Further Escapades of Christmas Day On Hinchinbrook Island...
Christmas Day arrived amidst all its fanfare. After bouncing back from our Christmas Eve celebrations that carried on into the wee small hours of Christmas morning, the guests, my staff and I were ready for a hectic (for us) but fun (for us and them) day. I had volunteered, David, my head chef to be Santa Claus. Now, you must remember Hinchinbrook Island is in tropical North Queensland. It was hot! David, not a slim young man by any shape or form but who had a sense of madness and humour as large as his body, willingly accepted my decree. We had great fun dressing him in a Santa's costume (I have no idea where I found the costume!), adding more cushions to his already bulky frame.
I'd organised small gifts for the guests, who included a few children. My older brother was working with me at the time. For once, he had to obey me as I was his 'boss'! He 'volunteered' as Santa's Helper! Some help he turned out to be! We loaded up a huge laundry sack with presents. Graham, my brother arrived with a ladder to enable Santa to climb upon the rather expansive roof of the restaurant/bar/kitchen. Of course, this all occurred in the heat of the midday sun! What do they say about "Mad dogs and Englishmen"? Well, we were neither but we were insane Aussies!
David aka Santa, in all his glory ran around the roof, "Ho-Ho-Hoing" all the way, much to the delight of our guests, amongst whom was a Japanese family! I bet they've never forgotten the sight of Santa upon the roof in the heat of summer!
It was time for Santa to descend to begin distributing the presents among the already hysterical guests! However, the performance was to get worse or funnier! Santa's Helper, ladder under his arm, was at one end of the building, propping the ladder against the guttering to enable Santa to climb down, except everytime Santa's Helper was on one side of the building, Santa was on the opposite side. They just couldn't sychronise their movements and positions. This went on for many minutes. As the moments went by, the laughter grew louder and Santa's face grew redder from, not only the heat of the day, but from his bulky attire. There was great 'to-do' going on. All of us watching the hilarious antics of these two had tears running down our faces, pains in our stomachs from laughing as we strangled, gasping for air!
Finally, Santa and his Helper connected around about where the radio mast stood aloft on the wall outside my office, amongst the gas bottles. It didn't end there! As Santa began his descent he dropped the sack full of presents! Naturally, it landed on the head of my brother!
Eventually, the presents were distributed with much ado. Champagne corks popped and champagne flowed freely. The fun continued throughout lunch. I've never seen such happy guests. I'll always remember, particularly, the Japanese family. I'm sure they'd never experienced anything like it before, nor would they have since.
Ahhh...the halcyon days of island life!