Posted by: internationalroutier | February 17, 2011

Invasion Jim, but not as we know it.

Every year we invade Newcastle, riding on our silver Tangarra steed, fuelled by special coffee and assorted pastries. Emboldened by a completed crossword and a Trivia quiz flawlessly solved (excepting any questions relating to Home and Away or Lady Gaga) we take an easy victory at the outdoor dining area of the Queen’s Brewery Wharf thanks in particular to the advance party who have been posing as locals for years in order to lull the other Novacastrians into a false sense of security. We then proceed to drink pint after pint of delicious ginger beer in order to readdress the gingery imbalance that exists between our cities.

This year something went dreadfully wrong.

No. Ginger. Beer.

That’s right folks, Queen’s Wharf Brewery (who don’t seem to brew anything and feature no queens) have culled the ginger beer.
Let’s backtrack a little…

All was going perfectly to plan, the coffee was special (a very good mix this year), the pastries flaky, the cupcakes superfluous, the gingerbread gluten free, the fruit berry delicious. Jackie and Ben joined down the track and did their best to eat their share of the rations. Ben, who had performed the mighty task of riding a tricksy folding bike, begged for a reduction of rations based on a ‘number of stations travelled to number of pastries consumed’ ratio.

Then came the call. The advance party had discovered that all ginger beer stocks had been removed seemingly in order to thwart the invasion. There was a stunned silence. But only for a moment; we aren’t known for our silences. Onward! came the call; and so we did.

Plan B was put into place and we attacked from 2 new flanks, the Cider and the Kronenbourg. However, by dividing our forces in this manner we did limit the effectiveness of the invasion somewhat I feel. We continued the attack but the chips and salad seemed endless.

Led by Spike, provided by Helmut, we played a ‘guess the meaning of the foreign word’ game which soon descended into hilarity and silliness. Bakku-shan: (Japanese) A beautiful girl…as long as she is viewed from behind. Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky.

Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that’s unbearably cute. Nunchi (Korean): the subtle art of listening and gauging another’s mood.

Too bad there isn’t a word that describes the death of conversation when the mid afternoon entertainment starts up and insists on trying to make us bleed from the eardrums from an overgenerous application of shrill harmonica through portable amps. Ironic somehow that it comes in the form of a fellow who uses an armoured knight as his logo! A good time to take the annual constitutional.
There were calls for a second venue to be invaded- reconnaissance required for future invasion methinks.

All too soon, little invaders get tuckered out and it is time to catch the homeward train and practise the gentle art of Fluxxx!

…and that less gentle art of seeing how far up your girlfriend’s jeans your arm fits.

Luckily the Rev and the Mrs had supplies for the return journey or we may all have faded away.
It’s damn near a foodfest.



  1. I now have Heart of Gold running through my brain!

    ……..Keeps me searching for a heart of gold

    Thankfully it’s without the mike distortion!

  2. An excellent post, well done.

  3. Excellent summary, particularly about the bleeding ears, bleeding chips and bleeding salad.

    The train-spotter in me can not help but point out that we travelled in a V-set (built by Commonwealth Engineering between 1970 and 1989), not in a Outer Suburban Tangara (G-set built by Goninan in 1994-95). Maybe we need a new committee position, Train-spotter General.

  4. In the interest of scientific enquiry, I’ve found the sensation of sgriob is more pronounced with an Islay than with a Speyside. Tomorrow night, I plan to test Irish vs Scotch and possibly in the fullness of time, Japanese, Canadian and Australian.

  5. On further experimentation, the Irish falls just behind the Speyside and well behind the Islay.

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