Sunday, 29 January 2012

Australia Day Weekend

I'm home!  There's nothing quite like an Australia Day weekend in the bush to really feel like I have come home.  

Relaxing in the shade on the verandah, occasionally jumping from the deck into the pool for a round of laugh-out-loud or Stealth Marco Polo, the sound of the Hottest 100 on the radio; or 
Chewing on the medium-cooked, inch-thick, big-as-my-palm steak done on the barbie, the white cockies chattering and whistling in the gum above, as the golden sun sets, feeling the condensation pool around the cool drink in my hand; or 
Feeling the sweat accumulate on my back with the sun high above, feeling the full brunt of its strength against my skin and the heat from my hair making the 35 degree heat feel hotter, the smell and the grease of the Banana Boat sunscreen, cool grass between my toes; or
The smell of an incoming rain storm, the first cool, big drops, the intense darkness of the clouds, the penetrating heat slowly easing, the blowflies sheltering in drier areas; or
Sitting in the shade of a tree of the high sun, the click-click of the sprinkler, tasting a fresh muscato with a fresh salad, in great company, with a backdrop of green vines, big trees and rolling hills covered with yellow grass; or
Cruising down the highway with windows wide open, the rushing wind and road noise, hand on the back of Lee's chair, chatting or listening to an audio book, the crackle of the radio handset as the convoy drivers talk about existentialism (yes, actually).

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Back in Australia

It's only fair that now I'm back from travelling that I notice differences in Australia compared to the rest of the world (sweeping statement as I haven't actually been everywhere else in the world yet).

I have no idea why there would be any speed-caused accidents in Australia, because as far as I can tell, no-one speeds.  The locals tell me that speeding fines and demerit points are just so huge that it's just not worth it to speed.  Even doing 66km/h in a 60km/h zone is a $500 fine.  I find that easy to do accidentally, imagine if I missed a sign.

Going out to eat is expensive.  Hopefully that will help to curb our takeaway menu a little.  Fuel is expensive (compared to the U.S., but not to Europe).  We're trying our hardest to survive without a car.

I've missed this bloke.  (For those who don't understand this, it is a type of person, not an actual person.)  Yesterday I was greeted on the street with a smile and agreed that it was a "be-yoo-di-ful day".  This optimism and cheerful greeting from a stranger on the street I have really missed. 

The 'Burbs
Maybe it's because we're in the suburbs compared to across the road from a transport hub that we notice things like: trees everywhere and no-one out walking.  There is all this space and no-one in it.  I've blogged about it before, but this effects personal space.  When there was an issue with the trains, Lee noticed the Melbourne idea of a packed train is close to the number of people on a normal London train.

The Accent
This is driving me a bit crazy.  Previously it was the 'ay-ye' sound that seemed really pronounced, for example, "You don't say".  But now I'm hearing much more.  The 'er' pronounced 'a', as in, "Baker".  The nasal tones, from women in particular.  Part of the problem is that I can hear it in so many other people and cringe inside, but at the same time can hear myself reverting back to it!

It is everywhere!  I had forgotten Australians' fascination with all sports.  I turn on the radio or the TV and all I see is sport - if it's not tennis, it's cricket - if it's not cricket it's something else.  Isn't there anything else happening in the world?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Aussie Adventures begin

Having lost all my carefully crafted posts about New York, Washington and Seattle, I am feeling a bit sad and deluded.  Several hours worth of phone restoration has not helped.  It may be some time before I can bring you the tales from these adventures, but I will continue to keep you up to date on other happenings.