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Showing posts from April, 2014

The science of Canberra

What do I do on holiday but go to work, of course! Just for something a little different during these Easter school holidays we decided to pop down to Canberra for an overnight stay. We drove down on Tuesday morning, stopping at pretty Berrima for a tasty lunch of meat pies at the award winning Gumnut Patisserie rather than suffer McDonalds at the Sutton Forest service centre, like most do. Alex was so excited to be staying at a hotel, though it took us a little while to find the Aria. It's a friendly place and the rooms had a bit of character with a nice view of the area. We had brought Alex's bike with us, so we drove to the lake, hired bikes for B and I. The quality of bikes had much improved since we last hired, they were now equipped with gears. Not Alex's, as he is still on training wheels. Despite that, he managed to cycle all the way to the chiming bells of the Carillon and back. The view of silvery skies and Black Mountain Tower silhouetted against the

The winds of Ita

So here we were at Kansai International Airport and it was time to fly home. Though the maps had shown Cyclone Ita drifting down the coast, weaker now but still disturbing the skies and land, still in our path, my terror had lessened. After a period of quietude last year had seen the return of turbulent skies. The last three months of last year were the most turbulent on record for Sydney and I had read of severe incidents. My fear of turbulence, once in remission, had started to return. But now I was equipped with the knowledge that I could cope, could recover, had even skirted a typhoon before and survived. And a good night's sleep had helped as well. Though the Jetstar check in had only just opened the queues were already long. I went to the business desk, but was almost last and all the window seats had already been taken. The system hadn't let me reserve seats in advance. I had one bag to check in. My backpack, cabin luggage on the way up, was now full of refill sac

Train day to nowhere

Here we were with an unexpected bonus day in Japan. Had I known earlier then whole trip would have changed. We could have gone via Matsumoto or spent longer in Kanazawa. But it was all so unexpected that nothing was planned but a little sleep in to recover from the previous day's exertions. Mum suggested Nara and I said yes, though I was sure there were many other places I wished to see. I didn't want to go too far, for we still had to catch the train to the airport. First we had to find somewhere for Mum's coffee fix. Lacking addictions makes life so much more flexible (okay, so I have a travel addiction and that is a big impact on life). I found somewhere new underground. We boarded the busy rapid train direct to Nara, were early so had seats. Initially, the landscape wasn't particularly interesting. As we rattled along I gave more thought to the day. At Oji I suddenly realised that Koya-San would be a far more rewarding experience for Mum, but the doors shut