Friday in Sydney...and yes, the bag made it.

Sitting in the rocking chair, spring, Sydney, Australia, a whole other hemisphere.

I almost wouldn’t know I’d been away for three months except for residual occasional signalling with my windscreen wipers, better comprehension in French class, and a total mistrust in the value of change I hand over; scouring the recipient’s face while s/he checks it, still sure the coins will turn out not to be what I’m expecting.

The garden has been having a high time and the house was just possible to locate, but only because I recognised the car.


The flights back were fine (except for the young woman who must have brushed every tooth individually while the rest of us queued for the toilet with crossed legs, which actually made it easier for the food trolley to get past) and the plane delivered us to Sydney on a lovely warm Sunday afternoon. Then I opened my suitcase which survived the journey, and three days of Welsh weather emerged - cold, windy, and rain with intent. Funny, I had no urge to try a bracing picturesque walk in it.

The laundry basket of mail contained about three shocks, the most exciting being the notice from the electricity mob saying if I didn’t pay up by several days ago, they’d turn off my power. I’d thought it was all being paid automatically...I think I’m the only person in Australia, possibly the world, who smiles every time I get an electricity account. When I signed up, the agent asked me what title I’d like. I don’t like titles, but apparently the computer is excruciatingly polite and can’t function on a first name basis. I asked what the options were. She said, “Mr., Mrs., Miss., Ms., Doctor, Lady, Honourable...”
“Wait,” I said,”I’m a lady. Can I have “Lady”?”
“I don’t see why not,” she replied.
So now each bill is addressed to Lady Kerry Millard. It makes me smile. And maybe that’s why they didn’t dare douse my lights.


There’s a new Premiere since I’ve been away and several new ministers, Council elections have been held (which I didn’t vote in and therefore will be fined but will feel all smarty-pants when I tell them I’m exempt because I was overseas), a house just around the corner is missing like a lost tooth, the supermarket has to be accessed via a maze of temporary walls behind which we’re assured a facelift is happening (although a door was open and I spotted a guy eating a hamburger), and there’s a new apartment block on my usual walk to French. Then again, possibly I just didn’t notice it before. Oh, and the Americans are having an election. Still. Same one.

In the bookshop today

Thanks to a trip all the way around the planet I now know how to operate an impressive array of flushing, switching, opening, locking, showering, bathplugging, water tap operating, hand-drying, soap dispensing, rubbish bin opening, ticket-purchasing, cup-holding, stirring, drying and public transport systems,
although the GPS is still in its case.

I’ll let you go now, but this needn’t be good bye. Thanks for coming on this trip with me; it’s been fantastic having fellow travellers on my shoulder! But do pop in again, because I’ll be pressing a bit more of life between the pages each week.