We're back in the misty Dandenongs. We were lucky to have 3 weeks off .. a bonus or side effect of Tom's private school schedule. Gabe, Kai and Nicole missed one week of school, and re-entering school when their Canadian friends were hitting summer holidays was somewhat difficult. They have settled back into school, their 3rd term here, and are preparing, en masse, for the big production scheduled for the end of this term. The school is planning to stage a musical called "Kids at Sea" (or Sinbad Sails Again as per Matthew, the principal). Nicole is going to be a sultana (in pink pajamas as the song goes), and Gabe and Kai will be mermen. Costumes are being sewed, and this is something I can do to assist, so have been sewing caftans for the background mermen. Every child in the school gets a role unless they don't want to be in the production. I was happily sewing away on Friday, listening to Valentina Lisitsa playing Chopin etudes (one of the bd gifts that arrived here in Ferny Creek) when the kookaburras started cackling away... must have enjoyed the classical music!
Mind you, the birds are quite noisy these days, so they may be nesting, or preparing to nest. Kookas are loud when they are defending their territory, and they are likely defending their territory prior to nesting. Many native plants are blooming. I saw a tulip tree in bloom the other day as well, so I'm thinking the longer daylight hours are having an effect. If you want to see how we ushered in the winter solstice, check the Belgrave lantern parade pics on the right side of the screen. We've also been enjoying some great Aussie movies -- check out the trailer for 10 Canoes on the right side. Yesterday's (Saturday) excursion was to the Victoria market in Melbourne. We joined Aline and Roberta on a shopping expedition -- great bargains were to be had, including Uggs reputedly direct from factories. And where there weren't bargains, we looked, considered and made a few interesting purchases. I purchased a painting which will likely prove to be a challenge to mail back. Let's see how Aus and Canada post handle this one. Roberta and I will go back on Tuesday to pick it up and give her some more time to check out this artist's work.
I've been uploading pictures to the photo album as fast as I can, and will provide the usual commentary. The first set of pics to view are road pictures from the Stuart Highway... from Adelaide to Alice Springs, a journey of approximately 1200 kilometres. The pictures of the Lasseter Highway, a side trip from the Stuart Highway, will follow.