8.12am, Wednesday 23rd May, Mackay Airport, Gate 1 of 3, Far North Queensland, Australia
It’s not always this healthy a start to the day folks, but up here in Far North Queensland (FNQ) one of the things you’ll never run out of is fresh fruit. It’s a steamy 26 degrees celcius out there already – sorry to those folks shivering through a chilly winter down south in The Barossa – and it’s only going to get a couple of degrees warmer as we go further north to Cairns. That’s the spot where the tropical rainforest comes down to the beach to meet the top of the Great Barrier Reef, and everything runs on “island time”. It will all get done…….eventually………when it gets done!
There’s no scheduled Rare and Fine wine event up in Cairns this evening, because it would clash with Game 1 in the Rugby league State Of Origin series between Queensland (the Maroons – affectionately known as the “cane toads) and New South Wales (the Blues – also called “the cockroaches”) Rugby league is big time in both states, and the State Of Origin is like the whole ‘clash of the titans’ moment, and state lines are fiercely drawn in the sand. I will be in a huge Queenslander hotspot up here in FNQ, and Cairns will pretty much shut down everything to watch the game. Pubs and clubs and open air beer gardens will be full of mostly maroon jerseys, and I have no doubt that Queensland will take the honors. New South Wales keeps trying to find a way to get over the 6 extra inches tall that the Queensland players seem to grow when they pull on their state jersey, and as an old Balmain Tigers supporter – young Mitchell Pearce is not his dad Wayne – and I can’t see him ever being the player that Jonathan Thurston is. Queensland by 8 points. Sorry Frosty!
So when I get up to Cairns, I have a stack of things to tell you about:
Stephanie Alexanders Kitchen Garden Project
The Noosa Heads Surf Club Restaurant
More from the Noosa Food and Wine Fest – David Thompson, Cabernet Sauvignon Comparisons, And Alternate white varietals – where I work with flash Hunter Valley winemaker Andrew Thomas. (he’s the one in the middle, girls)
See ya when it’s a bit more tropical – this is the bloke who will make the difference in tonight’s game – “JT”