There is something priceless about being able to spend quality time with people. When one lives on a tourist route as we do, we have the privilege of becoming a bit of a stopover destination. Over the past few weeks, we have had the sheer joy of catching up with many friends from days gone by. Perhaps it is a tribute to the amazing friends we have, that when we meet (some after many, many years apart), that we can carry on where we left off! And I sometimes muse whether we would get to spend such quality time together if we lived closer….life gets so busy – it’s nice to catch people in a period of ‘space’ - on holiday or en route to conferences etc. There are definitely pros and cons to every situation!
As is becoming the norm, the past few weeks have a blurry feel to them. I think my memory has hit an all time low. Some random recollections which I can share are:
· It fascinates me that the protected animal life of one country is often the bane of another country! In this instance, I am thinking particularly about Possums – considered a pest in NZ, but wholly protected with dedicated societies set up for the protection of possums, in Oz! And neither country can believe the dedicated fervour of the opposing country’s stance! I had to admit that the one we happened upon in a park over here was very cute. It was broad daylight (possums are nocturnal) and there was a steady stream of kids who would climb the tree to oooh and aaah over the poor baby possum trying to get some sleep in a hole in the trunk. Naturally, mothers were summonsed over to take photos (with the flash on!) and to reassure the kids that the wee possum wasn’t really ‘stuck’. My considerate elder son refused to put the flash on my camera, in deference to the poor possum. Sigh. Sacrificing art for animal compassion. And there were far too many kids up the tree for me to clamber up to take my own photos of the traumatised possum (who I’m sure, probably thought he was having a particularly bad nightmare!). Bet he changed accommodation that night!
· Being awestruck by the magnificent $50million concert auditorium at a Christian school where E’s violin teacher works. He invited E to stand on centre stage in pitch blackness, and then he turned all the lights on. It was pretty impressive. I’d already read about the world class sound system they had installed there, but to see it first hand was awesome! I was itching to play the beautiful grand piano and the very swish looking drum kit there…
· On a similar note (scuse the pun), being totally absorbed and amazed by the talented kids in some of the various statewide orchestras E has had the honour of performing alongside, over the last few weeks. Am I the only strange one, or does good music tug at your heartstrings and bring a tear to your eyes too??!
· I am tired of these dust storms we are having. I spend far too much time trying to get rid of the dust everywhere, and I don’t recall having these dusty moments when we lived here years ago. BUT it does make us appreciative of other things! We had 20 mins of a wonderful, refreshing tropical downpour the other evening. It was truly beautiful. The boys and I stopped what we were doing just to watch and enjoy the cool, lovely rain. It filled our pool and our gutters sounded very happy! The garden certainly soaked up every last drop of moisture. I could almost imagine our parched earth giving a satisfied sigh akin to those uttered by my boys and I….
· I love the innocence of youth. Why do our kids have to grow up??? For that matter, why do I have to grow up???!
· Wanna know how I know Spring is here? The 34degC temps we had yesterday are a giveaway. And so were the huge black crows (a momma and a dada) who spent the day defending their territory and young ‘uns, by trying to scare away their own reflections in our windows! The crows here are huge things with vicious looking beaks and claws. And noisy to boot. This particular set of crows kept pecking at our glass windows, scratching the glass with their claws, and swooping. I was quite worried that they were going to break the windows with all their carry on. So Wilfred the Teddybear was delegated to be the resident scarecrow.
As you can see, the crows were as scared of him as I am of chocolate cake! Even with a missing nose and those huge furry ears. Good help is hard to find these days.