And Reporting from K-Town

After a couple of possible lifts evaporated, some other avenues opened up, and it looks like we are probably heading out to the community tomorrow.

It's been fun to be in Katherine again. The weather is gorgeous: days in the upper 70s to mid-80s I think and nights mostly in the 50s (I'm talking Fahrenheit degrees, of course). The skies are clear blue, except for occasional firesmoke, the night skies full of stars. The town is full of families from outlying communities, and tourists from all over. It's school holidays, so kids are on break, and next week is the Katherine Show, so there's extra hustle and bustle around that.

We visited the Hot Springs, which you may remember from our first visit here as misnomered tepid waters. We also went swimming yesterday at the Low-Level Crossing of the Katherine River, a place where there could theoretically be crocs but where it's unlikely this time of year particularly. We swam in the shallow, swift-moving area, just to be sure.

It's been interesting seeing which businesses are still, mysteriously, open, and which have closed. A few new businesses have sprung up, and others have simply changed hands.

We've been staying with our friend R and he has swept us right back into the whirlwind of the Katherine social scene. That is, barbecues and dinner parties and general hanging out much more frequently than our maybe-once-a-week social life back home! It's been really good seeing old friends and also meeting new people. This funny little town, which certainly has its prickly side, seems to have welcomed us back with open arms.

I'm looking forward to getting out to the community tomorrow and seeing what is in store for us next.

I probably won't blog again for at least three weeks, but do check back in August!

Reporting from Sydney

I haven't been taking pictures, so I'll post more from the first day. Thursday I walked all around the University of Sydney and Newtown, in the morning by myself, then in the arvo (that's Australian for 'afternoon') with S & M. It was so pleasant out that I was in my t-shirt for awhile. In the evening I walked back and picked up Justin and we walked back and met S & M at B's house, then we all walked back to Newtown for a good Japanese dinner.

Friday turned out to be really rainy all morning and until just before 3 when I finally left the house. Justin, S & I met MK where she works at the ABC, an impressive building where all the ABC radio and tv programming is recorded. We didn't see any famous people (that I know of), but we watched some impressive tv on 4 huge monitors in the lobby. Groups of people getting off work would come through in waves every few minutes. We realized that they must be coming out of the elevators.

MK took us to her place, where we waited for N (S's brother). Then we drove to MK's parents' house that they've just finished fixing up. There was a great balcony with a few of twinkling Sydney below and dark patches of water, but it was too cold to sit out there. We had a fabulous meal, accompanied by great stories and jokes. Eventually we went back to N & MK's place, where I managed to stay up all the way to midnight. I still woke around 5 a.m., but I think I may be as adjusted to the time difference as I'm going to get!

This morning I've come back to the house in Rozelle, while Justin attends the conference. Today's weather is a mix of blue skies and now thick white puffy clouds. It's really lovely, especially when you remember that this is winter!
This isn't the best picture, but these trees are fantastic and all over. They have these clusters of red flowers and no leaves right now. Quite stunning. A little like the effect of persimmon trees when they have their orange fruit and no leaves.

This was part of a series of indigenous culture plaques along a trail near the water where I walked on the first day. It shows the indigenous language groups of the Sydney area.

Self-portrait by water

I was actually much happier than I look here. It's just that I was trying to take a self-portrait and it was really windy and cold. I don't know how that lock of hair is not blowing wildly.
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Iron Cove Bridge and footpath along the water

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A quail-like pigeon? on my path

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Iron Cove Bay

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Sunny skies on the other side of the world

Here's the house we're staying at in the Rozelle suburb of Sydney. Justin and Sophie are off at the conference and I spent the morning reading, catching up on my political news from home, and emailing. Also, I had a slight mishap with the door. Let's just say that I couldn't figure out how to lock it, then turned another deadbolt (with the door open) and couldn't get it back. So, not only could I not leave, I couldn't shut the door. It was incredibly windy this morning, so that was a bit frustrating.

At lunch time M came home (she lives in the cottage in back) and fixed the door. So I went for a walk down to the park and the harbour near here and along the water. I've posted a few pictures from the walk. It was really really really windy.

Now I'm back here, sitting at the nice table in this lovely old house. Justin and Sophie should be home soon, I think, and then we'll see about dinner.