[This was originally written and sent out in occasional installments, as the trip was taking place. With one exception, the text hasn’t been altered (except to correct typographical errors) but the photos have been added. A lot of photos. I did add a final section, just to be able to show you the photos of this spot Genny went out to one day while I was workingI . You’ll see why I posted it when you get to it.]
It’s Sunday morning as I write this. Saturday afternoon by
While waiting to board, we noticed a group of young women in sports-style wheelchairs being preboarded. They each wore a jacket with “
I found the nearest flight attendant who turned my problem over to the purser. I told him I didn’t want to make her move but really wanted an aisle seat. He went to talk to the woman in my seat. He came back several minutes later and I could read on his face the bottom line of what transpired. He was going to make her move then realized, after discussion with her and possibly others that Qantas really didn’t want the bad press of having made a wheelchair-bound woman move. They found me another aisle seat. Fine by
Much time passes. We made it to
Eventually, we made it to
Andrew Dillon, the producer-director of my film/show, picked us up. He drove us to the short-term apartment he’d rented for us, admitting he’d never been there but it was in a good, central area near (if you call a kilometer near) lots of restaurants and shops. It was small but fine. I think we’d have been happier if it had been a half-step nicer but we’ll be fine. Or had WiFi. (When I’ve been able to get on-line from the apartment, it’s from someone’s nearby unlocked WiFi set-up. Unfortunately, it’s pretty weak and I can’t always get it to work.) We dropped off our bags and off and all went to breakfast, which turned out to be my first meeting of the trip. About 40 minutes after getting off the plane. Oy.
Andrew Dillon, during one of our meetings later in the trip.
The meeting was fairly informal and was with Andrew and Bobby Farquhar, one of our stars. Bobby has been a ballet dancer, a martial artist, and an actor. He also runs the
Cat who lives two doors down from our temporary apartment. Some occupants of the building are obviously here longer than others.
That evening at 5:30, we got picked up by a Donna Hanson, a local fan and the editor of several SF anthologies and non-fiction books. She’s also an aspiring novelist. She took us to dinner and then to the monthly meeting of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, a group of professional writers and some aspiring. The dinner was great, at a very good restaurant called Sage, with half a dozen folks from the CSFG. It seems, being the nation’s capital, an awful lot of folks – including several of the ones at dinner – work for the government in one capacity or another.
Clockwise from left front: Genny, me, Robert (Bob) Phillips, Val Toh, Donna Hanson, Kylie Seluka
After dinner, we walked over to the room where the CSFG meets. I was their guest speaker. They’d asked me in advance of our trip if I would do it and I told them I couldn’t promise to be awake or, if I was awake, coherent but I’d try.
Things went quite well, actually. It was more of a ramble than a talk. I didn’t have a prepared speech. And there were a few times I’d get most of the way through an anecdote then think “why am I telling this story?” but usually found my way. They all seemed to enjoy it. Around 10:00, the evening was called to an end despite there being many questions still waiting to be asked and answered.
Donna offered to take us by a supermarket on the way back to our apartment. Despite being tired, we accepted her offer. One of the nice things about staying in an apartment rather than a hotel room is the presence of a kitchen. You don’t have to go out for three meals a day. Food in
Thursday morning, Genny and I were picked up by Andrew and off we went to meet Bobby again. This time we met at the Canberra Centre, a large shopping mall in the middle of downtown
Conference room in the production office, during a rare break
Eventually, Andrew brought me back to the apartment. Genny, inspired by the tales of all the local Canberrans who told us how they walk to work, walk here, and walk there, Genny decided to walk back from town to our apartment. She hadn’t quite realized how far away it was – about six kilometers. It was a lovely walk, passed many parks and such. But a long way none the less.
That night, Donna picked us up again and took us to the opening evening of a three-plus day writers event being held in
That's enough for one message. More to come.
