Spring sunshine – and a spring sunset – in Canberra.
Only days to go before I fly to China!
Spring sunshine – and a spring sunset – in Canberra.
Only days to go before I fly to China!
Sunny spring days in Canberra.
This week started out gorgeous, had some weird weather in the middle, and involved a trip to the city to pick up my passport for my next trip!
Plus, there was a gorgeous (and very sweet) royal wedding to watch on Friday night (our time). I’m not into the royals usually, but this one…
How is October already half over? It’s nearly time to start thinking about Christmas!
Most of my posts this week were about sexual assault, and how the topic is handled (or dismissed in some quarters) in romance publishing. I’m utterly disgusted by recent events in the United States, and by how these things have an effect on women the world over.
^^ The Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes flying over Old and New Parliament Houses in Canberra on Saturday afternoon (I took the picture from the car, so it’s not perfect!). New Parliament House turned thirty this year, and the celebrations were held this weekend.
What a week. For me it began in Qatar on the Arabian Peninsula, trying to stay awake through a 9.5 hour layover in Doha (note to self: flights from Manchester to Canberra have no good connection times!).
I arrived home on Tuesday morning, after two days of travelling, to the most gorgeous day. However, it was a real shock to see just HOW dry it is in Canberra. There was dead, yellow grass before; now it’s basically just dirt. It’s a huge contrast to green, green Ireland, and northern England, where there was a drought this summer, but nothing like this.
I didn’t get a chance for jetlag because it’s spring here, our local birds have had babies, and the desperate, overworked mother magpie has figured out which one is my bedroom window, and knocks on it with her beak at dawn until I get out of bed and give her some food for her kids!
Our recently deposed Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had his penthouse by the lake up for sale this weekend. We actually parked outside the entrance to the building when we went out for lunch, and it was SO tempting to go in and have a look at it!
Yay for daylight saving beginning, and boo to all the countries losing their minds and getting rid of it. How could you possibly hate having an extra hour of daylight in the evening in summer??
My week finished with my passport sitting at the Chinese embassy, waiting for a visa – it’s not long before I’m off again.
Spring in Canberra!
Well, I’ve made it home after an epic 42-hour journey from rural Derbyshire to Canberra. That’s a two-hour drive to Manchester (however, we got to drive past Lyme Park – Mr Darcy’s home in Pride and Prejudice 1995), a six-hour wait at Manchester Airport, a seven-hour flight to Doha, a nine-hour layover in Qatar (which wasn’t so bad, but the lounge needs to serve something better than heavy chardonnay!), a fourteen-hour flight to Sydney…
…And it stopped there for other travellers, but we had to disembark, go back through security, and re-board the *Same Plane* a few hours later to fly on to Canberra. It’s ridiculous to go through all of that when the flight between Sydney and Canberra is never more than half an hour! On the other hand, it’s pretty surreal being almost the only person travelling on a giant Boeing 777.
The sunshine and warm weather (mid-twenties when I stepped off the plane) were a nice surprise, as was the smell of spring in the air (though not the hay fever that immediately hit!), and the fact half our local wild birds had dropped by the house within half an hour of me arriving!
Now I can catch up on all those blog posts I want to write…
The last day of spring in Canberra.
I should have a Christmas tree picture to put up by now, but this week has been all packing boxes and people moving, so I’m going to do it on Monday instead.
I’ll say this about what’s coming out of America and the Russia investigation: Should’ve listened to Ukrainians years ago, should’ve listened to Ukrainians years ago, should’ve listened to Ukrainians years ago, should’ve listened to Ukrainians years ago!
This Trump corruption was about lifting sanctions on Russia. Those sanctions are in place because Russia has invaded and occupied Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova. They are STILL invading Ukraine, killing thousands upon thousands along the way.
Those sanctions are meant to stop Russia killing more Ukrainians and Russian dissenters. And Trump supporters are fine with those deaths. This investigation is FAR more than just America.
Spring skies in Canberra
Blue sky and sunshine at the end of spring…
What we did in Canberra this week. With far and away the highest “yes” vote for gay marriage of anywhere in Australia, we (it was actually already planned) painted a roundabout in one of the main restaurant streets in the city rainbow colours.
