Blue Mountains, back and beyond...

Trip Start Jan 13, 2010
Trip End Mar 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
with Mick & Trish and Larry & Casey

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

After the hot physical exertions of  circuits, fishing, tennis finals and general adjustments to the pace of Sydney life, we headed for the cooler hills to catch our breath. The Blue Mountains in fact where Larry and Casey’s retreat was very kindly offered, appropriately as it turned out in the light so to speak, of our second blue moon on the 30th Jan in Sydney.  Lydia, our family astronomer, while explaining the rare and remarkable significance of a second blue moon in a month took some astonishing pictures of a hazy golden globe on a mysteriously uninteresting matt black background which we decided not to publish in the interests of her artistic reputation.  (However, these esoteric masterpieces will be available for a private viewing by the family on our return.)  
Larry took time off to meet us at his house in Blackheath and give us a guided tour on arrival of all the possibilities had we but a month or two to explore. We were bowled over by the Blue Mountains.  Not just by the sudden vertiginous gorges, the birds and flora, but by all the creative possibilities of time there.   For example, I revisited Eliot’s 4 Quartets after nearly half a century and would be delighted to enter into dialogue with anyone so inclined should they have the idle hours  which we clearly do. (Greg though, if he’s nothing better to do, might care to compare the old man the father and son meet on Cormack McArthy’s  Road  with the one in Little Gidding.)  In the all-too-short time we spent in the mountains, the highlight was probably our Braeside walk which was so reminiscent of the Heather Track at Rannoch  until we came upon the Bridal Veils Fall (visible in the background of the me & Larry shot at Govett’s Leap).  The revealed drop here was so shocking that, reluctant though we may be to confess it, we clutched spontaneously to each other, sat on the bench some 10 yards back from the precipice, each egging the other to take a peek over the very solid railings. Herbert had a go in the end.  The pics will tell their own story.  Particularly the ones of Mum desperately necking her Singapore Sling at the very safe, reassuringly comfortable and colonial Carrington Hotel later that day.
We returned to Sydney for our night at the opera with Trish, Mick and Des: Massenet’s Manon, a wonderful experience.  The cultural days continued with Mao’s Last Dancer at the cinema in Avalon, before a memorable final lunch party at Trish & Mick’s on the Saturday with Des, Tracy (an old friend), Mick’s colleague Kim, dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and her partner Cynthia,  Bruce Beresford (directed must-see Mao’s Last Dancer) and his novelist wife Virginia. The leisurely, delicious lunch was dramatic with the accompaniment of a torrential rain deluge which even silenced the kookaburras.  We sadly left the following day for Sydney where we spent the afternoon in the Art Gallery of New South Wales before our final dinner party hosted by Larry and Casey (see photo) for which Mick, Trish, Des and Tracy joined us. We said sad farewells to all with enormous thanks for wonderful hospitality throughout our stay. Larry capped it all by getting out of bed at an unreasonable hour to put us on our Christchurch flight at break of day.  If they’ll have us, we hope to be back some day.
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Greg on

Looking forward to discussing the Road and seeing Mum's exclusive photography collection at Easter!

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