Flinders - 38° 16' 55"S 145° 9' 49" E

Flinders at its springtime best. Sparkling ocean, blossoms in the orchards, vines and flowers budding and the paddocks green. The local shops and cafes are starting to buzz with tourists and weekenders ... even a koala has taken up residence in a gum tree on the main drag of the town to add to the attractions.

For Kate, this is back home.  For me, this is a place where curtains of normality shroud the occasional surprise.  Looking carefully at a pastoral scene of horses and cows grazing reveals a kangaroo.  While watching traffic whiz by, I'm sometimes startled by their seemingly driverless state, with a passenger sitting in the car holding a steering wheel.  Chopping wood reveals a small, innocuous-looking spider that I pay next-to-no attention to.  My twelve-year-old nephew says in his thick aussie accent, " Careful - that's a Redback!" (which, it turns out, is one of the more deadly native spiders).

Gabby and Graham's home
Yet I, too, have history here.  We've landed at Graham and Gabby's lovely, valley-facing home for this visit.   I'm reacquainting with my rellies-in-law and catching up with friends.  My original road bike sits waiting in my mother-in-law's shed for me, just down the road.  My guitar has made its way over on a previous trip and makes for a good distraction when we have a few spare minutes around the house.  I know where the tea is in the cupboard, we have a guest room set aside for us, we know the rhythms and routines of the residents of the house.

This stay is long enough for us to want to set up some routines.  We want to get out on our bikes and get into the pool.  We want to be able to do attend some kid-focused events (birthday parties, school concerts) that we normally only read about, post-event, in an e-mail.  We want to be part of the plan when friends are planning invites for a dinner party.  I'm getting a state drivers license today.  We have the 'loyalty' card for the local supermarket.  Graham has generously loaned us (for five months!) his Ute, which is tremendously handy when you are staying on a farm.

We are happily settling in to life back in Australia.  Now, to complicate things, someone has offered us flights to Thailand and accommodation to help him tinker with his 47 foot Beneteau.  What would you do?

A slab of VB on the tray of my ute.  Its a local thing.
Koala in the tree along the main street of Flinders


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