Friday morning, Andrew picked me up again. In the car was Nicholas Hope, another of our stars, who’d just flown in from
(According to the locals, kangaroos are incredibly stupid. They’re always hopping into traffic and getting killed. At one point, I saw a sign that said “Warning: Accident Zone” and had a picture of a kangaroo.)
We needed to shoot some scenes with Nicholas for a promo reel we’re putting together. The full shoot is now scheduled for August but Nicholas will be out of the country so we’re picking him up now. Nicholas did a great job and Bobby read opposite him from off-camera. We got some good stuff. We also shot interviews with Nicholas and Bobby for the website and DVD purposes. I wrote the questions and gave them to the 18 year old daughter of one of the crew to ask. (For a show aimed at a teen+ audience, I thought a younger, prettier interviewer would be better than any of us.) It turned out Andrew also wanted to get an on-camera interview with me, though I hadn’t written any questions for that, so Pru – our interviewer – and the crew made them up and threw them at me as we went. We wrapped in the early afternoon and I got taken back to the apartment.
That evening, we got picked up and taken to dinner with Andrew, several members of the key crew, Bobby and his son, and a few other people. A big family-style Thai dinner in the same downtown
Movie tickets are even more expensive in
Saturday morning I got picked up and went to a production meeting with Andrew, Richard our producer/UPM, and a couple other key crew. Andrew produced a photocopy of a story that had appeared in the morning paper. A reporter for the Canberra Times had been at our shoot on Friday and there was an article in Saturday’s paper about us. It was mostly accurate, too.
I was sitting with my shiny new laptop so immediately went to the paper’s website. But the
Our meeting ran longer than scheduled by a couple hours so Genny and I ended up not being able to go sightseeing in the afternoon as we’d planned. Genny did wander around a bit in the morning and took a ride out into the countryside with Donna, who was taking her son to a birthday party out that way. Ironically, it was in the area where I’d been for our production meeting.
Genny got home in the late afternoon and we discussed our plans for our time in
Sunday, I “had the morning off” so once again, Donna (who’s been doing far more than we could ever expect or imagine) picked us up and took us to the Old Bus Depot Markets, a crafts and food fair in, well, you can figure that part out. It was nice, significantly smaller than the Strawberry Festival, but – not surprisingly – with a lot of stuff we don’t see in L.A.-area craft fairs. Including wool. Lots of wool ready for knitting. We picked up a couple gifts while we were there.
Then it was off to the
We then took Donna to lunch at All Things Chocolate. While they specialize in chocolate candies and pastries and such, they also have a small but very nice selection of non-chocolate items. We all ended up ordering the hot ham and jelly croissants and Donna and I each had a cup of hot dark chocolate whilst (see; there’s some Australian slipping in) Genny had the hot gia chocolate, a chocolate hazelnut drink. All were swell.
Then it was off to the
It’s an object lesson for science fiction fans. The CRM started out as a group of steam train nuts who’d gather once a month back in the mid-60s to talk about trains and show each other slides. Then, in the early ‘70s, the
Donna brought us back to the apartment where we were then picked up by Andrew to go to a barbecue at his house (they really do love their “barbies”, mate). I would have invited Donna to come with us to the barbecue if it had been a big party but it was just going to be Andrew and his family, us, and about three other people involved with the film. On the way out and back to his place, we saw many kangaroos, some alone and others in herds/crowds/bunches/pouches/whatever you call them.
I haven’t mentioned that there are lots of birds here. Lots that you don’t see in the
More in a few days.
I haven’t mentioned the weather. It’s cold here. Genny would say it’s freezing. It’s winter down under and here in
Monday we had the day free for sightseeing. Donna had her daughter, Erana, call and ask if she could take us to Questacon, the science museum. That sounded like fun and she soon picked us up and away we went.
