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My dad sent me an email today with ticket details for a Van Morrison concert. Unfortunately, the gig is in Manchester, and since I’m in Australia, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to attend.

Van, I’m begging you from the bottom of my bended knee…please find it within yourself to make a trip to Australia. It’s not that far! Here is a list of things I’m prepared to offer you if you decide to come Down Under.

1. Your own bedroom at my mum and dad’s house. There is no lock on the door, but you could wedge a chair under the doorknob for privacy if needed. I’ll even get my brother to coax any unwitting Huntsman spiders outside for you.

2. A container of my mum’s choc-chip biscuits. I used to trade them for roll-ups and cheese sticks at school and had quite a lucrative black market operation in the playground at lunchtime. Well worth the flight!

3. A tour of my mum and dad’s estate, all two and a half acres of it. You could even throw a stick to our dog Kelly.

4. If yabbying is your thing we could see how many we can catch in the dam. We could even fix the hole in the tinny so you can try your luck out on the open water.

5. The opportunity to perform live in my dad’s shed. It’s 110 feet by 30 feet, so there would be more than enough room for your band and your gear and 200 delirious fans. The acoustics may leave a little to be desired, but we could leave the door open.

6. A visit to my brother-in-law’s parent’s dairy farm where you will have the chance to visit the dairy, milk a cow and ride the tractor. You can also have a stroll around the garden – if you give us enough warning we can make sure we use their water allocation to ensure the roses are in top nick for your arrival. We could even create a new rose and name it in your honour.

7. My mum makes the best beef stroganoff in the world, as well as the best lemon meringue pie. Not only will she prepare these sensational dishes for you, she might even give you access to her recipe book. Note: One condition – you must bring Brian Kennedy with you, otherwise this offer is null and void.

8. The chance to jam with a 16 year old prodigy. My brother has been playing the guitar for over a year now. If you ask him really nicely he might even agree to lend you a pick.

9. An unending supply of Vegemite. I believe that you really need to be given Vegemite from a young age, but I believe with guts and determination we’ll be able to turn you into a true aficionado.

10. And finally, we can promise complete anonymity during your stay. In a district with a population of 200 it won’t be too difficult.


Hunstman spider: Large brown spider with hairy legs and sinister intent.

Roll-ups: Awful sugary concoctions that stick to the roof of your mouth and contribute significantly to your dentist’s super fund.

Cheese sticks: Sticks of cheese.

Yabbying: Fishing for yabbies – small crayfish that lurk in the mud of Australian dams.

Tinny: Small aluminium boat. Ours is slightly battered.

Tell me. How could you resist?