by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved
Guhday mates and mate-esses or Sheilas, from Australia 🙂
After the flight in from China and stowing our suitcases for the next month at Jonathan’s & Caitlin’s and baby Felix’s place in Camden, we instantly set out to discover this new country and experience what it has to share to share with you. It did not take long!
You might think, Oh yes, English speaking after Japanese, yes, yes, yes! But let me say this, you have to be a born and raised Australian to understand what some of them are saying sometimes! “Huh, was that English you just spoke????” 🙂
But yes, mostly it is nice to be able to understand and communicate in a language I am mostly familiar with.
Quite a contrast here to Japan which is just now starting to heat up into their spring. Here down under the equator where the water spins counter-clockwise, they are into their fall. Fall of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit by day and mid sixties at night. It has been raining slightly for the last couple of days and everything looks lush and lovely. It was dry today and with the humidity of over 90%, it was hot, but we get a lot of the cool sea breezes.
Camden is about an hour from Sydney. It is considered the country. Those in the city call this the ‘bush’ but those that live here say the ‘bush’ is somewhere else. We are not far from where kangaroos roam freely. They are overpopulated and used for food. It is considered the reddest and leanest meat you can eat on the planet. Jonathan grilled some last night for us and well, it was DELICIOUS!
Camden is a quaint community of around 80,000 or so. People are genuinely helpful and friendly. Jonathan joined a community band and they had a concert this morning outside of the local library. Music is a universal love and they played many familiar tunes, even dedicating one to Susan, Jonathan’s Mom from the USA and another to a Belgium couple. We met for the first time a couple and they invited over to their home for lunch, coffee, tea, wine and desert. The world is, truly becoming, a global village. People really are, quite the same everywhere. We all just want to find our voice and our place in the world, love, be loved and live happily ever after, at least once in awhile. :).
Everything we need or could desire is only about a 7 minute walk to town. You walk past huge gum trees where they seem to be growing without bark. They are and the bark has just fallen off. They call the bark ‘fuel’ because, this is what it is used for. You pass home after home with mostly tile roofs (some metal), which are so built because, it keeps the homes cooler inside. It can get pretty hot here and stay this way for quite some time throughout the year. We are told that fall is the best time to be here and here, we are! But when it reaches a certain temperature, the humidity is just burnt off leaving the environment hot and dry, but again, cool breezes come in from the ocean regularly.
But oh, the birds of paradise! It is almost like a dream that we have traveled so many thousands of miles away from home to the other side of the world and now, almost to the bottom of the world. Our lunch hosts had recently been to the literal bottom of the world in Antarctica and showed us some incredible pictures of their time year. Their suggestion was to see the movie, ‘Happy Feet’ as the landscapes and the penguins including their personalities is just about how it really is. I also sometimes call new baby Felix, ‘Happy Feet,’ because he is always moving them like he’s dancing! 🙂
But anyway, birds of Paradise. For the most part where we are is, tropical. There are palm trees here and flowers and birds I have never seen except in picture books or movies. Some are similar to Florida USA or the country of Jamaica, but there are species here that exist no other place on earth. The streets are lined with color after color of sweet fragrant roses. But besides Lily of the Valley, my favorite flower is…
It was so nice to be able to snap this picture just a few minutes away by foot on my mini-walkabout. 🙂
Then, there was another bird of paradise just outside the living room window where we are staying, eating at the feeder.
I hope to be able to capture and record and share with you the beautiful bird-music by day and night be here just outside, as well as, the other birds of paradise that live here. I feel like I’m in paradise here. If I am not any more colorful or beautiful here, I am at least surrounded by color and beauty. Maybe, just maybe, some of Australia will wear off and into me? 🙂