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Trying that again: Oz

Well, it's not perfect. But it's damn near perfect...

I find it hard to discipline my memories of this holiday into chronological order; it's like my head just won't have it. Things that stay in my mind include sounds and scent. From Sydney to Airlie, every morning was a riot of shouty avian joy; cockatoos, hummingbirds, parakeets, crows, pigeons, minah birds... they sing, they screech, they laugh, they whistle, they yell. Nothing is silent. Occasionally they wail; around Airlie beach I kept seeing these long legged birds who came out at twilight and keened at me before running away; I called them Banshee birds.

Fruit bats flying over Paddington towards the new moon, fruitbats between trees and stars and telegraph wires. One memorable evening larians complained he hadn't seen a single fruit bat; even as he said it, little pips were landing on our table outside the 'Down Under' bar. One or two bounced off my elbows. Looking up, the cause of the pip avalanche revealed itself; a massive fruit bat posing in a tree for us just a few feet away; with perfectly timed stage presence the superstar hooked and unhooked himself across the branches; Now he picked his fruit, now he ate his fruit, now he hauled himself rightway up, now he hung upside down looking directly at us, red eyes glinting in his foxy face. After this magnificent show,the bat made the perfect draculanian exit, great leathery wings flapping slowly away down the street.

Bright clear scents, flowers everywhere, especially frangipani. This bloom will always mean Australia to me.

Sydney, cultured, easy, charming, arty. Elegant, unpretentious - and seriously expensive, even by London standards. That was an eye opener.

Diving in the Whitsunday islands, diving on the barrier reef. There was one point when I lurched into the toilet on the boat during a squall. I had finished my dive, but had no dry clothes to change into; the result was a boot encrusted with sea salt, soaked right through from the waves and a sudden wet season downpour with added sea sickness. I looked in the mirror in the loo; it seemed to me a woman stood there, shining and happy, really happy. I loved to see my face smiling like that. It's been a long time.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
What an absolute joy to read! :)

Are you guys back in London for a while? This has brought home how long it has been since I've seen you both and my urge to remedy that.
Feb. 19th, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
That would be a real pleasure Lion man :-)
Feb. 19th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
We are indeed mate. Lets make a date and catch up. We have Debbie's cousins staying with us at the moment but that is short term so we should have a spare room free within the month.
Feb. 19th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
Awesome, let me know when you have things in order and I'll set some free days aside. :)
Feb. 19th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
I agree, a joy to read! Very happy to hear you so invigorated by your travels. I've always loved Frangipani too, not that you get many in Smethwick.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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