Questacon is really cool. It’s very much aimed at kids but it’s a pretty terrific science museum. Virtually everything is hands-on and lots of stuff done in a “game” style. There’s a gravity/weightlessness exhibit in one of the first galleries. They have you take off your shoes, put on a jumpsuit over your clothes, and climb up to the top of a two-story-ish tall platform. There you grab hold of a bar (like you or someone might use for chin-ups) and lower yourself out a window until you’re hanging from the bar. You’re hanging over a giant slide, only the first, say, story and a half is back from you. Then they have you let go. They claim there’s a sense of weightlessness as you drop. Genny screamed pretty good as she was dropping down. Then you gently come in contact with the slide and it’s pretty much like a playground slide only you’re going fast enough you travel about 20 feet or so along its horizontal length. I, of course, was, ahem, far too much of a gentleman, cough cough, to do it myself and show Genny up by not screaming. Yeah. Uh-huh. Really. Cough cough. But I did get a couple pictures. One of Genny hanging there and one as a speeding blur. She said it was great but the girl in her mid-20s who did it just before Genny said her heart was still pounding. And there was that scream…
Genny on the "weightless slide" at Questacon. The slide is actually a foot or so behind you as you drop and it comes out to meet you several feet down.
Anyway, we had a great time exploring Questacon for a couple of hours and then we caught up with Erana and her 18 month old daughter, who’d been in the Extremely Little Children’s part of the museum. After a trip through the gift shop, we all walked down the block to the National Library. There we bought Erana lunch (and had lunch ourselves). In the Bookshop of the National Library we confirmed what we’d been told earlier: books are really expensive in
Then it was off to Old Parliament House, the former building that
Old Parliament House
Close up of the 3D official crest of
While we waited for the tour to start, I was taken by the fact that
The building, originally built in the late 1920s, is terrific. Lots of hand carved wood paneling, ornate moldings, etc. And different colored carpeting and upholstery – Green for the House side and red for the Senate – because red was more expensive and reserved for the “upper house”. Bob was full of stories about the people who occupied the various offices and reasons for this, that, or the other thing. Some of it just a tad scurrilous.
Erana and Yumi
After we finished the tour, we went around and took a few pictures. Then we went out and got a quick look at the “Aboriginal Tent Embassy”, used by
Part of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy Flag
More of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
After that, we walked back to our apartment. The first part of the trip took us through part of the National Gallery’s sculpture garden.
In the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery
For a sense of scale of the previous photo
The Pond at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden
From there we walked along the lake (a man-made lake in the middle of the city), and then along the road. It was a Long Walk. Several kilometers, longer because it had gotten dark and colder. Especially for Genny, who’d accidentally left her gloves in Erana’s car. Eventually we got home and Genny made us dinner.
Part of the man-made lake in the middle of Canberra
More of the lake as we continued our walk home. It was now getting dark. The area was full of black swans and some type of gull.
A little while later, Donna appeared at our door. She’d picked up Genny’s gloves from Erana (who works evenings as a nurse, so was now at work). She was off to see her mother, who’s ailing after some minor surgery. She invited us to come over to her house later to watch TV. We gladly accepted and about 8:30 walked the two blocks over to her place.
Donna has a lovely home, a townhouse of sorts, she shares with her 12 year old son. (She also has three kids in their 20s, two daughters who live in
Not counting cable and satellite,
Afterward, we walked back home and to sleep.
Tuesday morning, Andrew picked me up and we dropped Genny off at the Australian War Memorial, to sightsee while he and I went back to work. The War Memorial is a large place; somewhere almost everyone has said we should visit. I’m hoping to see it later this trip.
Andrew took me out to the production office, which I’ve mentioned before. It’s an on-line editing, duplicating, and other facility, with several racks of burners and two rooms with, I think, three Avids. It’s on five acres, with the owner's large-ish house off to one side, and the production building off to the other. A large front yard with what would be a swimming pool-size pond if they weren’t in the middle of a multi-year drought, and four dogs and a cat in between it all. In back is the majority of the land, with several horses.
Roger's horses, out back of the production office
Anyway, we were to be off to
Two of Roger's dogs, out front of the office. They're saying, "For God's sake, let us in where it's warm."
