“So what work are you doing in my country?” I ask Luke, the 6 foot 6 Australian. We are sitting outside my local pub on a balmy summer evening.
“Publishing,” Luke says, and my heart lifts. We have something to talk about. The last couple of Australians have been builders and construction workers – looks like I’ve got a bit more in common with this one. He’s 31 – over 30 – a respectable age.
Ah he is hot, I think, gazing at him. He’s added a beard since his photos and, on his big frame with his huge blue eyes there’s something of the Viking about him.
“So where are your family from, I mean before Australia,” I say.
“The highlands of Scotland, near Aberdeen.”
“When did they move to Australia.”
“On the transports: they were convicts,” he says, a smile twinkling in those blue eyes.
“Do you know what they did or…”
“One of them stole a loaf of bread,” he says.
“Seriously? That’s mad,” I say. “Do you know the play Our Country’s Good? It’s about some convicts putting on a play. The history of the convict theatres is fascinating…”
And I’m off – I know a bit about this, and he either is or pretends to be interested. Good boy.
“So, what to you do when you’re not working?” I say.
“I play a lot of sport.”
“Have you heard of Aussie Rules?” He says.
“Yes, yes I have.” As of last week I know a bit about it, thanks to that boy last Saturday.
“I’m not just saying this but I think if the sport was given a chance it could be hugely popular,” he says.
“And, um, basketball?” I say, thinking of his huge height.
“Yeah so my brother is 6 foot 10 and he’s got a basketball scholarship to the University of British Columbia,” he says.
“Wow, how tall is your dad?”
“About 6 foot 2. He’s got a different dad who’s 6 foot 4.”
“Amazing,” I say. “Shall we go to the park and see the dinosaurs?”
“Sure,” he says, getting to his feet, towering over me. Mmmmmmm. He’s wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans and he just looks dreamy.
“So, here is one of your friends from home,” I say, pointing into the aviary where a big cream and brown feathery person is sitting on a branch.
“Ah great,” Luke says, as he catches sight of the kookaburra, who turns round, recognising his Australian accent probably. “They’re so intelligent you know.”
“They’re much bigger than our kingfishers,” I say. “Have you seen an English kingfisher yet? They’re turquoise and orange,” realising how unlikely that colour combination must sound. I don’t have the heart to tell him that he’s not going to see one in london
“I look forward to seeing one then,” he says, putting his arm round me. He put his arm round me! My heart melts.
We approach the deer and a couple of them are right up by the fence.
“Unfortunately people ate the deer in the war but they’ve replenished the herd now,” I say.
One stares at me. Our gazes hold for a few seconds – a special moment. Startled, they run off but it adds to the magic of the evening.
“Where are these dinosaurs then?” He says, his arm round me.
“Nearly there,” I say, and as we round the corner suddenly there they are.
“Amazing, I love them,” he says, and then we are snogging. Wow! He is so yummy.