Welcome to 2011! Or perhaps it should be farewell 2010 and OMG another year done and dusted.
I managed a quick trip over to Canberra for Xmas, spent with mum, Matt and his family. Matt's two girls were awfully excited to have Auntie Na come to visit, who did her best to undermine any discipline their parents may have wished to impose. They are such chalk and cheese : Princess Bella and Wicked Liddy. I think Wicked Liddy is more my cup of tea, though I didn't get to see the infamous tantrums I've heard so much about, but Princess Bella's narcissistic tendencies and attraction to reflective surfaces is I hope just a stage she's going through - Auntie Na just doesn't do glam!!!
The extension to the National Gallery was on my hit list, so mum and I went there on Boxing Day to see the newly housed Aboriginal Art collection, which is extensive and a must see for anyone visiting the National Capitol. A lack of explanations, apparently artistic curators believe the art should speak for itself, means that visitors who know little about the Aboriginal Art movement or history would miss out understanding some of the cultural importance and context of many of these very exceptional artworks. A visit to the National Museum, housing an exhibition about the Canning Stock Route and the painters from that region, provided a different approach to the artwork where it is put into it's spiritual and cultural context. Different approaches......
My return home via Sydney included a lovely hour catching up with my sister Vanessa at the airport - she'd braved the filthy rainy weather to schlepp out on the train for a quick chat over coffee in the departure lounge, for which I am extremely grateful as I don't get to see my siblings much these days. Then the long flight back to Perth, on to Geraldton, pick up Hazel and drive out to the camper at Coros. Thank goodness my camper had been up since before Xmas or no way would I have found a spot!
The yearly retreat to Coronation was somewhat watered down this year, due to some very unseasonable rain. Unlike poor old Carnarvon and the Gascoyne region, we didn't get flooded out, but it did mean the campsite was deserted till just before Christmas, when the hoards descended in droves and you couldn't move for campers or kids. When the wind at last put in an appearance 3 days before New Years, there wasn't a spare car space to be found. Now that's quite a feat given half of the Geraldton windsurfers were camped there and not actually using the day use carpark at all. We can only blame the floods again, for stranding those who couldn't go further north to Gnarloo, making Coros more crowded than I've seen for at least 6-7 years. At times we counted over 60 sailors on the water, not to mention at least another 30-40 on the beach. But me and my mates just headed down to Windmills and had some awesome waves all to ourselves.
So I enter 2011 having not yet conquered the loop. I blame the lack of windy days, and some awesome clean waves that made riding down the line a much more attractive option than putting my body on the line. However I didn't make it through without incident, returning to work with a slightly black eye and an enormous arm bruise after a wee altercation with my boom. Unfortunately I wasn't doing anything spectacular at the time, the biggest bruises always have the least interesting origins.... even my broken arm wasn't done with any style!!
So now I'm back at work, we're understaffed, and there appears to be a sudden spike in summer upper respiratory tract infections. Jeezus guys it's a sore throat, why do you have to visit a doctor for that?? Ah well, pays the wages...