Bring On the Bubbly!
Today is one of my favourite days of the year! It could very well be my favourite! Yes...it's finally here! Melbourne Cup Day!
On reflection, I have enjoyed so many fun Cup Days. Let me tell you about Melbourne Cup Day on Hinchinbrook Island...yes...there's *that* island, again!
I encouraged my staff to all "dress" for the day. Well, you can imagine some of the crazy outfits, including my own! The previous night I volunteered one member of my crew to go out and collect some cane toads! (Unfortunately, the poor, old, much-maligned cane toad has made its way across the ocean!) I think I bribed her with various cocktails! Having succeeded in her mission, she came back with a box full of toads, much to everyone's delight. Another staff member was delegated to paint a different coloured "spot" on each of the intended contenders for the cane toad race to be held next afternoon.
The day arrived! Everyone was excited, guests included, in readiness for the festivities of the afternoon. An early special Cup luncheon was served and enjoyed by everyone. Once lunch was over, the fun really began. Day guests had arrived by boat in the morning. Amongst them a couple of Swiss backpackers who had only a day or two earlier arrived in Australia for the first time. Needless to say, they thought us Aussies were a very weird mob, in particular, those on Hinchinbrook Island! I can't say I blame them...as we certainly were a motley crew, albeit a very high-spirited motley crew!
Came the time to hold the Cane Toad Cup! Maurice, who had been in charge of the appropriate markings of our stable of thoroughbred racers arrived on the deck around the pool, box of contenders under his arm. Upon opening the door of the "stable", to parade our beauties, our competitors for the illustrious *Hinchinbrook Cup* were all dead! The silly idiot, instead of just dabbing a different coloured spot on each toad, had coated them in paint! Of course, they were all dead!
In a flurry of panic, moments before the race was ready to begin, I ordered him to go and find another stable of competitors! This is a slightly more difficult feat to achieve in daylight. However, fearful of his punishment, Maurice fulfilled his chore, shaking with fear! Quickly, the new race-toads were duly tagged with different colours and the race began! The air filled with expectation as we cheered and screamed, urging our chosen ones across the finish line!
My Swiss guests left the island that afternoon, still shaking their heads in confusion! I've often wondered what their conversations were as they headed back to the mainland that afternoon to continue their visit to this "strange' country!
Melbourne Cup Day...yes...I always have a fun time on Melbourne Cup Day and this year will be no different. The champers is chilling in my fridge, ready to be 'popped' later as the day progresses....morning? I've picked the winner! I hope! It won't matter if I haven't, the race will still be as exciting as ever!
Good luck, everyone...have a great day!