I loved our time in Cairns. We were there and gone in the blink of an eye….but what a blink it was! We arrived at Gilligans Hostel late at night, all very tired and were greeted by a poster of our gig on the information board which cheered us up no end! Gilligans is a brilliant hostel by the way, got a great big pool, gorge rooms, bar – everything you need!
We had a gig in the Tanks Arts Centre the next night. Its an amazing venue. Its 3 big tanks (hence the name) that were used to store oil during the war. One of them is being used now for an art gallery and the other two are performance spaces. Just amazing. Everywhere we’d gone in Cairns, there were posters of us up advertising the gig -made us really chuffed cos this is the first festival its happened at. When we got to the centre our names were even outside on a billboard! So of course we all got our photo taken at it! The performance space was huge and so we were really disappointed to hear that they only had 20 bookings for the show – that would have filled one row! But good old curiosity got the better of the locals and we played to a packed house! And to top it off it was a belter of a show. Couldn’t have asked for better! We were all on a high.
Then the next day we got to go to the Great Barrier Reef (another tick for my list) I found the boat journey out really tough – I felt sick the whole time but once I got back on dry land it was cool. Then it was time to get all our gear on and get into the water. It took about 20 minutes cos we couldn’t stop laughing at the shape of ourselves. We’d gotten these lycra suits to stop us getting burnt again (Jenni,Chelley and I got sunburnt in Cairns) and getting them on was a right laugh. Jenni looked grand in hers cos she’s a skinny minx anyway but Chelley and I were falling about laughing. I know I’m small but I think they gave me a kiddies one cos only half of me would go into it! I ended up with the legs in, the arms tied around my waist and then a teeshirt over my bikini! Wile stylish! Then the flippers were another story. We’d put them on while out of the water and trying to walk in was a nightmare so then we took them off, ran into the water and then tried to put them on – either way we spent most of our time laughing or fighting with the equipment! So then dealing with the snorkelling equipment was another thing. I’d never done it before and I found it really hard. Everytime my head was under water my body would panic and start taking really shallow breaths and I couldn’t get very far at all. Everyone else was grand, except Chelley kept swallowing water! Eventually I’d had enough and went to sit on the beach. Ellen then gave me her ordinary wee goggles and I decided that I could just hold my breath and dip my head under water to get a glimpse of something! So thanks to her and Gordon (who was amazing) I saw some coral and a wee fishy swimming about. They were so good stayed on either side of me incase I panicked! So I was well chuffed!
We almost missed the boat back to Cairns cos we were having so much fun, but we made it in the end! Later that night after dinner, Ellen, Gordon and I went to see an Australian comedian called Rod Quantac (I think thats how you spell it!) who was very funny. All in all another perfect day, another great festival over and done with. The people at Festival Cairns and the Tanks Arts Center treated us so well that we were all very sorry to leave and we’re very keen to come back next year. I’ll be putting a vote in that next time we get to spend longer than a few days there.

Crikey…the end of another festival

Its time for us to leave Brisbane and we’ve had such a wonderful time here that it’ll be hard to go! The Queensland Poetry Festival was a real mix of artists and artistic styles and we’ve enjoyed ourselves so much and are very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to add to the mix. Our show went down really well and had an amazing response from the audience. We  met so many people who were interested in what we had to say. Many of them have notions of coming to Ireland in the near future – we’ve inspired them!
Anyway never mind the poetry, the big news this week was that we got to go and see Australia Zoo – Home Of The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin – Crikey!!! I was so excited, I was like a little kid at Christmas. (What’s new ya say!) Unfortunatly we didn’t get to see Steve but we had a great time at the zoo anyway. We even got to feed an elephant! It was brilliant. We just missed the time for getting our photos taken with a koala bear so that will have to go on my list for next year! (Those of you who are aware of the list willl be pleased to know that I’m getting through it rightly!)
Brisbane has just been lovely for us. Gordon has family here and we’ve been welcomed in too like long lost relatives.It’s really made the trip for us. The only sad part about this portion of the trip was that we had to say goodbye to PhatBob and doing the show without him was definitely strange. But we’ve managed and now we’re heading off to Cairns tonight and we’ve got a show there tomorrow….a poets work is never done! The weather up there is meant to be fab and I’m hoping so cos at this rate I’ll be coming home the same shade of translucent that I came out here!