Once again, Roger Hagelaar, the owner of DiskTech, the post-production facility, ordered us all hamburgers. Andrew says Roger lives on burgers. The first time he did this, he didn’t ask what we wanted and they came the Australian way: with “the lot”. With everything. And their everything is a lot more than ours. Lettuce and tomato. Cheese. Bacon (though they mean more like Canadian Bacon or Back Bacon, not the kind we have in the
Roger, at work in the back of his facility while we monopolize the front
This time, I asked for just bacon and cheese, lettuce and tomato. In what Andrew and Roger described as a typical Australian way of listening to orders, the burger came with the lettuce, tomato, and bacon. No cheese. Plus beets and onions. *sigh*
Mid-afternoon, we headed back into the city. We dropped off some stuff for printing (Roger had run out of paper) then picked up Robert, our still man. Then it was off to the apartment to get Genny, who had just arrived. She’d walked back from the War Memorial and misjudged where it was and how much time it would take. She’d thought it was closer than Old Parliament house, which we’d walked from the other day. But it was further.
After getting her and our suitcase (we’re staying in
We stopped on the outskirts of
Genny and I ended up sharing a rack of lamb ribs. We’d first had lamb ribs in
Then it was off to downtown
The next day, Genny went off sightseeing in mid-town
We’re staying in
Lorraine Toucani and John Maizels
Meanwhile, we had our “teenage” cast in. (Teenage by
Left to right: Andrew Dillon, Gemma Pranita, Jessica Smith, Kain O'Keefe, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Cooper Drabsch, Adrian Lee, and me
During the course of the day, we did several things. We rehearsed the scenes for the promo reel with the cast, which was cool. The auditions had all been when I was in
Additionally, we had hair and makeup people there and we got them into costumes for publicity photos. We used the camera package to record interviews for use on our website (in progress) and DVDs (to come ((we hope)) ). We used mostly the same questions I’d written for interviews with the two adult regulars that we’d shot back in
We have four recurring bad guys in the show but only two have been cast so far. Of those two, one’s another teenager and the other, a big muscular guy is a former star of both the
Erin Mullally and John "Vulcan" Seru, in front of a cool building we're using as a location
Things went really well and we think we got everything we need.
At the end of a long day, we wrapped the location and Andrew drove me up to Chatswood to join Genny and
Eventually, we went off to the guest room and to bed. I had a meeting at an animation company in Sydney scheduled in the late morning but other than that, the next few days were to be dedicated to sightseeing.
That’s all for this chapter. Return to this theater next week for another exciting chapter of Australia Calling.
Thursday morning we got up and, after breakfast, took the train into the city center with
Then I went off to my meeting while she continued looking around the area. My meeting ran long. After an hour and a half, Genny showed up looking for me. (We only have the one phone in
We walked through the city for a while then went into Paddy’s Market. It’s a large indoor hall with about 800 booths selling a variety of stuff from Aboriginal art (original and simulations) to tee-shirts. We wandered through there for a bit and picked up a few souvenirs.
From there we went to the
Part of the Space exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum. The shiny silver ball is a replica of Sputnik 1 and was one of many such replicas on display.
We then went through most of the rest of that level, with displays on radiation and chemistry, fireworks, robotics, etc. etc. We made it through most of the first floor and then went up to the third floor. We walked through the early musical instruments display, a steam locomotive and sample cars, the toy robots, an actual Watt steam engine, the “innovation” section (much about inventions, discoveries, and scientific developments by Australians), and had barely made a dent on this floor when a museum employee came around to tell us the museum was closing.
We left the museum to walk over to the train station. Our plan was to take
Eventually we got to the train station and caught the train back to Chatswood.
As I think I mentioned, my email access in
While we were walking around the
Sydney Opera House, from the ferry taking us out to the Taronga Zoo
The ferry docks at the foot of the hill on which the zoo is built and you take a sky tram up the hill to the main entrance to the zoo. A cool view can be had back toward the city and, looking down, at the elephant enclosure and others.
