It's been a strange couple of nights since reporting back to Vegas. Mainly down to the jet lag that has been lurking. A series of early nights have been followed by 3 to 3.30am wake ups. This should get better. Hopefully.
So, what's new? What have we missed? The first day in the office has come and gone for both of us, and as you would expect, things are still the same. Things haven't changed, or have they?
Taking Gelert out for a walk in the woods amused me on Monday. I found myself walking through the leaf litter, constantly scanning the ground for movement, subconsciously being 'Snake Aware' as Jane and Craig put to us on our visit to them. If I had a beacon on my head that flashed to warn others of what I was doing, people would have wondered what on Earth I was going on about.
In a funny way, I missed the colour Green. Walking around the close, and even in our own garden, I'd forgotten how lush the grass was in our own little wet corner of the globe. A very different shade of green to the bush on Kangaroo Island, and in the countryside of NSW. Perhaps one day, there will be a work of fiction published - Fifty Shades of Green - A Horticulturists Love of Grass. The land we saw in Australia, as you might expect, was just starting to scorch. Temperatures had been hitting the mid thirties for a while and it was telling on the pasture land around.
But, is the grass always greener on the other side? What could we swap from each country to make the perfect country? Does anything need swapping, or are things perfect just the way they are? I know at least one person in the room with me would quite happily board the first flight tomorrow back out. It certainly is an attractive prospect, all considerations made.
During our time in Australia, we caught up with old friends and family, for me, made new friends too, and covered a small corner of Australia in the process.
Rosie, you were number one on the list. It was great to see you and catch up over breakfast. Thanks for taking some time out to come and see us, especially so soon after returning from your own trip. We really hope all things continue going well for you and Sonja. It was a shame she couldn't make it down to Circular Quay that morning for brekkie, but hopefully, there will be another chance in the future to make amends.
George. I'll never forget Alis face when she first noticed you scooping ice-cream in Lennox. It was a picture. And, if it pays better than being a CM in France, then it's a bit of a no brainer! Thank you for the coffee on the morning of your day off, and we hope that the next 12 months you have planned travelling all over prove to be just as mad and packed as they sounded they were going to be. Who knows where or when in the world we might run into each other again.
Craig, Jane and Sally. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to meet you all. Thank you so much for showing around Byron and your farm. Thanks also for putting us up and feeding us whilst we stayed with you, and for taking us to the Beachside Cafe. In truth, we both have so much more to thank you for. The list will go on and on. By the way Craig, I remembered to pack all my chargers! They all made it home with us!
Ruth and Neal. It seems both just last year, but at the same time, much longer ago, that we saw you last in Ross Vegas. We were delighted that you were both able to make time in your busy schedule to track us down on our little campsite whilst we were en-route to Brisbane. It was a very memorable evening that the four of us spent together in Gold Coast. Neal, firstly, I apologise if I spell your name incorrectly, but, I found the website all about the meter maids. I am now fully educated. And remember, if you ever need to park your car again, find a very tall spikey building, and park right outside. You'll never forget where you left it! Thank you both for taking some time out to meet up and show us around Gold Coast. It's somewhere that we wouldn't have visited otherwise, but am glad that we did.
Cara. Well, where do we start? 14 years has absolutely flown by. A huge amount has happened since we saw each other last, and you certainly have a huge amount more on your plate now than you did back then. The very definition of multi-tasking. It's a shame that our visit clashed with your study and exams, but your time is very precious, so it was quite significant and special that you freed some time up to meet up and we really appreciate it. I did warn you when you left the UK that one day, I would once again track you down. I just didn't expect it to take 14 years. Next time, we'll try to make it a little less. All the very best for the remainder of your course. It will be a huge weight of your shoulders when that last assignment is handed in, and the last exam is finished. You'll do very well.
Mark & Shelley. Thanks for introducing us to the popular Australian seaside past time of pile driving and jetty reconstruction! Seriously though, it was a pleasure to meet you both and your young family. It was so important to Ali in particular, that she caught up with you Mark. Once she had identified where you were whilst we were back in the UK, it went straight on the tick list of people who we had to catch up with. And, I'm sure there was a tear in Alis eye when we said our goodbyes. You've created an excellent life for yourselves going by what you told us in the little time we spent with you. Yes, we're quite envious of it. Especially on mornings like this morning when we had ice on the card windscreens here, and Ali set off in the darker dawn skies to walk the dog. I think it's safe to say that we will meet again sooner rather than later. It won't be 24 years this time.
And last, but by absolutely no way least, the Wood/Martin clan! We spent the majority of our trip with you. Actually, you organised most of it for us too! We can't thank you both enough for all the effort you both put in to getting things sorted for our visit to Adelaide, including the first class airport transport service. Not to mention the whole Kangaroo Island adventure. There is a list to go through of thank yous. Perhaps a selection of them would include introducing us to the Boat Deck and Watershed. Maybe the Barossa Valley and Glenelg also. The BierHaus was definitely worth stopping off for, even if it was a bit weird that I was the only one drinking beer. We must re-visit if only to pick up a growler and read the toilet walls a bit more. And thanks also for introducing me to the finer points of the Meade GoTo setup and the Southern hemisphere sky. It really is impossible for me to go through everything you did for us, and a mere "Thank you" doesn't seem enough to cover it.
So there we go, that about brings an end to our Australian Blog. Complete with typos and spelling mistakes, bad grammar and possibly a few fabricated scandalous facts thrown for good measure. This blog was never intended to be fully read and digested but thousands of anonymous readers. In fact, we just saw it as a modern day open diary and something that we can both look back on to remind us of our trip. We shared the links with our friends and family and left it to the individual to decide. For the people who have taken the time to read any of the entries, we thank you and hope we managed to put a smile on some faces along the way.