Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Aagh. Ugh. Tired. Monday night's quieter night didn't actually turn out that way, in a shock move. We decided to meet in the Oxford before eating, and suddenly that gang were all there, including Adrian Avenue... who in a shock move had hooked up with one of the guys Rich met over the Games week. Odd. But fun. Then it was back to the Oxford for more beers and then finally stumbling home in a drunken stupor.

You'd think we'd learn, but no. Left work yesterday at about 4.45pm as it was the day of my Citizenship Ceremony.Got up to Paddington Town Hall nice and early and oddly I was really nervous. Wasn't sure quite what to expect and also started to realise that it is quite a big deal to pledge your allegience to a country that you didn't grow up in. I've never been particularly patriotic but still. I think it would have been a bigger deal too if I'd had to actually give up the British citizenship rather than hold both concurrently. A few familiar faces started appearing at the Town Hall which was odd - and then as it transpired we kind of knew by proxy 3 other people being done that day! So, in the crowd with me were David Scally, Garry and Rich and Russ. Also present: Gregg and Matt, Des, Graham and Phil, Brain and Anthony, Ian... you get the idea. I registered and signed up to vote and then we all took our seats and the Mayor said a few words. Then it was Pledge time (and I don't mean going around with a duster!). I said mine without any reference to god - that was our choice. Then one by one (all 110 of us) we went and collected our certificates and then it was time for a quick burst of the National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair. And that was it! I'm an Aussie - officially! It's the weirdest feeling, but good. Russ and Rich had bought me some things to help me fit in - a hat with corks round, a flag (which was then tied to the hat in a Wonder Woman cape kind of way, some Aussie flag boxers (which I had to wear over my trousers), some thongs (flip flops to most of you), a jar of Vegemite, a stubbie (can of beer), some Aussie flag socks... etc. Garry did the decent thing and bought me a CD! Thanks guys...

And then the champagne started flowing and the finger food came out and we stayed and had a bit of a laugh. Finally though, well on the way, we adjourned to the Oxford. More beers. Photograph taken in aforementioned ensemble for the local gay press. Oops. That could ruin everything. Over to T² again for $5 and then more drinks. Ugh. Ooh. No wonder I've felt like someone's replaced my brain with cotton wool for most of the day. I left the boys to it around 11pm completely exhausted. Home. Bed. Sleep.

Tonight I'm wondering if I can face the gym. We'll see. If not, quiet night, nice food and some relaxation. Either way tomorrow will, for the first time in a while, not involve me feeling like crap!

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