The view back toward Sydney from the Taronga Zoo sky tram
You may have noticed a pattern in these trip reports. Things are expensive in
We stopped at the Visitor Information booth and got a map. The zoo winds its way from the top of the hill down to the bottom, where you can walk out to the dock to catch the ferry. We started at the top and went through Wild Australia, with lots of indigenous Aussie animals in very close enclosures. It wasn’t quite possible to reach out and touch them but it wouldn’t have taken too much effort to reach the roos and wallabies and koalas and such.
Kangaroo so close he's almost daring us to try to touch him
We then wandered around looking for other exhibits of interest. It’s a poorly laid out zoo, with lots of tree and bush lined pathways running from one side to another with one or no enclosures along the way. And if the particular animal isn’t out on display, it seems like you’re going a long way for nothing. Also, instead of every pathway connecting into another (if not several others), unlike most zoos, a number of the pathways at Taronga are deadends.
Giraffe in the Taronga Zoo with the Sydney skyline, including the Opera House, in the distance across the bay
We frequently had trouble figuring out where we were and at one point I stopped a couple of zoo employees and asked them for help. They looked at our map and said “That’s a terrible map. The zoo isn’t laid out like that at all.” They gave us directions and we went our separate ways.
I just really like this picture
Genny was getting quite frustrated because a number of enclosures didn’t have any animals in them. It’s one thing with small animals but there were no visible gorillas, no visible Orangs, no visible gibbons, in their respective enclosures. And these weren’t gigantic enclosures with lots of hidden areas. She got to the point of saying “let’s just go” but I said that I wanted to try for the otters and red pandas, each of which was shown on the map. She said okay but then we got to the lion enclosure and there were none to be seen. Now she was completely fed up and started to walk away. I called to her to turn around. Just as she’d walked off, the male lion had come out from I-can’t-figure-out-where and walked right up to the glass and stopped. Genny came back over. The lion, after being watched by the crowd for a couple moments, took a few steps and let another group gaze upon him. Then he dutifully turned face on and roared. Then the lioness came out to be seen.
More pleased with the zoo, we continued on and ended up finding a few highly populated routes. We found the otter enclosure, with five river otters. The red panda enclosure only had one red panda, but he was possibly the most active red panda I’ve ever seen, coming but the fence several times, walking up onto easily seen branches, etc. I took many photos and a couple of short movies.
An assortment of photos from the Taronga Zoo. I had them artfully laid out but can't figure out how to do anything but one over the other on this blog.
The female lion posed so graciously
I know what you're thinking...
Red pandas are my favorite exotic animal
And this guy was as active as any red panda I've seen in any zoo anywhere
In packing, we forgot to take extra batteries and the set in the camera died while we were at the zoo. Four AA batteries cost me $10 at the zoo’s gift shop. (Later during our stay in
I dare you to touch that pole with your tongue
Eventually, we decided we wanted to make the 3:15 ferry. If we missed it, the next wouldn’t be until 4:45, and that would be the last one on the ferry line we were using. So we hiked back up to the top of the zoo, in order to go to the gift shop, where Genny talked me into buying more stuffed animals than I probably should have. (They were a favorite brand, Hansa, at quite good prices. We didn’t buy anything BIG. But we did buy several, of various Aussie animals we’d seen here or elsewhere.) Then it was back in the sky tram for the ride down the hill to the ferry dock. About 15 minutes later, the ferry came. What we didn’t know when we choose this ferry line was that they don’t go straight back. They stop at Circular Quay and three other places around the harbor area before they get back to the
It was now late enough that we couldn’t really go anywhere else – we’d hoped to get another hour or so at the
Saturday morning, John returned from
Due to scheduled track repairs, the trains weren’t running on the
From there, we walked out to
Wildlife World and the Sydney Aquarium as seen from the ferry taking us out to the Taronga Zoo
Prior to coming to
Each of the places was pretty great. They’re run by the same company, Sydney Attractions, and they do a good job.
