses me how much more fraught the process of making new friends is than flirting with potential dates. You meet a cool girl (or two), you feel like the conversation is good but where do you go from there?! Do you add them on facebook or play coy and wait for them to make the first move? Should you be aggressive or just leave it to chance that you’ll run into them again and let the friendship develop organically? So tricky! But, like the blushing flush of a new love, exciting too.

So after an incredible gig in an old Uniting Church, coveting Florence’s ruby red hair and marvelling at her vocal strength – I mean, “The Drumming Song” with acoustic guitar and harp, no drums, and it was banging – we had numerous bottles of bubbles expensed to Myspace. There was that crazy kinetic energy peculiar to groups of girls all around the same point in the break-up time-space continuum. The bike ride home from Paddington, Florence on the ipod, felt like flying.

Australia Day dawned a little cloudy but ended up being perfect. With my housemate’s two younger sisters visiting it was quite the Gossage-fest… three almost identical giggles errupting near constantly, the mood was pretty infectious. Walking from Coogee to Clovelly in the midday sun wasn’t the coolest move, but it was a day of many dips in the beach, sand between our toes and saltwater in various states of dampness in our hair. Met some lovely randoms (say what you will about smoking, asking for a light remains the classic ice-breaker), counted down the hottest 100 (or hottest 99 might be more accurate), took literally hundreds of photos and even started composing lyrics to a future-number-one song about my bike. Sample lyric: Big Red / you rode into a fat guy now he’s dead.
Crashed a party on the Clo cliffs, swam some more after the sun went down and rounded things out with a hilarious session at the Clovelly hotel. My housemate was in fine form, making a beeline on my behalf for the seven-foot-tall guy on the dancefloor. His fiance, clearly familiar with the catch-as-catch-can occasional desperation of very tall girls, was quick to introduce herself to me and ended up being fabulous fun. Meanwhile Bryce held an impromptu photo shoot commando-style in the garden bed, and a Swedish lad tried to convince me they teach sword-fighting in primary school over there. A balmy night, beers and new friends – win, win, win.
Best Australia Day ever – as I go through the reams of photos this evening, I’m not quite ready to let it go! I hope yours was just as fun and reminded you of all the things you love about our fine, sunburned country.

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