I know many of you may just want to skip to the photos. The rest of you are welcome to peak at the many words under the cut.
Must I start by saying it was the best Mardi Gras ever? Of course it was, but that goes without saying. Dustan and Loupy had a bold vision for the float and they executed it beautifully. I think this was the best attended Mardi Gras furry float yet (which does mean it's getting a bit crowded on the truck). Off loading administration onto the (very capable) Jes'ad was also a good idea. Their communication policy needs work but they know that.
But this post, as it always is, is about my personal Mardi Gras adventure. Not everything went right this year (does it ever?), which gives me an opportunity to reflect on what I can do better for next year, which will be Rattus's big one, the 10th anniversary of his first Mardi Gras (before he was even a full suit). He has gone every year since and I can't let him miss out. I got hooked on the high I got from doing it in Mardi Gras and every year I need a new fix.
The trip down to Sydney went smoothly. A girl kindly offered to help me haul my suitcase up the stairs of the (very wheelchair-unfriendly) Museum train station, but I politely declined. She looked like a druggie. I wanted to stay in the CBD this time to make transport to and from easier. It was a partial success. The Travelodge Sydney Stephen and I stayed in was quite well appointed for the price and in a prime location, being just down the road from Hyde Park, the starting point. However, after the march, it soon became obvious I would have been better served finding a room closer to the end point, near Fox Studios. Rattus's garbage bag shredded when I tried to carry him back. Another furry kindly loaned me a smaller garbage bag but I still had to carry the body suit draped over my shoulders. This meant a long walk with Rattus's body exposed to the rain and smokers, since much of our walk naturally mirrored the parade route. That was bad enough, but I had stupidly left my glasses case in a side pocket of my backpack, which meant it fell out when it got hauled onto the truck. We were hustled off the truck and out of the parade area too quickly for me to be able to find it. I was so grateful to have Stephen with me then, so he could navigate using my phone while I trudged close to him.
My glasses and Stephen's radio gear being left on the truck meant we were both compelled to attend the official after-parade party, where the truck went. I was undecided as to whether I wanted to go or not, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise having the decision made for us because not only did I retrieve my glasses but I got to catch up with lots of furries and enjoy the free booze. I swear, I only had a small amount of milk chocolate liqueur, a cider and a beer, but after being so worn out from the march, even that left me quite tipsy.
Another down side was that I ended up on the wrong side of the truck for the SBS 2 cameras and didn't appear in their coverage of the furry float. That's not important though, we only got 12 seconds and it looks like they didn't bother to read the considered responses we sent back to their questions. I do it for the cheering crowds and appearing on TV is only a bonus.
So huge love goes out to Dustan, Loupy and Jes'ad for making and organising the best Mardi Gras yet!