We went to the Aquarium first and saw all manner of aquatic life mostly creatures that are from
Craig about to be eaten by the entrance to the Sydney Aquarium
An assortment of photos from the Sydney Aquarium
Clownfish obligingly posing in a Finding Nemo sort of way
A platypus, who swim with their eyes, noses, and mouths closed, flailing blindly while they hunt for food. Let "intelligent design" explain that
From the Aquarium, we went over to Wildlife World. I’d have liked it better if the first floor wasn't devoted to bugs and snakes. Lots and lots of bugs and snakes. (Behind glass, thankfully.)
Finally, we got to the other floors, with lots of Australian animals, roos to wombats to an assortment of colorful birds. Echidnas, emus, and sugar gliders. All sorts of animals. There was also a large room filled with butterflies.
Genny on the other side of the koala enclosure, with intervening koala
Kangaroos eating their veggies
Butterflies begatting butterflies
After Wildlife World, we went back to the Aquarium for a bit. (The tickets were full day tickets, so we could go in and out as we pleased.)
Between the two places, many photos were taken. As you can tell.
It got to be late so we hiked back through Chinatown, picking up more desserts, and caught the Bus-in-lieu-of-the-train that
John picked us up at the train station this time. We went back and they were making a leg of lamb. The four of us had a delightful dinner, John telling us about his time in
John suggested we all go out to a movie. In a nearby
We raced off to the theater and got in just as the organist started playing.. It was a very large, very ornate theater and the sound was really good. (The seats weren’t as comfortable as they might be but not terrible.)
The movie we saw was a little out of place – Mongol – although it was quite good.
Then home and to bed.
Sunday morning, we had a lovely breakfast, complete with lox and bagels. The lox was imported from
After breakfast, we packed, and John and
Three and a quarter hours later, about 4:00 pm, we were in
After she left, we walked over to the Fyshwick Markets nearby our apartment.. This is a collection of shops, mainly produce or meats or seafood, with a couple of bakeries. We tried to find a dessert or something to take over with us, so as not to come empty handed. But the markets are only open Thursday through Sunday, and by Sunday afternoon, the shopkeepers are deep discounting everything. We did pick up some produce for our apartment (including a package of “cherry tomatoes,” the smallest of which was at least double the size of anything called a cherry tomato in the
Eventually, we got to Donna’s and dinner was great. The first course was a cream of cauliflower soup made from scratch. Genny and I were both trepidatious. Neither of us likes cauliflower. But the soup was great. Donna seems talented at everything she does. The rest of dinner was excellent as well. Donna’s daughter left, racing to get home before her boyfriend ate the ice cream he’d bought for her. Her son was sent off to bed. We stayed and chatted over tea for a bit, then walked home.
Will they survive? Is Donna stalking them, or are they stalking Donna? Tune in for our next exciting episode.
Now that we’re back in
Selecting from the 1,000+ photos that were taken at the photo shoot in
Editing the interviews with the actors as well as editing Nicholas Hope’s scene into a reel with the storyboards (Andrew working the Avid, me commenting and making suggestions).
Working with the layout company on the “bible/presentation” going out to distributors and international networks/channels, etc.
Notes for some re-writes on the script (and while I don’t agree with all of Andrew’s suggestions, he’s more than willing to discuss them all and I can usually talk him out of the ones I think don’t work. And, of course, some of his notes are good and I’m happy to make them.)
Working with Chucky Kenway, our storyboard artist. (Chucky did the boards for Babe, Mad Max, The Matrix trilogy, among others.)
Etc. Etc. Etc.
The sandwich shop out here in Murrumbateman (it’s a semi-rural suburb about 30 kilometers from the center of
Genny’s been on her own, sightseeing and shopping, during the days I was working. Another fan, Chris Andrews, took her to the
Truthfully, I’m not completely sure what she did the other days. At least not specifically. Although I know there was shopping. And Friday she spent part of the day packing for our early Sunday morning flight home.
