Wednesday, January 27, 2010
...in the rain. Yes, its raining tonight in Canberra. This is monumental - as it hasn't done this sort of thing since I've been here, which is one day shorter than a month. With any luck this might just downgrade the fire safety measure from extreme to severe and wouldn't that be a blessing. Once you get past extreme the next step in catastrophic which means that if a fire were to break out - you're on your own.
Now yesterday there was no rain at all which is understandable as it was Australia Day. I spent the day at Commonwealth Park enjoying the typical patriotic displays whilst all the time searching for shade. Australian are experts at finding shade in fact I think that may be the defining element of Australian culture "the search for shade".
I also discovered yesterday that the fine beer drinking song "Waltz in Matilda" is not the National Anthem (go figure) - apparently it never was; just as well I have not clue what that song is about anyway, who exactly knows where Matilda has been or why the band is encouraging her to waltz anywhere - still after a significant volume of "grog" has been downed a rendition of that song leaves nary a dry eye in the house.
Alas the rain has stopped which officially means that this blog entry has gone too long. Off I go to the pub, I understand that young lady will be waltzing in shortly.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This morning I committed an act of violence against a semi-defenceless spider...better safe than sorry in Australia. It was first thing in the morning and I was a wee bit groggy from too much sleep. The night before I wanted to fill a 3 hour gap in my social calendar so I walked down to the local cinema and signed up to watch Avatar. Watching a movie in Australia is an expensive endeavor, you know there's a problem when you are greeted by a loans officer at the cash register... the other abnormality is that everyone that goes to the theatre is given some kind of strange ice cream concoction, everyone that is except me because I don't know what it is or how to order it - it doesn't seem to be on the board of fare it's just understood (by everyone but me).
The theatre had outstanding seats, it was such a classy joint that we had assigned seating!, which I found both civilized and a bit sad as it indicated that the management had no faith in us to sort it out on our own. Still as I approached cinema #4 I felt it was a good idea because obviously the place was going to be packed, it wasn't, I think that the entire audience was squeezed into two rows, hence I figured out that the assigned seating was a ploy to cut down on cleaning costs...diabolical.
For those of you who are fans of the science fiction genre, I apologize in advance, perhaps I was tuckered out from riding my bike back from work, but after about 40 minutes I found a cushiony spot in my seat and the urge to sleep took over. I think nap #1 lasted about 10 minutes, another hour into the epic and I was off again this time almost to the end. I am a notorious snorer so I hope I did not interfere with anyone Else's enjoyment of the show, though I have a sneaking suspicion that I wasn't the only one riding dream street. Oh yeah the movie, 6 out of 10 (the parts that I saw anyway). Cool 3D but the story was a bit lame IMHO. Go for Sherlock Holmes instead much better.
A couple of more weeks and the students will be back at school, yee haw, school's without children are a bit like science fiction movies with poor plots - relaxing for sure but that's not the real reason we come to the show.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I can't imagine that there could be a more romantic sounding destination in the world than Darling Harbour in Sydney. Except that when Australians say the name it comes out as "dRlung aRbore" I suppose it looses something in the translation. This is where I'm stationed for the next few days, learning all about the Independent School world in NSW and the ACT, that is the AISNSW and AISACT, it is a fact that Australians love shortforms and acronyms.
What is also a fact is that the Independent School movement in Australia is huge. Between 15 - 20% of students are educated in Independent Schools, which must make it one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to private education. So far (early days) I am impressed with the progressive attitude towards education in Australia.
I'll be here through the weekend, also spending time catching up with the Montessori Australian Foundation (that's MAF don't you know). 5 nights in Sydney is great but I am missing Canberra - looking forward to spending a bit more time getting my life organized next week - there may even be permanent lodging in my future on Monday - hurray.
Well that's all from "Cockle Bay".
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Yes, I can confirm that the constellation Orion is totally upside down in the southern hemisphere - head down, sword to zenith- quite a sight to behold.
I have arrived in the Capital of Australia, and is the case with most capitals, it becomes a dumping ground for every Australian complaint - storms (Canberra's fault), taxes (Canberra's fault), financial crisis (Canberra's fault), athlete's foot (you get the picture...). It's like the man I met on my first day who was trying to reach the airport and he asked me for directions. I explained I couldn't help him as this was my first day in Australia. His response "your first day in Australia and your spending it in Canberra - I think you need a psychologist mate!"
That may be the case but in my humble opinion this is a beautiful city. It is like a huge sprawling park, with city hidden amongst the flora and fauna. The sprawling part can be a bit of a hassle if you want to zip around but its a joy if you want to take in the countryside.
I am sitting at my office in Mulley Steet today trying to get organized, lots of fun. Next week I am off to Sydney for an independent school conference on compliance - it will nice to see the big city again.