Has it really been a month since our last update? Crikey!
Our first couple of weeks in Penrith we had a house to mind just minutes from the shop where we were training. (Here is Tom enjoying the sun in the front yard).
All good things must come to an end, however, and in one of those instances of cosmic comedy, the owner of the home was set to come back at some unspecified time during the two days of Tom’s court case. Just when you don’t want to be moving! … read more.
Day 236 – Riverwood, Sydney, Australia: making progress (and introducing Rasputin, the bicycle-riding rat)
After resolving Tom’s court case, and recovering from the experience, we were able to focus on the real world again.
Learning Ro Tai has been progressing well, and on May 31st we were presented with our “Advance Student” certificates. This means that in Jimi’s estimation, we now know enough that we can practice without hurting anybody. He’s willing to let us out from under his direct supervision, to practice on people elsewhere … read more.
Day 253 – Nearly time to go (and the seventh biggest crane in the world)
Our time in Australia is flying by!
Winter in Sydney is cold (by our standards – top temperatures of 18 degrees C – 50F – is hardly cold according to some of our friends, especially when paired with bright sunshine and blue skies. A lovely summer day, say the Swedes …) and everyone seems to have the flu. We have fought off at least three varieties, which slowed us down to a greater or lesser extent each time. When you are doing work that involves touching people, it helps not to look like you are carrying Plague … read more.
Day 260 – Off to Coffs Harbour
We tore ourselves away from our lovely Riverwood nest with Simon to make the trek north up the New South Wales Coast to Coffs Harbour. We have a friend here, Jordan, who introduced us to RoTai through local practitioner, Ross. We’re looking forward to spending a few days hanging around with Jordan and comparing Ro Tai notes with Ross.
The north coast of New South Wales is stunning countryside. The shoreline is hundreds of miles of sandstone cliffs and yellow-white beaches, punctuated by so many rivers that the area is known as the Northern Rivers district. There is a mountain range not far from the coast, which runs for thousands of miles north to south, so all the rain which falls east of the watershed has to make its way to the ocean somewhere along the east coast. This is the Macleay River, just south of Coffs Harbour.
Some of the rivers are so large, and so prone to flooding, that the road bridges across them are hundreds of metres long! … read more.
Day 266 – From Coffs back to Sydney (and a rare blue bunny)
Our leisurely journey back to Sydney from Coffs Harbour began with a short leg from Coffs to Bellingen, a small town on the Bellinger River (they are both named after the same man, but someone made a transcription error in entering the name of the town on the officiial records, so never the twain shall match), which is home to our dear friend, Frances.
Frances is currently living in a house on one of the tributaries to the Bellinger River, and a former owner of the house began a far-sighted campaign to make the back yard into a faerie grotto. There are both male and female faces in trees in the back yard, well grown-in, producing a slightly eerie atmosphere … read more.
Day 278 – Time is running out!
Our final two weeks in Sydney just flew by.
We took the massage tables to Marrickville, and did a bunch of treatments there, and in between we made a trip to the city to do a bunch of legal and admninstrative things, and a final trip to Toukley to say goodbye to Grandpa and Les. (and Grandpa’s girlfriend, Piki, and her budgie, Charlie!)
We were thrilled to discover that Simon and Carmel had spent significant time together in our absence, and were getting on like a house on fire. There is nothing better than knowing you are leaving your loved ones in capable and compassionate hands. Except, of course, not going away at all. But we had promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep … read more.
Day 181 – Sydney to Budapest, via Singapore and Doha
Our last few days in Sydney included one last visit to the city centre, one last chance to see Darling Harbour, and the amusement of seeing Sydney’s attempt at an iceberg to mark the Winter Festival.
If we hadn’t been shocked by finding ice on our windscreen the Friday before, we might have laughed at the floating white blob. Last year’s gigantic rubber ducky was so much cuter!
Wednesday morning arrived, and after a quick trip to the post office to change our mail redirection, it was off to the airport. Tom’s mother, Esther, kindly drove us to the airport, and took custody of all the things that needed to be given to someone else at the last minute.
On arrival, we discovered that our first flight, to Singapore, was delayed by an hour and a half. This would make it touch and go to catch our connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur … read more.
Day 282 – Arriving in Budapest … and langos!
Hungary is flat. Really flat. We saw its flatness stretching as far as the eye could see as we came in to land. (Later, we would discover that flatness is a relative thing, but for now, it just looked flat as flat.)
The rooftops of Budapest looked decidedly like an Australian city, with all the red tiles. The pitch is a lot steeper here, though, because of all the snow. Snow doesn’t slide as easily as water, so you need a steeper roof to make sure it drops off properly rather than building up and caving in the roof with its weight … read more.