12.03.2010 - 21.03.2010 28 °C
Isn't it great when you meet an old friend, and you pick up seamlesly from where you left off 10, 20 even 30 years ago. Well it's been that kind of week for us in New South Wales (why? it doesn't look anything like Cardiff!). Having flown into Sydney a week ago Friday, we drove to Canberra. It took three hours and we managed to avoid hitting any wildlife, despite dire predictions (winding up the Poms?). In Canberra we met an old friend, Marlene, who we first knew at University almost 40 years ago. Marlene and her cats made us feel most welcome, and we spent the weekend pretending to be students again - ie drinking too much, staying up late, lying on the grass to watch the stars, and sorting out the world's problems. In deference to the passage of time we have a diminished capacity for alcohol and also swapped notes on various ailments and medications, as oldies will. Marlene lives in an area of Canberra surrounded by parkland and woodland, so we had some great walks.
Then we returned to Sydney to stay with our old PNG friends Sue and Gwilym, who we first met 30 years ago. They have been splendid hosts in their beautiful Rectory in Enmore. Enmore is a very colourful, cosmopolitain and lively innner suburb of Sydney, and the church reflects that vitality, no small thanks to Father Gwilym and Sue. Cue more (moderate) imbibing, reminiscing and catching up with several years worth of news, punctuated by some light recreational weeping. We last visited Sydney together in 1982, and it has acquired Darling Harbour, the Olympic Park, etc since that time. But the crowning feature is still the harbour and the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. We also made a trip out to the Blue Mountains, and up the Pacific Coast to a small place called Scotts Head.
The trip to Scotts Head was made in order to meet Mandy's sister Cath and Cath's son David. Cath lives in a marvellous house overlooking the Pacific. To cut a long story short, this was the first time they had ever met, and it was a joyous occasion. It was a case of catching up a whole life's story for each of them, and it was a privilege for me to listen to it all. Mandy found a sister she never knew she had (until recently) and they turned out to have so much in common.
Tomorrow we're off for some RnR in Cairns, where we spent some great holidays in the early 80s. A tropical cyclone has just passed through north Queensland, so lets hope its not too rainy.
Photos to follow