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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Wonderful Land of Oz

I started this blog in mid-May and I have now written 135 posts (make this one 136). So far I've been fairly faithful in following my schedule, but it's time for a departure. For the rest of November, I'm going to write random thoughts about things that interest me, bother me, or just tweak my imagination. It should be an interesting ride. I invite you to come along.

My topic today is Australia. Upside down seasons, varieties of 'roos, bell birds, animals that look like walking oven gloves with spikes (I'm talking about echidnas here, people -- sort of marsupial porcupines), . . . what's not to love about the Land Down Under?

The dh and I visited briefly during ten charmed days in the middle 1990s. Since one does not see a continent in ten days, we contented ourselves with trying to see the best of Melbourne, Victoria and Tasmania -- still too much, but a bit easier to attempt. The experience was amazing.

I learned so much in such a few short days. I learned that people who drive on the left also walk on the left (who knew?) and look very strangely at folks coming at them on the right side of the walk. I learned that wombats (essentially 90-pound gophers) can rip the undercarriage out of a car that hits them in the road, get up and shake themselves, and then go merrily on their way. I learned that Victoria looks much like northern California -- except for the flocks of cockatoos flying overhead. I learned I love Australia!

The wonderful Land of Oz has been much on my mind of late. I'm working on a new book, an historical novel, that begins in Sydney in the middle 1850s. Loosely based on the true story of my great-great-grandparents, the story has me steeped in the wonders of that magical land.

I can't imagine a more fascinating place to be.

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