The Sunday Sesh

Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
Trip End Jan 08, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Monday, November 14, 2011

It had been a late night on Saturday and so I was intent on sleeping in on Sunday morning. Furthermore I had been quite warm during the night and had had to throw my doona off and just sleep in the 'open air' so to speak (I know it’s not a great image, but there is a point). So, imagine my confusion as I could hear the strains of Christmas carols in the morning. As I’m sure had happened elsewhere, the Xmas lights had been turned on in Perth on Friday and Lilli (aka ‘The Lillster’) was entering into the Xmas spirit. Now, I had thought about the whole ‘Xmas in summer’ thing, but this was the first time it had fully hit me.

It’s such a weird concept, but in true Aussie style, this hasn’t deterred them at all. While the northern hemisphere is gearing up for a cold Xmas and even some parts are looking forward to a white Xmas, Xmas in Oz will be spent by the Barbie, singing their version of ‘Jingle Bells’:

Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust, 
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side, 
singing Christmas songs,
It's Summer time and I am in 
my singlet, shorts and thongs

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Engine's getting hot; 
we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard, 
he is welcome too.
All the family's there, 
sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way, 
by the barbecue.


Come the afternoon, 
Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce, 
are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes 'round to go, 
we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through, 
before the washing up.


Glossary: esky – ice box; kelpie – a type of dog; swaggie – swagman (traveller).

Apart from the Xmas spirit, it also happened to be Paul’s birthday, so he planned to go to the pub with family and friends for a Sunday session. Now, I’d heard the term ‘Sunday session’ before (in Alice Springs), but at the time I hadn’t really understood as the person talking said that it had been years since he’d had a Sunday session, while sitting in the pub on a Sunday. However, just going to the pub on a Sunday afternoon does not qualify as a Sunday session. A Sunday session entails going to the pub on a Sunday afternoon (around 3 or 4pm) and staying there until closing time (10pm) and, of course, drinking solidly. When I realised what was up, I was more than a little concerned as I had no idea if my liver would stand up to that, as both Friday and Saturday had also been heavy nights.

However, for Paul’s sake and in true Aussie style, I sucked it up and went with him, Helen and Lilli to the pub. There we met his family, who, despite being ‘X’-many generations Aussies (I reckon their family was probably among the first Europeans to come over), all clearly show a strong Gaelic heritage (from what I could see, mostly Irish, but apparently, Scottish as well).

Earlier in the day, Helen had been making a disco costume for Lilli and had attacked Paul and me with glitter. Glitter is terribly difficult to get off your skin, so I still had a fair amount on me when I got to the pub, which brought about a line of questioning that was more than a little embarrassing.  On several occasions, conversations would go a little like this: "Are you married?" – “No,” I’d reply – “Are you gay?” – “Erm, not as far as I know, no” – “So, what’s with all the glitter, then?” – “...!” In a way, I suppose you’ve got to admire the Aussies  for their brazenness – clearly it was something that had intrigued them and rather than leaving the matter hanging in the air, they just came right out and asked.

At the pub, I met Paul’s guitar teacher, Billy, who is a Hispanophile. He loves all things Spain, particularly in Andalucía. Naturally enough, being a guitar teacher, he loves flamenco. He said he’d love to move to Spain but he didn’t know what he would do there. I tried to convince him to be a flamenco guitar teacher. He wasn’t having any of it, but I could see the pulling power of an Australian teaching flamenco to the Spanish! Maybe that was just the drink talking, next I’ll be trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs.

As we settled into the session, the evening (and night) was spent reliving our misspent youth; playing pool. It was good fun, as there were varying degrees of skill at the table, but, as always, I was the worst. By the time we left the pub, we’d been there for 6 hours straight, continuously drinking. It was a good introduction to the Aussie ‘Sunday Sesh’, but now it’s time to detox.
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