So much to catch up on that if I do, I'll never catch up, so I'll just have to skip. But here is a link to my photographs on Flickr
--the pictures will be captioned as soon as I find time to do that (so yeah, maybe never, but at least they're in order), so those who are curious can at least get a visual sense of what's been going on. Just look for the albums titled Oz part 1, Oz part 2, etc.
The first full day I was here, I got to see Ian and Dean, both of whom my fellow Austinites may remember as visitors to Dan and Stewart's house on Canyonside Drive. Years and years ago when Ian came to visit Vindaloo Manor (as we called the Canyonside abode), he asked Dan whether I might be amenable to marrying him. At the time I thought it was meant as a joke--a sweet and complimentary joke, but a joke nonetheless. Dan has assured me since that it was not. Tsk. Let this be a lesson to us all. I could have married Ian, who is a right sweetheart, and be living in beautiful Tasmania. But I'm happy to report that Ian has gone on to marry a lovely woman and they've had two children and he seems to have all the good things in life due to good people. When I met him again a couple of days ago I asked "Remember me?" and he said, "The pistol! How could I forget." Oh, let me preen.
No pictures of Ian and Dean, alas--I didn't have a camera yet (other than my phone). But I'm using a little point and shoot Canon kindly lent me by Dan, and here are some pictures from my second full day here. Like I said, everything's in bloom. In the morning, because I tend to get up ridiculously early, I take a solitary walk up McKean street on my way to the cafe. Every single house has a little garden lovingly tended and bursting with flowers. Lots of roses. Viz:
But there are also things that are decidedly not roses:
When I was here two years ago, there was a cat who lived at the architect's office on the corner as you turn to get to Queen's Parade, where the shops are. The cat, whose name is Caffeine, is still there. Depending on the time of day, Caffeine is either sitting quietly at the door to be let in (early in the morning) or sleeping on the hay bale that sits on the front porch (the other 23 hours of the day).
So around the corner and up a block, and then we are at the shops. When I go up with Stewart or Dan, all the shopkeepers wave and greet them by name. It's like a parody of an opening sequence from some gentle bucolic comedy of manners. But it's sincere! I'll post pictures of the shops at some point . . there are a few on Flickr you can see now if you like.
The next day, which I think was Tuesday, Dan and I went over to Jane's place to accompany her on her constitutional around Merri Creek. Jane was working from home but was ready for a break, and the weather was exceptional. I was quite pleased to see that it is snake season (no, really, I was pleased).
I kept walking on the the right (which is to say the wrong) side of the path, and Jane and Dan were constantly having to gently verbally nudge me over for cyclists and joggers and such. Merri Creek itself is in healthy flow.
Lots more pictures of the creek on Flickr, and a nice skyline shot, but I have to run. Want to get to Queen Victoria market to do some Christmas shopping. Pictures from the Royal Botanical Gardens soon (we went yesterday), and news of Morty and Jeff!