Australia!

Hello Internet, today is Friday, December 28th, and I am sitting on a balcony in Newcastle, Australia, drinking cold sweet things and writing.

The decision to come to Australia was already made by the time I got to New Zealand. After all, what Canadian could take themselves seriously if they decided to go to New Zealand for the better part of a year and never made it to Oz? It’s only a hop, skip and a jump across the Tasman Sea, after all. But then, I found myself a full-on life in Wellington, with friends to hang out with and plays to rehearse and a job to go to. And my friend in Australia was threatening to move back to Canada by the end of March, which is when my job ends, and suddenly, there was only one option for times to visit said friend in Australia… that cluster of public holidays in late December and early January.

So, here I am, in Australia, for the first time in my life, and it. is. awesome.

AWESOME THING THE FIRST:

Tiny geckos are everywhere. They just sort of skitter around the sidewalks being all adorable and harmless. There is one by my foot right now.

AWESOME THING THE SECOND:

This was going to be first, but then I got distracted by the gecko. It’s hot here. Sensibly, actually, hot, without being suffocating, in a way that I haven’t experienced in years… since I went to Turkey in July of 2008. The summers of my childhood used to get quite hot (though Australians tell me that Ottawa heat is not real heat and we’re all just wimps), but since I started spending summers in Newfoundland, I have cherished those days when it gets up to a startling TWENTY-FIVE DEGREES CELSIUS when I can reasonably assume that if I leave the house for an hour or two, I will not be needing a sweater before I get back. So, here I sit, in 32C heat, in the shade to protect my poor descended-from-the-English skin from receiving another burn like the one I got on Wednesday (see somewhat embarrassing image below), reading stories and writing blog posts in a sundress, drinking cold drinks and eating salty food and generally feeling decadent and unconcerned with the usual practicalities like blankets and hot tea.

SUNSCREEN. WEAR IT.

SUNSCREEN. WEAR IT.

AWESOME THING THE THIRD:

The beach is around the corner. Literally. Like you walk out of this building, to the end of the street, turn left, and… BEACH. Gold sands, glinting blue ocean, big sky, lots of people on surfboards and tons of folks who, like me, will go just far enough into the ocean to be jostled about by waves without ever being in so deep that I can’t touch the bottom. I haven’t managed a good picture of the beach yet, because, honestly, my camera is my phone and I have chosen to leave my phone behind every time I’ve gone to the beach. Because, seriously, who wants their phone at the beach? So, instead, I offer you a  link. The beach is this beach. I am just not the photographer. And there are, I am given to understand, bigger, better beaches that are NOT literally around the corner. We’re going to one tomorrow.

AWESOME THING THE FOURTH:

I am drinking beer at 2:30pm. I love holidays.

AWESOME THING THE FIFTH:

I am staying with a friend I have known since we were 3 (or 4, depending which of us you ask). (We were 3.) Miraculously, though we have lived in separate cities, and sometimes separate countries, for more than 2/3 of our lives, we have independently grown into people who should still TOTALLY BE FRIENDS. Which seems like the kind of thing that is rare enough to be worth mentioning.

AWESOME THING THE SIXTH:

I am being taken to feed a kangaroo out of my hand later today. After spending the whole day happily writing in the warm and/or swimming at the beach. And tomorrow we are going to a giant beach. And on Sunday we are going to wineries and drink lots of local shiraz. And on Monday… essentially, Awesome Thing The Sixth is all of the awesome things that are yet to come.

To be continued! Happy continuing holidays, Internet!