It doesn't feel like xmas here, it's not cold (though right now it is raining) but I know that it is, and I hope you're all enjoying it.
Since I've been rubbish and not done cards or anything I thought I'd say my season's greetings with a bit of an update. No pictures sadly as I can't find a web cafe that'll let me upload mine but there is this one courtesy of a friend from the tour down from Cairns:
...which gives you an idea the kind of reprobates I spent those two weeks hanging out with, as well as showcasing my spectacular new hat :D
So after Fraser Island, which I've told you about a bit by referencing Wikipedia (which I'm afraid I'm going to cop out and do again in a sec,) I went on down the coast to visit (among other places) Byron Bay
where I learned to surf! ...or at least to stand up and keep my balance a couple of times on the board while it rumbled along a wave. I can see how easily one could get hooked on surfing if one lived in the right place, but it's also the first sport in a long time I've tried where my low body mass didn't compensate for my puny upper body, so I missed more waves than I caught simply through not being able to paddle fast enough to catch 'em.
From Byron we came to Sydney, which initially struck me as a bit unfriendly and... well, Big City-ish (d'uh! - I know, but the rest of Oz has been so laid back and friendly, I wasn't prepared...) It's OK though: I got a handle on the place after a few days, helped enormously by having made some good friends on the way down from Cairns (two of whom have invited me for xmas dinner tomorrow, which is great) and in spite of the overwhelming numbers of narcisistic self-involved pricks in this place, I've begun making some more friends here too because while there are a lot of jerks in Sydney there are also a lot of people and some of them are lovely (if you're reading this you know who you are.)
The city itself is great, the weather's not exactly as advertised (rain is forecast for xmas day! boo hiss) but it's very changable so in amongst the grey and drizzle there have been plenty of pretty spectacularly sunny days too (just not tomorrow it seems. *huff*) I've been exploring a fair bit, seen most of the big sights (got some great shots of the Opera House which I will post when I can) visited some stunning coastline, spent a very happy day wandering around Power House
(thanks for the recommendation Eric!) discovered the Botanic gardens which I love (in spite of the sinister and gigantic spiders who live among the succulents and cacti) and I've also been taken to some great non-touristy places by some of the new friends I'm making (Lucy, you were absolutely right there)
So while it doesn't feel
like xmas, I am having a very happy one. I hope everyone else is too.