Whenever I go down to The Fairy Godmother’s vacation house on the east coast of Australia and walk amongst the locals in my cut off denim shirts, a bikini top and a chilled vibe about myself, I have always been associated, stopped, and been referred as being one of The Jolly Giants.
Having grown up being known as one of The Jolly Giants and hearing the running commentaries of how my Aunt and Uncle used to speak and still do of us children, has always left me not only delighted but somewhat proud that we have left an impression on the surrounding community. A surrounding community that has become our home away from home, amongst the rolling waves at Valla Beach and the naughty pit stops at Jenny’s.
As to how I became known and called a Jolly Giant stems from my Aunt and Uncle sending my mother, Lois, a written letter –the days before the internet existed- asking if my parents were feeding us ‘dynamic lifter’. The dynamic lifter was and is still a favourite comment to be brought out as each summer was spent gearing up for the hooligans from Queensland and spending a fortnight being educated, entertained, and pampered by The Fairy Godparents.
Departing the sunshine state for our holiday destination, we would be greeted with the sight of our Godparents standing on their front balcony and when having put the car in park; we’d be greeted with a pair of warm, loving arms and the urge to bend down. For our vast differences in height, ranging from six foot six to my standard height of five foot seven, doesn’t exactly match the height of The Fairy Godmother’s.
Hence why at the age of twenty something and the incoming threat of buying a stepladder for my Aunt, I still bend at the knees for her hugs and encourage the dynamic lifter jokes by sending images of dirt in a cup.
So how did two of the four Jolly Giants find themselves overtaking New South Wales for a weekend of relaxation, country bumpkins and bumping into old high school friends?
It all began a few months ago, that I watched in the corner of my parent’s bedroom as Lois packed my Father’s and her Husband’s bags. Before watching the awkward departing of my Father walk out of the family home, not knowing when I’d see him again as Lois sniffled ugly tears into her handkerchief.
While most of you are probably sitting there wondering if my parent’s marriage has ended after being nearly married for thirty years, which in this sense of reality is a big considering most people I know are only married for 18 months prior to calling it quits and filing for divorce, my parents are still happily married to one another.
As to why Lois was packing my Father’s bags, I kept her entertained with a running commentary of, “I’m packing you an extra pair of shoes, and your angry eyes just in case” since both of us knew Dad’s job would be taking him interstate. This meant since Australia is relatively large enough to fit in England or has the population of England –I forget which one-, we wouldn’t be ducking down anytime too soon or he wouldn’t be popping up to see us on the weekend for the drive would be 10+ hours.
In fact, we knew because of Dad’s work hours and long distance travel, we would be sanctioned to fifteen minute conversations, the odd text message sent here and there and the question of ‘I wonder how he is?’ being uttered every 10 minutes. Not to mention, dealing with the uncomfortable moments of not knowing what to say when Lois would burst into tears behind closed doors, after having picked said lock with a blunt kitchen knife.
–Clearly there is no privacy in our household when it comes to crying!-
That was until one Friday morning over coffee and sugary biscuits, Lois asked if Frodo and I wanted to escape for a weekend getaway to New South Wales. Between my upcoming placement, the thought of having to spend another weekend plotting away the demise of epic success and the insanity of
writing blog posts assignments, it didn’t take me long to decide to throw sh*t to the curb and I packed a bag.
Piling into the car one week later and driving a long and tiring 8 hours, I was shown an incredibly small town known as Mooney that holds five houses, one small country school, a pub that also features as the post office, petrol station and grocery store. As we drove through the ‘blink and you miss it’ town while somehow leaving my jaw behind, we dodged the lingering feel of Redneck Country racing after us before crossing the border that would see us leave Queensland for New South Wales.
Least to say, the woman who greeted us at our choice of accommodation was welcomed with a serious Vogue-ing competition between Frodo and myself. In our defense, we chose to pretend like we hadn’t seen the strange look sent our way as we causally got out of the car as the lingering sound of Madge floated away into non-existant noise.
As to what happened that weekend, like the saying goes: what happens in New South Wales, stays in New South Wales.
Until next time,