[Emily Gap (East MacDonnell Range)] [Fun in the park] [Cradle Mountain National Park] [Clara and Lucy at Helicopter Park]

Australian Journal - October 2002

October 1-10, 2002 - Back from the Red Center: We just got back from 10 days in the Red Centre. We've set up a separate set of pages for the trip, which you can get to by clicking here. Pictures are here. We'll be updating the page over the next few days (we have lots of pictures to process, and journals to transcribe), so check back often.

October 11, 2002 - More Red Center: We added some more to the Red Centre pages. Besides that, we're still unpacking. Tim is taking the rest of the week off to recover from the trip (and get the trip pages as complete as possible!) Today, Sandy, Clara and Lucy are off to lunch and play with our American neighbor Donna and her daughter Sarah.

October 12, 2002 - Still More Red Center: The Red Centre pages have been updated once more.

October 13, 2002 - And More Red Center: The Red Centre pages have been updated once again. As we've been updating the pages, we have been going back and adding notes and pictures, so we aren't just tacking stuff on the end. Note also that we've added a separate Uluru Pictures page to display the different "moods" of Uluru (the page is a bit slow loading, since it contains full-size pictures rather than thumbnails). In other news, Lucy attended a birthday party for a friend from Reception yesterday, while Clara stayed at home and nearly skunked Tim at Uno 561 to 50.

October 14-20, 2002 - Back to School and Work - and More Red Center: Tim went back to work on Monday, while Clara and Lucy started Term 4 on Tuesday. Then, Tim went to Canberra again on Thursday, and came back Friday. So, the update rate for the Red Centre pages has slowed - but there is some new content (both text and pictures, plus we added Lucy's drawing of Uluru to the Uluru Pictures page; she didn't want us to put it up until she had finished touching it up a bit.) We also received our didgeridoo from Andrew Langford this week, and Tim and Clara wasted no time starting to practice. They can both make didge-like sounds, but the circular breathing (breathing in at the same time you are blowing out, so you can make continuous sounds) will take time!

October 21-27, 2002 - Routine - and More Red Center Pictures: Another normal week - busy! The girls are settled back into the school routine now. Sandy has started another sewing project with Clara's Year 3 class, and spent a lot of time before and after our holidays planning, acquiring fabric, trial-running the project with Clara, making up kits for all the girls, and finally starting the project. She has three other moms helping part-time for this project, which helps, but she's still spent 4 days working with the class already. We put up a couple pictures of the girls (looking kind of stiff...) dressed for school in their summer uniforms on the Oz pictures page - or you can see them here and here. We've also been having some more birds visiting our Jacaranda tree, including Lorikeets and Kookaburras.

Tim has had a couple of scotch club meetings this week, and went to an interstingly-named pub for lunch one day when a visiting colleague from the states was in town - an English place called "The Slug 'n' Lettuce." Not a name designed to be attractive to people from the Pacific Northwest, where slugs are everywhere and into everything! Otherwise, his work continues on an even keel. He's starting to get organized to do some serious fly tying in preparation for our next trip to the Snowy Mountains and the Thredbo River area.

Clara also has another big project starting, hopefully not as all-consuming as the India project last term - this one involves picking a book, reading it, then doing a variety of activities related to the book. Clara chose the third book in the Harry Potter series, since she had already started it. She's read most of it in her spare minutes over the past week. She also will be playing a violin solo in a concert at Wilderness next week, so she's been practicing and memorizing music. Meanwhile, Lucy has been working on her part for the Christmas Show - she (and the rest of the Reception class) will be singing 14 (fourteen!!) Christmas Carols. So, Sandy and Lucy have been listening to CDs, to allow Lucy to get the melodies down as best she can.

It seems hard these days to turn on the radio or TV, or open a newspaper without hearing of some new tragedy. In addition to all the events in the US and elsewhere such as Russia, there is considerable cause for grief in Australia as well. Two weeks ago, Australia suffered their own "September 11" incident, in Bali (a popular destination for Australian tourists), where a nightclub was bombed by terrorists. The complete toll is still unknown, but 190 are known dead; of these, 52 have been identified with 30 Australians among them; many more of the as-yet-unidentified are expected to be Australian as well (92 are thought dead or missing). Proportionally, for a small country such as Australia (under 20 million), this is a very large number. Last week, there was the shooting at Monash University, where a student opened fire with two handguns, killing 2 and wounding 5 before being subdued. Then just a couple days ago, The Ghan (the train we took to Alice Springs just a few short weeks ago) was leaving Adelaide heading north and was involved in a crossing accident in Salisbury, just a few miles from where Tim works. Traffic had clogged, and a car and bus had pulled onto the railroad tracks shortly before the train came through; while the driver of the car escaped, the bus was hit and flipped, killing 4 and injuring many more.

In addition to the above, the drought has been continuing in the east, with huge dust storms the result. Bush fires have continued to worsen as well. The combination has made life in Sydney fairly miserable much of the time, with clouds of smoke and dust covering the city, and combining with the worst grass pollen season in a long time. But just for variety - when Tim went to Canberra last week, he stepped off the plane to see most of the cars completely coated with red mud - one of the huge dust storms from western New South Wales had collided with a rain storm over Canberra to coat everything in sight. The combination of man-made and natural disasters certainly makes us appreciate our life, and the fact that we and those close to us are also safe and well.

Sunday afternoon, we had a welcome-to-the-neighborhood get-together for our new British neighbors (they just arrived from Thailand, were he worked for Holden in the plant that built Sandy's Zafira - talk about coincidences!) Our New Zealander neighbors from across the street also came, and the kids had a mini-Halloween celebration, playing bobbing-for-apples and collecting candy--around the family room. We've also finally managed to finish (as much as it can be) the Red Centre pages. We added a few more pictures, and changed / added text in a few places. To see it in it's final form, click here.

October 28 - November 3, 2002 - Getting Ready for Christmas: Monday, Tim took the day off so that he and Sandy could go downtown to do Christmas shopping.

This was also the week that Daylight Savings Time kicked in here, and ended in the States. While that makes it harder for us to get up in the morning, it makes Tim's job a little easier, since the time difference is only 5 1/2 hours between Adelaide and Seattle now - more overlap means the Australians can sleep in a little later and the folks in Seattle can go home a bit earlier.

Tuesday evening Sandy and several of the ladies from our street went out again for a movie and late dinner afterwards. Everyone had a fun evening, so it looks like this might become a regular event.

We got some exciting news from our German next door neighbors, Hermann and Marianne - one of Marianne's red rose bushes won first prize at the Adelaide Rose Festival this week. Thursday, the seven kids in the immediate vicinity, Clara, Lucy, William, Francesca, Sam, Riley and a visiting friend Nicholas, all dressed up in whatever they could find, and went trick-or-treating to a handful of houses on our street--but trick-or-treating in the bright sunshine just didn't seem natural.

We also managed to get a couple more pictures on the website from the "Fur and Feathers" birthday party that Lucy went to several weeks ago. Here is Lucy holding a King Parrot, and here is Lucy "wearing" a python.

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Last web page update was November 10, 2002.

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