OMG I’m in Australia!!! How did THAT happen??? Oh yes, I got in several airplanes and got out here (coming into Dubai airport just like the docking scene from 2001, confirming the space travel sensation). Tracked my progress round the curve of the planet on the TV – and of course it’s time travel as well because this is spring and my body is all keyed up for winter. Carried sun screen, shades and hat in hand luggage ready for Sydney sunshine but it poured, I saw nothing til coming into Bathurst yesterday am. Now it is sunny and hot, so protection deployed, though I keep setting off in the wrong direction, used to navigating by a sun in the south – again poor body confused by reversals. And it’s true what I was told about the visual clarity – almost hallucinogenic detail from distance.

Already seen three rental properties – there’s a scarcity and something of a scrum to secure decent places. Will try not to decide until I’ve seen more – choice between charming houses with scuzzy kithcen/bathroom or full mod cons in nasty little boxes – still hoping for the best of both worlds. We’ll see. (You apply and the landlord selects on unknown criteria.) Meantime my flat in the accommodation warehouse is really lovely, a perfect starter base,  no rush to leave – 12 hour kip last night so feeling saner than yesterday.

Got the banking process started but no luck yet with phone  – bought SIM but unable to unlock my phone as everyone at the phone company’s asleep!

Bathurst seems a nice town – centre has good range of shops & cafes (only this kebab shop has wifi). Found the supermarkets and the cheap shit shops essential to homebuilding – all much cheaper in reality than it looked online. Apart from the core grid, it’s all stretched out suburbs, but with an odd mix of building styles, many really attractive bungalows with verandahs and old gardens. Plenty of brick buildings – this has been settled by Europeans since 1880s. Everyone extremely friendly – strangers smile and greet each other routinely – and with good friends Pete and Bernie Simmons overseeing my entry into Bathurst society, I’ll be fine. No worries.