So a fortnight in Oz and I've said nothing about it. Basically it can be described in two words: KIDS and PROPERTY.
The first because that's what we were surrounded by most of the time and the second because that seems to be the primary topic of conversation. Which probably makes them this years DrJs-Notable-Aussie-Trend-Which-Didn't-Exist-Last-Year, although it is more likely due to the age group I currently find myself in than any culture-wide phenomenon.
So, in fairness I shall instead declare Drinking Ciders That Aren't Strongbow to be the 2011 DNATWDELY (while admitting I saw this last year as well), joining the 2010 winner: Abusing Red Heads With Terms I'd Never Heard Before; and 2008's: Drinking Only New Zealand Sav Blanc Even If Before You Were A Dedicated Red Wine Lover.
Week One was family, involving DrH weasling his way into the nieces and nephews hearts by being "such a good drawerer", winning over five year old girls with ballerinas and fairies and four year old boys with flying robots and sharks. Even I was surprised at his skill with a half-dried-out texta, but then again, I've never really requested such accomplishments from him myself. Mr Cluckyness also attached himself quite firmly to our youngest niece, a fifteen month old with an almost permanent grin, who had him wrapped around her little finger.
Speaking of my other half, when not doting on young 'uns, he spent a vast amount of time hunting out Bulli's to photograph. For those not yet up on the news, we bought a second VW bus last year as restoring the first was going to be too expensive. Of course, this hasn't turned out easy either and he has the whole thing documented on his very own blog. Go on over, it'll make his day.
Meanwhile, Week Two was mostly dedicated to catching up with friends, which required a certain amount of timetabling skill. To those I missed this time, I'm really sorry, but time was tight and I managed to run myself down quite badly as it was. I'm not yet used to getting exhausted this easily.
The flight home was a bastard, with an eight hour wait in Singapore. This time we were smart and parted with $55sin per head to get a slumberette, a shower and a hot breakfast. While I didn't sleep soundly (the paranoid part of my brain worried about missing my flight and woke me up every hour), it was well worth it. Even for just a two-hour layover, a shower for $8 is heaven, and I'm yet to have less than a five-hour wait when returning from Australia through Changi.
Important note: take ear plugs. The slumberettes are in enclosed (but not locked) spaces in a general area. It's quiet, but you do get snoring. Of course, I don't understand how anyone travels anywhere without ear plugs and eye mask and this would be my Travel Tip Number One. Followed closely by Travel Tip Number Two which is: Make sure you travel with a loving partner so you can sprawl as much over their seat as possible as well.