After the previous night’s beer session I wasn’t sure if the boys would be up for another one so soon but after Mat and I enjoyed a nice relaxing day we gave them a ring mid-afternoon to discover they were. The Sunday previous, Mat and I had invited Tom, Chris & Steve round for a BBQ (our first chance to entertain with our newly acquired beast which we got for a bargain $40 at a garage sale). We had much fun so they offered to do one for us the following week but on a Saturday as opposed to a “work night”.
We bought the beer and they bought the meat and after meeting at their place we then all trekked the massive two minute walk across the road to the beach. The boys don’t have a barbeque so they suggested we use one of the public ones on Collaroy beach.
We got there at about 9pm only to discover a group of Aussie lads appearing to be already using the barbies. On closer inspection we saw that they had finished cooking and after introducing ourselves as visiting Pommies they made room for us. However, one or two of them were pretty drunk and an especially obnoxious (and probably twatted on something) lad decided it would be fun to start throwing leftover snags at us followed by a handful of margerine. Fortunately most of them were appalled by his behaviour and apologising, managed to herd him away leaving us in peace.
After a quick clean up we got our meat on the go and settled down to enjoy the atmosphere of a now peaceful picnic area amidst some rather large Norfolk Island Pines and the sound of crashing waves on the beach a couple of steps away. This time i had remembered my camera and made use of the timer function to take a picture of us all:
Whilst we were digging into our food Mat suddenly ordered everyone to be quiet and hissed at Tom to stay where he was as there was a possum walking around. Tom had previously screamed out several times and started running for his life after a rat he had spotted – of course he didn’t catch it but being a country lad thought it sinful not to at least try and kill it! According to Tom possums are also classed as vermin therefore probably should be killed too (although he was probably not joking I don’t think he’d actually attempt this) but he stayed put this time as I quickly grabbed my camera and started following it to take photos.
Taking photos in the dark is a lot harder than I thought as I couldn’t actually see anything in the frame until after I’d taken the shot. Fortunately though, the possum didn’t seem at all daunted by our presence and spent about five minutes shuffling around looking for titbits. I just kept pointing my camera in the direction of the possum and managed to get a few shots where it was actually in the middle of the frame:
When I got a bit too close it jumped on to one of the Pine trunks and sat there for a bit looking at me before leaping off, having another sniff about and then going on its way. This was the first time I have had a chance at getting up close and personal with a possum and I was elated that I got some pictures into the bargain. We get a lot of possums back at our flat and often lie in bed listening to the drumming of their feet as they run backwards and forwards over the tin roof. One even ran straight past me under the table on the balcony whilst I was on the phone to my mum, but it was so quick I really only got a glimpse of its bushy tail. It was quite a bit larger than I expected; around the same size or maybe a touch bigger than a Jack Russell. Incidentally, I think this is a brush-tailed possum due to its bushy tail (picture four is about the only decent one which shows this). The other common species of possum is the ring-tailed, which this one isn’t.
All in all we had another fantastic evening and planned on meeting up again the following day for a surfing session. Both Steve and Chris both have surf boards and Mat got one a couple of weeks ago for $15 at another garage sale (laughable when all it needed was a little TLC to make it surf worthy and Steve and Chris spent around $600 on theirs!) which he hadn’t had a chance of testing out yet. However, I shall leave Sunday’s account for another post.