All my bags are packed -“ I’m ready to go. Well, not yet, but, to be truthful, I have had a couple of practice packs, just to make sure that I will be able to fit in everything.

With the countdown well and truly under way, my nervous excitement is through the roof. Accompanying the Sydney Convicts to Dublin to compete for the Bingham Cup in just three weeks, my preparations have gone into overdrive. What does a mascot wear? And flying a Saudi airline, how do you explain it?

One thing that seems to astonish many people is that I have never been out of Australia. I have travelled this country extensively, I’ve even popped over to Tassie for a quick visit, but I have never even ventured to Bali or Fiji, as many of my former Nowra classmates did straight after finishing high school.

With a mixture of official and social engagements while abroad, I have had to consider many factors when packing for the adventure. Is it going to be cold? Is Ireland usually wet? Are the fields going to be muddy? How many rugby players will be able to fit in my spa bath? All these things have added to my stress levels and suitcase weight.

With the boys hitting Dublin and going into an intensive three-day training session, I have decided to head to London first where I have agreed to meet up with thousands of friends. They have all been telling me, usually via Facebook, that we have to catch up, attend this club, see this show and experience this tourist attraction.

I reckon I will need a holiday when I return from my holiday. Either that or a massive, open-invitation party that will help me recover from drag-lag. Forget jet lag, sweeties, it’s nothing compared to the pain of spending weeks on end in heels and a frock.

My new flatmate and gorgeous new man are under strict instructions to take good care of my puppy Maxwell, my potplants and my mail. I really don’t want to have to worry about anything for the three weeks I am out of the country -“ though I will make regular calls home to check all is well.

And those of you still bitching about the recent photo shoot for Rugger Bugger -“ which is on this weekend, by the way -“ you seem to have missed the point.

Not only was it done for shock value, but also to make fun of all those companies who think draping a half-naked girl across a product will make it sell. So for those who have commented with things like I’m sure there is a better way to promote football or I’m speechless, go pick up the latest edition of FHM or Ralph magazine and maybe you will see my point. I try not to be a stupid drag queen most of the time.

Rugger Bugger is bigger and better this Saturday, with all players performing. We do remind all who attend that these boys are not strippers, they are just normal guys trying to get to Dublin to play football.

Go, Convicts!

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