Finally, an update! Have been a busy little bee so not much time for internetting. also, internet access was REALLY pricy at the hotel and outside time was dedicated to shopping or band.
Had a much better day after last post - went for a walk across the river by our hotel, which I think was the Brisbane River but perhaps I made that up. There's a huge market over there, full of lovely tacky touristy crap, some of which I bought. Wish I had splashed out for a leather purse in the shape of a dog's head (it was better than it sounds from that description, I promise) and also for little leather keychain animals, which I could've given to all and sundry. As it is I am going to give all and sundry excuses as to why I didn't buy them a souvenir. "Because," I shall say, "I couldn't find any."
So it turns out we didn't come last in the marching - we came about fifth to last, but this is a lot better than we usually do. We would've done better except someone farted right before the stepoff and people got the giggles.
We also didn't come last in the main competition itself - we in fact won the main competition, which was great and unexpected as we had no idea of the standard of the other bands. So now we are officially Australasian champions.
Umm...I know I did a lot of stuff in Brisbane, but most of it is a) uninteresting unless you're in a brass band or b) one of those had-to-be-there things or c) too long a story to tell when you're paying for your internet.
Last night of contest was every bit as debauched as usual - after-match function at some hotel, which was amusing as the lobby was huge and pristine and empty when we arrived, with this tiny bar in the corner and two barstaff and a night manager with looks of slowly dawning horror on their faces as a small army of victorious bandsmen poured through the doors, waving trophies and the bottle of bourbon they'd been swigging from while the results were being read (no, actually).
Ended up going to the casino at some mental hour of the morning. The casino was Large and Neon and full of people even though it was about 2am Monday morning. Australia is fun! Got lost in the casino trying to find the toilets - I'm not sure if this was just because of the size of the casino (suspect amount of alcohol consumed may also have been a factor) and the brightness of the neon, and the blinking of the lights, and the freakin' HUGE chandeliers and things (jealous of my casino experience?) but it was BIG. Distinctly recall drinking out of the trophy the band received then being told that the last person to drink from it had previously vomited. Hygiene was not a priority. Thank God the trophy did not come down the Gold Coast with us (more on that later).
I shall draw a curtain over the rest of the evening except to say that I got back to the hotel about 6am, wearing someone else's earring and with an unfortunate bruise on my neck. Which I was hassled about constantly for the next two days.
Then there were solos, a bit of swimming, went out for dinner to a restaurant near the fake lake - it's got palm trees around it and lights under the water, which changes colour every few minutes, and sand which is actually golden and feels like gingerbread mix between your toes. Not that I've actually squidged gingerbread mix between my toes, but i've squidged it between my fingers and I can't imagine...I'm going to give up on that sentence. you get my point.
Drove down to Surfers Paradise Monday night, have been here since (obviously) - apartments we're staying at are about 3 minutes walk to the beach, which looks EXACTLY like it does on the postcards (although I suppose that shouldn't really be a surprise). All golden sand and blue sea and high-rise buildings and beautiful tanned people. Beaches aren't as busy as I thought they might be, probably because it's not peak holiday season, which means there's enough room to play soccer and cricket on the beach and swim about merrily in the waves, both of which I've been doing a lot of. This post is grammatically terrible. Sorry. I'm going fast.
Went to Dreamworld on the Wednesday (Tuesday was taken up mainly with swimming and beaching (in the playing-on-the-beach sense, not the running aground sense)). Dreamworld was amazing - I know that's a touristy thing to say but there were ROLLERCOASTERS and I don't get out much. If you want a rundown of the rides go and look on their website or something - the best one was one where you get pulled up the side of a tower, with your feet dangling in space, to the height of a 40 story building, then you sit at the top for about a minute trying not to panic, then they DROP you. And you scream. The first time we went on that, there were I think 4 band people and 3 randoms, and as we got near the top the band guy sitting next to me said in a voice which was very close to panic, "ok, let's sing the march." And he started singing his part of the march in a very strained tone. Then as soon as we got off at the bottom we ran about whooping and decided to do it again. The second time, as soon as we started going up the side of the tower there was a chorus of "whose fucking idea was it to do this again?" Was terrifying I think mainly because of dangling feet. Also suspense of sitting at the top for almost a minute, waiting to DIE. People swear a lot on amusement park rides. Went on this thing called the Claw, which was the most terrifying, and the guy next to me, who is generally very staunch and has an emotional range that covers happiness, boredom and anger and that's about it, started shouting "Fuck! Fuck! Shit! Oh my God!" about thirty seconds into the ride, and didn't stop until we got off. Then he went and sat down.
Anyway that should do for now - am going to go back to the beach and lie in the sun for a bit. Perhaps I shall have an icecream. Apologies for badly-written blog, will fix it up when back home.