Helen and I did not get our swimming costumes out of our cases in holidays. Melbourne, before Christmas, was cold, it rained all the time on the Sunshine Coast, and it was cool and wet back in Sydney.

However, time spent with families was great. Everyone seemed pretty well and happy. We had a nice Christmas Day and evening. Mum was introduced to full contact Pictionary after tea.

I was a bit teary saying goodbye to Lyndsey and Sean, as I wandered into the packed Virgin Blue terminal to go back to Sydney. Helen had got us a room with a great view of The Bridge. I got a bit tired of walking and running up and down hills in North Sydney in the mornings (and out at Castle Hill, around Helen’s parent’s place). We did a couple of ferry trips (and an expensive taxi trip to meet friends when the #@$%-ing ferries didn’t turn up!). We caught up with some of Helen’s friends, and relaxed a bit. The trip back to Pennant Hills station took two buses and two trains, courtesy of holiday track works.

Jetstar deposited us in damp Maroochydore, and we collected our little hire car to drive to Mum’s. Every time we went outside it rained. One morning, I was at the “point of no return” on the other side of the canal, and had to walk and jog 4km home in the horizontal rain. However, we did a bit of shopping, and it was good to spend more time with Mum.

We tied up a few loose ends back in Sydney, and I popped into the recruiting fair at Darling Harbour. We flew back with Amy, Helen’s niece, who did very well in her H.S.C.

Today was our third day back at school . Tomorrow we have a holiday for Muslim New Year. Tuesday, the first day back, was very sad, because the senior Elementary PE teacher, an icon in the school, was killed in a traffic accident in the early hours of the morning. His two little kids are still in hospital, but will be okay. We held a Muslim service for him with all the teachers after school, and all the teachers who were not teaching went to the funeral.

Apart from that (!!!), it’s been a smooth start. I’ve been trying to replace my desktop at school and the one at home with my new HP laptop. I’ve got it working on the school network, but not on the Wi-Fi, and not on the internet at home. In addition, I somehow lost Helen’s Nokia phone, with my Indonesian chip in it, on Tuesday. I’ve no idea how it happened.

We’ll probably head up into the hills on the long weekend. The original plan was to drive to Madura, but consensus had it that more than 6 hours in the car wasn’t what we really wanted to do. Hopefully, I’ll be refreshed, and ready to take on a full week, next week.



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