The end of January is upon us already. Two years ago we celebrated Republic Day in Delhi on the 26th and a couple of days later jumped onto a plane to Australia. There could not be a greater contrast of past and present lives, brought home acutely by seeing President Obama enjoying the Republic Day Parade in Delhi as we did on the same day two years ago. It was a fitful farewell to such a great sub continent.
On the 1st of Feb we will have been here two years. It’s a cliché to say where has all the time gone and even more so to ask myself what I have to show for it.
Am I over the honeymoon yet?
I enjoy the light in the country ( naturally and artificially) as on the first day I arrived.
I love the sense of community and civic pride. My neighbour Russell took my bins out last night thinking that having only returned a week or so ago from abroad, I may have gotten out of the habit.
There is simplicity to the way people enjoy their lives, a stroll along the beach, a few sausages or prawns on the Barbie and some cold beer. Not much standing on ceremony here even if Abbott gives Prince Philip a knighthood- a retrogressive step certainly for Ozzie politics and a bit of a demotion for the Prince no doubt.
There is an Aussie side which I love to hear about and even better experience. The cockroach races held in Brisbane on Australia Day, a place for even these reviled creatures on this continent.
34th Annual Australia Day Cockroach Races
The watermelon ski contests in the Chinchilla Melon Festival, their love of old things, be they cars or buildings and their care of heritage. Their increasing awareness of their aboriginal roots and what those communities have to offer. The cutting edge art and embracing culture like it was a daily vitamin.
To be within half an hour of the ocean is bliss, to feel that sea breeze and to stroll along empty, pristine beaches an immeasurable gift. Wandering into the hinterland is equally enriching knowing the age of these rainforests and what surprises are to be found under the trees and rocks, the streams and the waterfalls.
I have yet to explore the outback, the red rock, the immense open plains and the endless vistas and I look forward to them all. What I give back? Feeling a part of my community and offering what insights I can. Blogs of beauty, quirkiness and reflection. Never enough but a sharing of sorts which I do whole-heartedly and engagingly.
I went to the market yesterday and picked up some tuber roses. A shot of scent from our past lives in Kenya and India. I gave the woman the wrong money and she corrected me – I said I had been away and needed to re acquaint myself with the money and she asked where I had been. I said I was in the UK, to which she replied, well welcome home. It felt warm and wonderful.