Saturday, June 24, 2006

Our Summer in the Cold


Why anyone would leave a Northern Hemisphere summer and travel south to the cold of Alice Springs is anyone's guess. At least that occurred to me when I sat in front of our gas heater, blanket wrapped around shoulders and legs reading the Centralian Advocate that told me Central Australia was having its coldest winter for 30 years. I think I already knew that!

What also occurred to me is that while we have been away for 12 months having an Arabian experience, nothing has changed here; the same people serve in the shops, our friends are still working at the same places, and apart from the odd construction here and there, nothing has changed.
Life goes on despite our absence. Winter in Central Australia is always cold, but beautiful. I've always appreciated the short winter change from the hot, unrelenting summers of 48 degree weather. In particular, the winter sky is stark, clean, crisp blue without a hint of pollution and the night sky outstanding. The photo herein shows the day sky over The Gap and was taken from hills behind our house.

We have some house maintenance chores to do and a few more friends to visit before we head off to Mount Isa in early July. .

Hope all is well at your end.

Best wishes.

for Robin and Christina

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Going on Leave - No More the Sheikh!

A poor substitute for an Arab ... the photo was taken on National Day when students insisted I dress as "Sheikh Robin"

Six months later I can almost feel the thrust of the jet engines as my Cathay Pacific jet screams along the Dubai airport runway ... in just a little over two days. The most prevalent thought is of getting on the plane and taking off. It's not that I don't like it here ... far from it, it's a paradise for those of us at the better end of the salary and perks scale. However, living apart from Chris and not having seen Meredith, Dale and Tory for a while (almost 12 months in Dale's case), I'm keen to get home. After all, there's no place like home; even if it is in the Central Australian desert.
The thought of being able to buy bacon ... pork bacon instead of that measly beef bacon substitute they have here; the brown bread that tastes like bread and doesn't go stale for a week; pies, pasties, Vegemite. To be able to wear shorts (well maybe not at Alice Springs, but in Canada where it's summery), to drink somewhere else than in three hotels. To visit my friend Rob's newsagency and find ... yes, you guessed it, magazines, some of which have naked women and a wide variety of topics. Wow!, it's almost too much to contemplate.

Tory has been asking "When's Pop coming home?" almost ad infinitum. Christina has a calendar and every day they cross off a day and he counts how many days to go. Not many now. Enshallah (God willing), he'll see me Thursday.

Some of you we will have the pleasure of seeing during my three weeks in Australia. Unfortunately, we won't get to see everyone. But, you are always in our thoughts and we value very much your friendship.

Best wishes