Drawing breath in Australia

It’s been a week since I put up a post, apart from the impressions of Japan, so I haven’t yet touched on the Australian leg of our journey. In time-honoured fashion, and like so many UK visitors before us, we are spending a lot of our Australia visit imposing ourselves on friends and relations.

We arrived at Brisbane airport early on the morning of Friday, 18th January and were picked up by Ishbel’s sister. She lives on the Gold Coast and, showing kindness above and beyond familial duty, had agreed to put us up for a couple of weeks. We’ve been changing accommodation every few days for the past month and a half so it’s nice to get the chance to just settle down and properly unpack for a while.

We landed at around 6:30am and it was already blisteringly hot, and that has remained the case ever since. Quite a contrast from Japan’s Northern hemisphere winter. Friday was really a settling in day as we found our feet. There’s only a one hour time difference between Queensland and Japan so jet lag wasn’t a problem. We were both pretty tired though because we did have an abbreviated night’s sleep on the plane. There’s a pool at the house so we have been able to enjoy a refreshing dip whenever the heat gets too oppressive.

Saturday was a family gathering day as our three Australian nephews and three Australian great-nephews came round for, of course, a barbie. We’ve visited here a couple of times before and they have come to the UK as well so, like all long-distance families, we have seen them grow up in episodic fashion. The nephews are now all grown men and it’s lovely seeing the next generation of kids as they interact with us. They’ve met us before but, of course, we’re strangers for a couple of days until they get comfortable with accepting us as family.

The other acceptance process that we need to go through is with the dogs that live in the house. There are four of them:

Oscar and Spirit are West Highland Terriers; Diva a Border Collie; and Buddy is a horse. Well, he’s almost the size of a Shetland Pony but he’s a Wolfhound/Bull Mastiff cross. They all seem to have accepted us now.

On Sunday, we went along the coast a little. We had a specific task in mind as we had to buy Ishbel a new hat. Her Tilley hat appears to have parted company with us at some point before Japan. With the sunshine here on the Gold Coast, a hat is a necessity so we found a Tilley hat purveyor nearby and went to acquire a replacement.

That was our relaxing first couple of days in Australia.

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