We flew home via Bangkok, which was mad but wonderful. We had fun in the street stalls, and our favourite food was the Thai/Korean mashup place just down the street from us. Gee the crab was good.
That long and painful flight back to Australia; I did see Sherlock Holmes, on Tig’s recommendation, and agree that it is excellent. We arrived in Sydney first thing in the morning. Allison’s parents picked us up, and we stayed for coffee and chat. Then we drove very carefully back to the farm, again on the left hand side of the road.
Then we were zombies for two days, catching up with sleep and jetlag. The Pajero blew up during that period, probably terminally, and had to be towed home.
In our absence, the farm has been looked after by Romain from Belgium, joined partway through by Luca, a goldsmith from Naples in Italy. They got to enjoy some apparently shocking weather, down to minus eight degrees, and all the dams and tanks are very full.
We appear to have a distinct lack of flamingos and vultures in Goulburn at the moment, and it’s a little hard coming down from our recently rather cosmopolitan lifestyle. Our past wwoofers were so hospitable, and so keen to show off their regional specialities. And a region can be 100 kilometres, whereas Australia has a pretty uniform culinary culture across 1000 km.
The French win the cheese award. In Australia, Roquefort cheese is considered a bit terrifying, but Pat’s family served two types and both were delicious and different from each other. Some of the goat and sheep cheeses were also superb.
Beer I’ll give to the Germans, but not sausages. Our local butcher’s sausages made from Highland Cattle are remarkable, and nothing we had in Europe matched them. Sorry, Switzerland.
We have a distinct lack of flamingos and vultures on the farm, unfortunately. There is a certain ordinariness in being home again.
On the other hand, right now we are infested by big red rosella parrots, with clouds of white cockatoos and pink galahs passing through. On the farm, all the animals are gearing up for spring.
At present, most of our Goulburn friends have had relatives in serious condition in hospital, and we’re not seeing much of them. Or anyone much. I was particularly missing our cheerful obnoxious friend Jochen, who showed up yesterday with another friend Anton, with whom I had a long and (as always) very involved conversation about the differential benefits of Keynesianism in current-day European economies. Which I’ll count as another sign of an approaching spring.