Our Boxing Day was very pleasant. We went to the beach, this time to the rivermouth of Margaret River, where the river (as the name suggests) drains into the sea. As the name doesn’t suggest, Margaret River only actually does this occasionally. The rest of the time, there’s a big old sand bank across the rivermouth. So you have a sort of brackish dam-like part with no waves to swim in, and then the open ocean if you’re feeling brave.
The rivermouth also sports big sand dunes, one of which is called (I seem to recall) the Rabbit Hill. Tall, and steep, and … well, made of sand. Those are the basic characteristics.
The fun thing to do is climb to the top of the dune, which is a solid 150 metres at about 45° (by which I mean the angle; the temperature was closer to 25ºC). And then run down it like you’re an astronaut on the moon. Not great for the dune ecology, but there’s only one sort of little strip you can climb up and run down. The rest is covered in vegetation and snakes.
 If you’re fit, and ideally between the age of seven and fourteen.
So of course we (my brother, and nieces, and Wump) had to do that. I was quite pleased with how well I managed it, although I was definitely out of breath by the time we got to the top, and the next day I was aching all over. Then it was back to my parents’ beach mansion for afternoon naps and attempted showering.
I should clarify this a little. dreameling might want to turn away now.
The water at my parents’ beach mansion, and indeed most places in out-of-town Margaret River, is provided by a rainwater tank, as there is no actual water pipeline connected up to the area.
Now, the tank is enormous, and even if it runs empty you can call for a water tanker and they’ll fill the tank back up for you for, like, a few hundred bucks. But still, my dad was paranoid about it. So he asked us to only flush the toilet when we pooped, not when we peed. Which I thought was fair enough. Amusingly, this also meant that it was actually about a week before I even flushed a toilet at all in Australia.
God bless Australia.
Anyway, this wasn’t the end of it. Because it turned out that my brother had additionally been informed that we were only to shower once every three days. Most amusingly, by the time we left the beach mansion, the water tank level had dropped all of about a foot. Leaving about seven feet of water in it. After ten days of solid use by a family of seven. Like I say, it was a huge tank.
 Not actually a huge deal since we were swimming in the ocean every day … but I will shower every day. It’s non-negotiable, because I have a bag of shit on me. Long story short, this turned out to be a rule my dad had been wise enough not to try to hold us to.
This is all by way of introducing the showering issue.
My first shower after our long trip across the globe and then down to the Australian southwest was tricky. The showers in the beach mansion were fixed to the wall, ie. not with a detachabe shower head so you can wash everywhere. Basically you have to stand under it and splash your hands around to get water into those hard-to-reach places, like you’re a fucking Neanderthal standing under a dripping banana leaf or something. And if you have a ring of shit on your stomach, as I do most days and definitely did after our flight, you need to limbo there and just sort of wait for water erosion to do its thing.
 As well as smelling of meatballs.
That wasn’t going to fly, especially once I’d mentioned to my dad about how much water he’d save by getting a detachable shower head like civilised goddamn countries have, which allows you to wash more efficiently. So (again, not to spoil future blog posts) by Day 4 (which was the earliest available shops-open day), he’d gone and gotten a new shower fixture for us.
 Okay, in Australia’s defence, the shower back in my parents’ Perth home had a proper detachable head.
So I did get to clean the shit off myself, you’ll be relieved to hear. Because doing it with wet wipes, I’ve gotta tell you, is just about the worst.
Anyway, that was about it for Day 3.