This follows on from the commissioned street art in one of our main squares, that was painted the afternoon of the result of the vote.
Our latest idiot cat. Hannibal, an overly friendly Burmese cat (all Burmese cats are super-affectionate) being looked after by our neighbour for several months. If there’s anything higher than him, he MUST go to the top of it (it’s a good thing he has a bell)! He basically lives over here, and gets lonely and terrorises the house at all hours of the night. (They are actually two different photos, not me zooming in. He was standing there for ages!)
This week, while the world was watching Zimbabwe (I must have watched a day’s worth of live coverage from Harare on Al Jazeera, BBC etc. – though it’s good to see Africa get some attention for once), Russia did one of the weirdest things yet.
The Russians running one proxy republic in the east of Ukraine invaded another proxy Russian-backed “republic” in Ukraine. All the while Russia says they’re not invading anyone. It has been called the most stupid invasion in history – and it may well be.
However, it’s looking more and more like Putin is going for a full-on invasion while his “useful idiot” in the White House distracts the media. Once he joins all his fake republics up, there’s a massive part of Ukraine both gone and filled with Russian troops. The rest of Europe should be very, very worried.
I have family in Donetsk – the most important city the Russians invaded three years ago. That nobody cares – even though it’s in Europe, and allegedly the world cares more about Europe than elsewhere – makes me frustrated, angry, and upset on a daily basis.
This week a tiger was shot after escaping a circus in the centre of Paris. I am shocked and horrified most people in the world (including most of Australia) still allows wild animals in circuses. We banned them in Canberra in 1992!
Monday sunset after some desperately-needed rain in Canberra.
The flag of Australia’s Parliament House, Canberra at half-mast for the funeral of our former Governor-General Ninian Stephen on Wednesday. I took it from the car (the sun reflecting off the metal is a bit distracting!). Flags at all of Canberra’s national monuments were lowered for the occasion.
The spring roses are out in Canberra.
There are many things I could say this week. However, I will just comment on gymnastics (a sport I won medals in, my brother was on the Olympic squad of, and I later coached). It seems that most US Olympic gymnastics stars for years have been victims of a paedophile/sex abuser. People are saying this is even worse than the stories coming out of Hollywood. It seems so.
Hearing that the champions from the last few Olympics were sexually abused hours before we watched them win medals is… it upset me so much. I hope they get some justice for it.
Spring in Canberra this week.
It seems this was the week the Christmas ads started on television. Maybe not for the US or Canada, with Halloween and Thanksgiving and all of that, but they did here!
This week marked a month since I returned from Spain. However, on Monday we booked a trip for next year: to Ireland and England, so I’m planning again!
We’ll take advantage of Qatar Airways’ new flights out of Canberra and fly into Dublin (where I lived and worked for a little while), and then travel up to Belfast and spend a few weeks in Northern Ireland. My surname is 100% Northern Irish. Even though I’ve only ever seen Northern Ireland in dreary late-November, I remember it as gorgeous.
After that we’ll fly to Leeds (in England) and then spend a few weeks in the Peak District and Yorkshire before flying home from Manchester. My dream Pride and Prejudice adventure…
The plans were changing for weeks. I still “have” to do a more extensive trip around Wales, and spend more time in Scotland. I also want to visit Cornwall, Devon etc. – I’ve seen quite a lot of the south over the years, but not that part. For a small place, there’s too much to see!
Floriade in Canberra over the weekend.
Monday sunshine for Labour Day in Canberra.
Well. What an awful week in the news.
The rest of the world looks on in horror at America’s out-of-control gun problem, and shakes their heads in bewilderment at why nobody will do anything about it.
Today in the Australian Capital Territory is the totally random public holiday: Family and Community Day. I’ve been told it replaces a November holiday that used to fall around the time of the Melbourne Cup.
And apparently Western Australia celebrates the Queen’s Birthday today (we did it back in June; her actual birthday is in April – there is actually a reason for all these weird dates!).
Whatever it is, it’s a day off. Maybe I can catch up on some books!