It wasn’t my idea at all. I wanted to visit my daughter and family in Australia again this year, and the wife suggested I took the other daughter and her two year old twin boys as well. Now I usually look forward to the journey, twenty four hours or so on a plane, because I can sleep when I want to, eat well and often, and catch up on all the films I have missed. And it is one of the rare occasions when I have a good excuse to do nothing but sit on my backside. But that amount of time with two yelling infants is not quite the same experience! I was full of dread at the oncoming experience, but need not have worried. Apart from the odd screaming attack, they slept for most of the time and the journey passed almost serenely. I even watched several films. Seeing the twins with their three Australian girl cousins was a wonderful experience, and as the latter are all older, the boys were treated as unexpected doll like playmates and my attentions as grandfather were not needed. I had to drink beer and wine with my son in law and talk about our forthcoming fishing trips instead.
Sydney is a most vibrant place. Too many people for me, but an amazing feeling of prosperity and vigour. The beaches are wonderful, the climate is a warm escape from the wintry days of Europe, and the food here is superb. The Aussies have everything well organised. My favourite place is the dog beach. I have never seen such a variety of dogs as in Sydney. All shapes and sizes, all colours and all ages. They are not allowed on the public beaches in summer in general, so the sensible local council has designated one local area for dogs only. It has a big area for them to run about in, a big lake for them to swim in, and even a dogs’ bath for them to be cleaned up in before returning home. It is a microcosm of human life; all races running and playing together, most of them getting on well, but some on the sidelines and ignoring the rest. The dogs seem to have a boost of their energy levels and run around together like animals possessed. A social club for dogs. We need one of those in France.