up in the air

Almost exactly four weeks ago, I returned home from an interstate trip.

My brother-in-law dropped me off at the airport, at a drop-off zone that was usually congested, but that time he had no trouble finding a spot to pull over.

Inside the airport was much the same — at the bag drop kiosks, there was only one other woman. I only passed a handful of people on my way to the lounge. Continue reading

a capital autumn

I had written up a short post on Saturday morning, and I thought I’d published it successfully from my phone, but now I cannot find it amongst my published, draft, scheduled or discarded posts, so I have no idea what happened to it.

But, whatever, there wasn’t much in it. Just that this week has been a bit busy. Add to that an impromptu trip to Canberra, and it hasn’t left me much time to blog. Even so, I’m not ready to break my long-standing post-per-week streak (as tempting as it is, I think it’s also a matter of pride).

Hopefully back to “normal” next week.

And by “impromptu” I mean I booked the flights on Thursday night, and I was on the plane Friday morning. Don’t worry, it wasn’t for any serious emergency, unless you consider providing emotional support an emergency (although I think the trip did me just as much good as it did for my friend).

As it turns out, Canberra is really pretty in the autumn. My favourite sight was the trees with a gradient of leaves from green in the lower branches, to yellow then orange and red and brown at the top. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to take a photo at the time, but I got a few other magnificent landscapes. Here is one for now:

I suppose to most people autumn is a lacklustre time when everything and everyone is preparing to enter some kind of dormancy or hibernation, but autumn is actually my favourite season. To me, it’s full of amazing colour, vigour and vibrancy.

Seeing trees aflame with deep red leaves, or shimmering with golden sequins, or even to see ghostly bare branches casting intricate patterns across the sky – these are the sights that evoke wonder and intrigue.

feel free to disagree

I have what most would call a fear of heights. I prefer to call it a fear of falling from great heights, since, if I feel secure and not at risk of falling, I can stand in high places without much anxiety. But I wonder if maybe I’m not afraid of heights or falling at all.

For a long time now, believing that I have this fear, I have at times challenged myself to peer from great heights to places and things far below. For example, if I am in one of those kinds of elevators that have glass walls, I will watch the lower floors as they become more and more distant. If I happen to go to an observation deck or some other high-up balcony or vantage point of a very tall building, I will go right up to the railing and look out. Continue reading

meditations – good luck

I was down in South Australia for the week-end just gone. It was my first time there, but instead of spending any significant time in Adelaide, I stayed in a small town about two hours north-west (?) of the capital. The fiancé of a good friend of mine was having a bucks’ party, except it wasn’t your typical bucks’ party because I was invited (I’m in the bridal party), so was the fiancee, and their respective families (including lots of little kids between 1 and 13 years of age).

We spent time at the beach, where some of them went boating, kayaking, etc; we had plenty of games and activities for all ages; there was a very insightful quiz about the groom-to-be; and his sister had even hired a caterer for a night. I had a great time, and met a lot of really lovely, down-to-earth people with good senses of humour. My kind of people.

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off to Sapporo! (…two months ago)

I can’t believe two months have already passed since I went to Sapporo! The memory has become almost dream-like in quality, so I suppose I’d better get on with writing my snow festival posts before I’m awake for too long and can’t recall all the glittering details!

Quick geography lesson: Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, which is the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. It is possible to travel to Sapporo, from Tokyo, by shinkansen (bullet train), but this would take at least an entire day (if exclusively using JR trains, to make use of pre-bought JR passes), and wouldn’t really be worth it unless you were planning to stop for a while at some of the in-between towns. I mean, this would’ve been a great option, but we were short on time, so I made the executive decision to fly instead.

Continue reading