I was very lax and didn’t remember to book my train ticket from Brisbane to Hervey Bay until Saturday. Even then I didn’t book it. Why? Because when I tried, I was told that the train was full!! Yike! So I booked a seat on a [shudder] bus, but continued calling the train booking number on a regular basis. Poor Chris, Jody and Eric got up very valiantly at 5am to get me to the 6am plane. Chris’s flu/cold thing was so bad at that point that she coughed and hacked with streaming eyes all the way there, absently changing gears when necessary 🙁

The plane was fine. I hit Brissy at 8am and immediately called the train booking line, again. They had just had a cancellation. In business class. I was beyond caring, just wanting to get home, so I took it. It was only about $25 extra. That’s about $6 an hour (in bus terms – the bus takes about 5.5 hours, the train takes 3.5). It was worth it – and it meant I got to catch up with Ellise and Dave on arrival, before they took off back to Brisbane to fly home to their impeccably looked after house….hee hee. So I sashayed to Maryborough in style – the seat was about double the size, free juice on departure, a bathroom bigger than a cupboard and copious amounts of legroom. Plus – I also got to ogle Colin Firth in Girl With a Pearl Earring for the last 90 minutes of the journey. Too good.

Arrival! Fabulously happy to see M. Pashed him soundly – much to the amusement of the people on the train, I’m sure. Then got to see Ellise and Dave – which was lovely. We all chattered madly and decided to go and get a drink – as E & D had only about an hour or two to spare. M and I jumped in the van, and they followed in their fancy-pants hire car. M was busy telling me about what he’d been up to. Then he told me that he’d got me a very very exciting present for Oomoo.

I bounced up and down.
“What is it? What is it?!”
M shook his head secretively. “I can’t tell you. But you’ll like it.”
I groaned. We drove on for another minute or two.
“No!” declaimed M. “I have to show you what it is. Right now. It’s in the back of the van. I was going to wait until we got home but…”
He pulled over to the side of the road. The hire car pulled up behind us. Dave did a ‘what’s going on?’ face and I shrugged and said;
“I’m getting a present?!”
M opened the sliding door of the van.
“It’s quite big. It’s under the tarpaulin.”
Frazzled with excitement, I yanked the tarpaulin, and saw an arm. My first thought was – ‘He’s killed someone and needs me to hide the body. Oh. My. God.’
Then I yanked more of the tarp and found my brother!! I think I screamed loud enough to be heard by my mother in Melbourne (though she hasn’t called, so she might have missed it). I couldn’t believe it. I had been thoroughly done over by everyone – all of whom were cackling. Small Brother emerged slightly bedraggled, but still smartly coiffured. I laughed and laughed and laughed. And then apologised to him for telling everyone I knew he was a nob for not coming over. I had been so convinced that he’d decided to stay in London, but he had been here with M since Tuesday!! Unbelievable.

I had to drink three shandies to recover.