Sizzling heat, Smoke & Storms

Finally a chance to update my blog. The lack of posts has been due to the fact that the motherboard on my laptop blew up 10 minutes after turning it on in Australia. Currently, waiting for a new one to be couriered to me from Sweden.

Arrived in Brisbane, after 26 hours flying from Copenhagen via Dubai & Singapore. I am sure my hosts appreciated picking me up at 1am in the morning. The 1st noticeable fact even though it was so early in the morning, was that it was hot!!!! By the time I woke the temperature had begun a steady climb towards the days high on 39.4 degrees. Fortunately, air-conditioning in cars, houses and buildings alleviated the shock to the system of leaving a Scandinavian winter for an Australian summer.

My days in Brisbane provided the opportunity to catch up on friends, visit GoMA (Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art), play some golf, visit the beach, and celebrate New Year.

GoMA located on the South Bank of the Brisbane river provided a cultural interlude to keep me on my feet and avoid crashing with the jet lag. It was a lovely gallery with interesting exhibits and most surprising of all was the number of young people visiting the gallery other than the cultural elite.

Another day I was able to play a game of golf with someone I had taught to play 20 odd years ago and check on his progress, and this time pass on my expert knowledge to his son. Quite pleased with my play considering I hadn’t had a golf club in my hand in a year.

New Years Eve was spent with friends of my hosts. A low key affair although I was forced into a “CSC” shot race. (I dare not explain here what CSC means in an open forum only to say it is a type of drink). Don’t know why they chose me. We shared celebratory drinks for friends as New Year struck in New Zealand, Sydney, Brisbane & Sweden. New Years Day was by the beach enjoying the classic fish’n’chips.

One night we were able to sit on the veranda and be entertained by one of the most spectacular lightening storms I have ever seen for over 2 hours. My friends were cursing! While we may have been entertained it resulted in very little rain, something they are desperate for.  An example of the need for rain was the fires that broke out on Stradbroke Island. It blanketed the city in smoke meaning it was necessary to isolate oneself indoors to avoid the acrid irritating smell.

My stay and my room were shared with the McMillan’s menagerie of pets. From 3 different  pythons to a bearded lizard, cats, dogs, screaming geekos, and the odd coachroach. The slightest noise in the dark was always a question in ones mind which animal was on the move.

After 6 days in Brisbane it was time to bid farewell to my friends and to fly 3.5 hours to New Zealand for a long overdue reunion with my family and friends there.

Before I sign off, I would like to wish one and all, all the best for 2014.

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