05 July, 2012

Bits and pieces of an Australian holiday

Yesterday turned out to be a fantastic day. I'm starting to relax!

It started for me with a sleep-in and then I met a friend I've known my whole life for coffee. We talked and talked until lunch-time. It was fabulous. Friends with whom you can skip almost all the preliminaries and take up where you left off are priceless.

After lunch was some SQUIRT time. After grabbing some Australian muesli bars, we headed off to walk to a local second-hand bookstore that we remembered from our stay in this house two years ago (just before we flew). It was a bit further than I'd imagined, but not unmanageable for this used-to-walking-places Tokyo residents. But I am finding that Brisbane is hillier than I remembered, certainly hillier than Tokyo. Hard work for walking and bike riding.

Then last night we headed off to a party with friends to watch something special in our region of Australia. The third match of this year's State of Origin series*. This is something of a Queensland (and, presumably New South Wales) tradition. It was great to sit down with some traditional pizza, chips, and soft drink and enjoy the game.

Our three boys didn't know any of the rules when we started, but they got the hang of the basics. They enjoyed it, actually. There is something about watching big men slam each other around a grassy playing field that is mightily attractive. And we enjoyed passing something of our culture onto them. Oh, and it was fun to be with these friends again. We were all pretty distracted by the game and the young kids (their kids are 2 and 4 and had trouble staying focused on the game at that late hour — the game started at 8), but it was nice to just be with them and doing something pretty ordinary.

Today we've had a pretty quiet day. Just banging around at home all morning (after another sleep-in). We enjoyed lunch on the deck in the sun. The gorgeous weather has continued. Yes, it's been a little cool outside, but the days warm up to about 20 and in the sun it is magnificent. The wide blue skies are a balm to the soul, and we haven't even left the city yet. Imagine what it is going to be like in the Outback?

This afternoon we had another SQUIRT time and then meandered off to a local park with a cricket pitch. It was great to have a go at our favourite game on a proper length pitch (though it was a concrete pitch), with grass all around.

This evening we're going to another dinner with friends. Newer friends that yesterday's lot of friends, but nonetheless, it will be a good time. And we're discovering how difficult it is to make new friends when we're in and out of the country, so we'll grasp opportunities to build deeper friendships with new folk with both hands.

And tomorrow we're really going to act like tourists, and go on the CityCat ferry down the river with another friend. God is blessing us abundantly. This week in Brisbane has been a lovely blend of getting stuff done, catching up with people, and relaxing.

*A Rugby League competition between our state and our neighbouring state, New South Wales (where Sydney is). A hotly contested trophy where emotions run high. I have many memories associated with this event, including studying for a university physiology exam, while waiting in the grounds for the game to begin.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I'm really enjoying reading your furlough reflections. I've just farewelled my parents after their furlough, I have a friend from eastern Europe coming home this month and dear friends working in the Middle East coming home at the end of the year! When I read your blog I get all excited about the things we'll all be able to enjoy together again.