Guess what, our night in Port Fairy did get a little madder! Later on that evening, after leaving the Caledonian Pub, we ended up in a very funny, very raucous but slightly odd house party. The party was just around the corner from the pub in a house that one of the blokes we had met earlier had inherited off his (sadly) deceased Granny. Although, as we we made ourselves comfortable amongst the velour cushions and cotton throws, It was difficult to see what he had done to make the place his own in the years since his granny’s demise. All I can say is, he must have loved his granny very, very much as he hadn’t changed a single thing. He still had the furry pink cover on the toilet seat, the plastic covers on the carpets, the porcelain figurines on the mantelpiece and the doily mats on the table! Hell, the only thing that had changed was granny wasn’t there any more! Although, for all we knew, she could have been! There was after all, that room at the end of the hall!
For all my paranoia, the only mildly unsettling thing to occur that night was the breaking of the odd porcelain ornament, which, I’m glad to say, didn’t seem to unsettle our host at all. In fact, the only really unsettling thing to happen was the arrival, en masse, of the Irish (which kind of concurred with the breaking of the ornaments). Our fellow interlopers were a group of travellers from Cork, who, just like ourselves, had been swept up and dragged along from the pub. As they stumbled through the door, every one of them wearing bright green Ireland football shirts, a young girl with long curly black hair and striking emerald green eyes bounded up to us, grabbed my hand and asked, “How are ya, before exclaiming, “I’m Irish, don’t ya know”. Yes, yes I do, I thought, before replying, “Hello Irish, I’m Mick”, as sometimes the temptation to be a smart-arse is just too strong. “Ah, yer English, she countered. “Ya never can escape the long shadow of John Russell, can ye”, she added obliquely (this was, I found out later after a quick check on Wikipedia, a reference to the Irish Potato Famine which happened, by my calculations, a mere 118 years prior to my birth). “No, no you can’t”, I said, slightly bemused, before offering her a Bundaberg and Coke to hopefully atone for my (and my fathers) sins. I steered the subject as far away from history as I could, which, with the Irish is never easy and hoped, as I began another conversation about the weather, that I wouldn’t adhere quite so easily to a social stereotype.
Eventually, Carol insisted we leave as she felt I was becoming a little embarrassing. But, as she had been air guitaring to AC-DC with a bloke who looked like an unkempt David Hasselhoff, i thought she was on thin ice. Anyway, despite all my suspicions (and my lack of atonement for the sins of my fathers), everybody was friendly and hospitable to the last. The locals were an amazing bunch of people. They kept us laughing and drinking into the early hours of the morning. We slugged Bundaberg and Coke (with a VB head), until I couldn’t figure out whether I was slugging the drinks or the drinks were slugging me! Our new found friends even insisted on walking us home when I got to the, ‘lets go hedge diving’ stage of the evening. We left town in the morning with thick heads, laughing and swearing that one day we would return. But not before everybody had either died or at the very least forgotten our names.