One of the writers we’d met the first night we were in
Val is a psychologist who works for the Australian military. Mike is a trainer, like Genny, so they hit it off. And his company might even have some work for her. They have a great big white, fluffy Samoyed dog named Buffy (for guess who?). Dinner was great and had a main course of roast kangaroo. Donna put the lie to the American image of Australians we have that the national dish is roo: this was the first time she’d eaten kangaroo..
Val Toh and her husband Mark Richards
On Wednesday, though, I got the day off. Donna told us on Sunday that she’d arranged to take the day off on Wednesday and offered to drive us into the countryside to see a different part of the area. So Monday, I told Andrew I’d like to get Wednesday off, and so it was arranged.
Donna picked us up around 10:30 am and we drove out to Tidbinbilla, an area around 40 km outside of town. Our first stop was the Deep Space Telescope complex. It’s not the one depicted in The Dish, the movie about
The entrance to the Deep Space telescope complex
Here there are four large radio telescopes, the largest being 70 meters across. In the midst of them all is a small space museum, mostly containing reproductions of lunar and Mars landers (including a photo showing three different Mars landers, including the upcoming one Noel’s brother is a project manager for). But there are also a number of “actual” space items, like moon rocks and uniforms and the actual switch thrown at the last moment so the video from the surface of the moon, sent by the Apollo 12 astronauts, wouldn’t be upside-down. The whole thing is free to explore. There’s a snack bar/restaurant called the Moon Rock Cafe there and we bought Donna lunch.
Donna Hanson and Genny outside the Moon Rock Cafe
We next headed on to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, a few kilometers away. Here there’s a 28 km roadway that runs through and around the reserve, from which you can see animals wandering about. There are also parking areas every now and then, where you can park and take nature walks or see “enclosures” with different animals.A mob of kangaroos at Tidbinbilla
There were a couple of emus walking along the rode at one point, and several different size groups of kangaroos, among many other animals. Donna said it was the first time she’d seen a platypus not in an aquarium or zoo.
An emu walking along the road that runs through the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Donna Hanson and me walking through Tidbinbilla
That evening, we took Donna to a fancy-ish “bush tucka” restaurant we’d heard about. The restaurant describes itself as “modern and native Australian” but apparently the local term for it is “bush tucker”. Crocodile, kangaroo, emu, barramundi, and various native herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables. Among the appetizers (“entrees” in
Thursday night, Genny and I ate at home. Friday evening – tonight as I write this – Donna is having a party of the local SF crowd in our honor. Saturday, Andrew and his family and Genny and I will drive down to Bateman’s Bay on the coast (about a 2 hour drive) where we’ll visit with one of the investors in our production. He was up in
Part of the beach in Bateman's Bay
Genny helping Andrew's daughter Vanessa search for sea shell "treasure"
The view from the restaurant where we ate lunch in Bateman's Bay
Sunday morning, our flight is scheduled to leave
This is likely the last chance I’ll have to write or post anything so I’m guessing on what’s to come.
See you soon.
Figured I'd let you all know we're home safe and sound. It’s now Sunday, July 6th. We left
We got here with two of our three suitcases; two made the connection between
Lorien Gray kindly picked us up at the airport. We got home and dropped off the luggage that landed with us; took Lorien out for breakfast; picked up our cars from my mother's driveway (where they were living while we were in
Part The Addendum
One of the days I was working, two of the local science fiction writers group took Genny out sightseeing. Among the places they brought her to was this fence out in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t fence anything off, or in, or out. It was just a fence. It’s a pretty amazing fence. I wasn’t there but thought I really needed to share these photos.
Mik Bennett and Gillian Polack at "the fence"
A closer shot of Mik Bennett and Gillian Polack
Genny and Gillian Polack at "the fence"
All photos by Craig Miller or Genny Dazzo. As you can probably tell, we're not really photographers. We don't often take photos. And even though we brought the camera with us, it didn't really occur to me until well into the trip to carry it around and take pictures. Which is why parts of this are lacking in illustrations. Oh well. Please use your imagination whenever there isn't a photo. And even when there is. -Craig.