Oz

So how idid it feel to be home?  Wonderful.

One minute you’re here, in a flash you’re there and suddenly and wonderfully, it feels like you’ve never left.  The brown grass is the same, the clean grid of houses is the same, Mum and Dad are at the airport to pick us up and cruise us home, their dog is at the door, all the smells are the same, the beautiful trees are the same, the coffee is a lot better than you know where…  A lot of things have never changed and I love it.

But there is a weird part to coming back and this part is where you fit in with people.  Being away for most of the year means you have to step back and accept the distance from these loved people on an everyday level.  Sure, I make calls home and speak to my parents often, but it isn’t the same and I’ve had to sort of ‘train’ myself to endure the distance by allowing myself to let go.  It’s too hard for me to keep it up 100% in two places at once.  My heart is in both, but I take a step back and act less wherever I am not. Then suddenly, I come back and have to get a handle on my excitement – near-hysteria –  over seeing all these adored people in person again.  This can be really strange.  I act either overwhelmed and vague or like a babbling idiot, wanting to toast every moment with everyone with gallons of bubbles.  Not good for the head.

Look, sorry for the blah it’s hard to explain.  I’ll try and explain it better later.

For now I want to celebrate having new eyes on home.  Images and places I always took for granted seem to be so exotic now!  Australia can be so tres chic – and oh so wonderfully tres kitsch.  I always knew this I guess about home, but now I love it even more.

flying in to Adelaide
flying in to Adelaide
one of many signs around Aldinga beach - a favourite beach of ours
around Aldinga beach – a favourite place
Yellow Flowering Gum
Yellow Flowering Gum
accommodation on a friend's farm, New Year's Eve
accommodation on a friend’s farm, New Year’s Eve
New Year's day 2013, beach car park
New Year’s day 2013
yeah, yeah, a kangaroon crossing.  yawn yawn!
yeah, yeah, a kangaroon crossing. yawn yawn!
class
class
sheep shed
sheep shed
bbq'd sausages and sauce on bread (Lilas consumes a 1000 each Christmas)
bbq’d sausages and sauce on bread (Lilas consumes a couple of hundred each Christmas)
...and this is what Mum consumes
…and Mum consumes this
...and this
…and this (next time K and H!!)
spooky
spooky
oh what the hell, I love this so here it is again...
oh what the hell, I love this so here it is again
road to nowhere
road to nowhere
heading to some of my favourite beaches in South Australia
heading to some of my favourite places in South Australia
Aldinga Beach
Aldinga Beach
could do with this back in France
could do with this in France
The Capri - a much-loved movie theatre around the corner from where I used to live.  'The Mighty Wurlitzer' is played live, each Friday and Saturday night
The Capri – a much-loved movie theatre around the corner from where I used to live. Each Friday and Saturday night, ‘The Mighty Wurlitzer’ makes its appearance.  As the ads finish, an oompah loompah of noise begins and there, rising up through the floor before the screen, emerges the mighty organ with its pianist banging waywardly on the keys with his legs flying across the foot pedals, providing the pre-movie entertainment.
interior at the Capri
interior at the Capri

crazy weather here and there

Talk about extremes.  44  degrees Celsius and then minus 4 in just over a week.  15 000km apart.

There’s ground to cover from my trip to Oz, but I just had to share these pics first!

We were ragged and hot (and sick) and then arrived home to this…

Crazy!!

l’Australie…

carricks 2
Carrickalinga Beach, South Australia – 44 degrees Celsius

carricks 3

carricks 1

the heat can feel pretty bloody ominous
the heat can feel pretty bloody ominous
carricks heat 5
no-one about, 2 o’clock in the afternoon and 43.5 degrees

La France…

snow 1

snow3

snow calamiac

snow5

and then out in our pj's the next morning...
out for a walk in our pj’s the next morning… (mini-me in pursuit)

snow walk

snow walk 2

out back snow

But stay tuned!  Pics from Oz to follow…

jug house

still cruisin’ in Adelaide

cruising in Adelaide
cruising in Adelaide

A big Hip hip to this New Year, 2013!  May it be a good one for all and a happy and healthy one.

Just thought I’d say I haven’t forgotten about the blog, just busy cruising the streets in S.A. (South Australia) and lapping up as much quality time as possible, before the annually dreaded departure.  Gotta make the most of it!

But somehow there’s those petite ‘mon Dieu’ surprises that always bring France back to mind…

les geants...
les geants… as seen at the Adelaide Central Market

Back soon…

going home

I’m starting to get the jitters about the plane flight – but HEY, I’m heading home!

I can’t get there fast enough, with everything that’s been going on…  Just can’t wait to hit the ground, feel and smell the dry air and see all those beautiful eucalyptus trees and give my family and friends a hug (sorry for that cringe, but I mean it).

my favourite tree - a Eucalyptus (gum)
my favourite tree – a Eucalyptus (gum)

It’s a long long way to get there – a huge, bon voyage – and I’ve been revving myself up with some tunes that remind me so much of home (and hey, don’t get stuck into me that they’re not new – my finger’s not on the pulse anymore out here).

These songs are giving me a great buzz right now… but I’ve gotta say that sometimes some Aussie songs reduce me to a sobbing mess! (as well as all the others: Natalie Merchant, Antony and the Johnsons, Adele et al…).  I can be driving in my car, playing the music real loud and suddenly I find myself choking with huge, involuntary sobs – a blithering wreck trying to see the road with tear-filled cloudy eyes.  And I love it.  I think of home, think of my family and have a great, big, cry.  It feels SO good.  I’m almost joyous.  I’m sort of between happy, ecstatic, thankful and sad, all at once.  And would you believe it, I’ve cried to Kylie Minogue and Tina Arena.  Eeeewww.  Better stop there.

Do songs remind you of home?

la vie en rose

papier cul
dunny paper, loo paper, bog roll, papier toilette, PQ… in PINK

Dunny paperloo paper, bog roll,toilet paper, toilet tissue, papier toilette, PQ (this one is good – it’s French and so tres elegant – it’s pronounced ‘pai-cue’, short for papier cul,’arse paper’)…  So many glorious ways to label a roll of perforated paper that wipes your bits.  But whatever the name, there is a fashion here in France that never goes out of fashion – your PQ in pretty old pink.

Forget baguettes, 2CVs, the Eiffel Tower… Yes, when I think of a recurring image over here, I think of pink PQ.  In almost every home you visit, you help yourself to, pink.  In any cafe, bar or restaurant toilet, pink.  Have a stroll down any supermarket toilet tissue aisle and you goggle over mountains of… pink.  Good luck if you’re searching for non-bleached, non-patterned or basic white.  They’ll be the few small piles hidden amidst the enormous volumes of joli rose – or once in a while spotted in a public loo!

mountains of lush pink dunny paper
mountains of lush, pink dunny paper

Why?  In fifteen years of frequent pondering (nearly always whilst sitting on someone else’s loo, reaching over for their dainty pink squares) – and asking most French people I know – I still don’t have an answer for it.  I’m by no means the first person to be asking either – I have friends!  Loads of them.  There are millions of internet search engine results concerning this very discussion in both French and English.  Some bloody funny theories too.  But still no answers!

It doesn’t explain the pink, but here’s a bit of trivia – correct me if I’m wrong! – about the French and their PQ, found in my search for THE answer:  it is said toilet paper was introduced in this country at the beginning of the 20th Century, but as it was long considered a luxury item, it was only from the 1960s its use became widespread.

And in shades of pink at that.

Chic.