Castlereagh has a very wide circle of friends, but this week he’s been mixing with those he jokingly refers to as his “boganaire” mates.

It all started a few years ago when I had a few mining shares in some penny-dreadful denuding the outback. All they found was a bit of space junk, but we ramped those shares to buggery and made a fortune.

It also scored me an invite to the Dealers and Diggers conference in Kalgoorlie where – I am told – Castlereagh defiled a pool table in one of the pubs after getting excited about a few of the local strippers.

All that is ancient history now, of course, but it was a great intro to a wild crowd and, of course, I floated right to the top. What is the metaphor about that?

Gina and I have been swapping our doggerel poems for years now and I’ve had the pleasure of flying between Australia and Singapore quite a few times with Nathan Tinkler on that private plane of his, the one that GE is rudely attempting to repossess. I jokingly refer to his airline as BoganAir, but Nathan doesn’t seem to mind.

I actually helped Nathan out recently by taking some of those surplus nags from Patinack Farm off his hands on the recommendation of Gerry Harvey. We are all pitching in and doing what we can for Nathan, but I really don’t know what I can do with those horses I bought. As horses go, they are total dogs.

I just hope he hangs in there, and he seems the resilient type. Of course Castlereagh has been through the hoop a few times and while its not pleasant, there are a few things which maketh the man, and I’d say the trilogy is bankruptcy, being sacked from your investment banking job and being cuckolded. And while I’ve had it all, Nathan is nowhere near any of that.

Anyway, the week culminated in Gina’s book launch. Singo was there, as chief hagiographer and cheerleader. It was a rather strange gathering, even by my standards. There was a strange messianic vibe pervading everything, as if we were in the presence of some universal revealed truth and its name was Gina. Now Gina is a lovely girl and all, but even I recognise she is no Banjo Patterson.

I know I chipped in for that 30-tonne boulder outside the WA shopping centre that one of her poems is bolted onto, but I just did it because some of her mates asked me. When you want to run with this crowd, that is what you do.

The other thing I noticed was the elevated BMI of the crowd there. What’s all this about the working class being the fattest? Castlereagh is no svelte creature by any standards and has had his own struggles with the kilos and has lost, but it is any coincidence that most of my Boganaire mates are, shall we say, larger than life?

Believe me, I know how hard it is. I’ve tried to kick the Fanta with Kerry Packer, done the Tamarama run with son James, then had lapband surgery and employed Lara Bingle’s personal trainer. None of it has worked for me and it hasn’t worked for anyone else at the launch either. And can I just say that one thing I can’t abide is detox – its totally unAustralian.

As soon as I see lamb shanks or pork belly on the menu, all my willpower fades. It gives a new meaning to the term the Big Australian – and there seems to be quite a few of us.

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