After a couple of years doing Christmas in July at the homestead in Megalong Valley, our valiant organiser Rob had, this time, laid on a more luxurious venue; Eagle Reach Resort near Barrington Tops. Sadly, teaching committments meant I couldn't make the first night and I was more than useless the next night, so instead I have reporduced Jill's summary of events. Now I wish I had escaped teaching and come here instead.. far more fun!
So, Collina Lodge. What happened there? Well apart from the disappearance of the Chairman and Treasurer on the Friday night (the other housemates couldn't decide if they had gone for a secret tryst or whether they had gone in pursuit of the raw cow which had jumped off the barbeque and run away before we could eat it; the setting on fire of the logs OUTSIDE the wood burner or the amazing heat which clearly caused so many bottles of alcohol to evaporate both nights (the cleaners will have had the eight of us down as raging alcoholics when they had to bring a skip in order to remove the bottle mountain on Sunday!) it was very quiet really!
Rob's bravest move was to leave his bottle of bourbon unlocked when he disappeared (bit slow there Rob!), Steve and Etsuko were brave (or foolhardy - I'd have had it hidden in the trees) to leave a car only a few hours old in front of a house where several inebriated drivers attempted to park, Jonathan proved his worth as a pyromaniac (and no, we didn't spend four hours drying out the wood for him, of course! Wonder what other skills he learned as a boy scout??) On the subject of pyromaniacs, it's a good job there were no firemen around to witness how close our heroes had the barbecue to our nice wooden house (we're talking measurements in centimetres, not metres!). Lisa and Jill escaped the ratrace with a blissful massage followed by a relaxing wine tasting in the sun before champagne in the spa (Jill escaped for a massage last year too - there's a pattern of requirements here for whoever books the trip next year), Koto won the challenge for prising Rob from his pre-ordained best room in the place (the irony wasn't lost on the other housemates who'd received Rob's email!) and Mike recovered eventually around lunchtime on Saturday after winning the prize for the scariest visage at breakfast time - (close second Jon, have to try harder next year!) - probably because there wasn't much left in Rob's bottle of bourbon and because Mike was playing a kind of traffic light game with his drinks - red, white, brown, red, white, brown on Friday night where at least Rob stuck to the two colours and skipped the red.
Oh, and Gary, you'll have to look for a better method of smuggling dry wood next time...
As for the three naked ladies on the rug in front of the fire...well that's another story for another time!
Overall; a big thanks to Rob Larisch for an excellent event.