Drove 700 kms (I did the last stint) yesterday to attend a university wide conference on education – beautiful country, open, bright, green. Realise I know three Australian forms of nature: kangaroo, jacaranda trees and kookaburra. Alas the only kangaroo I’ve seen was dead by the side of the road (apparently there’s a number you can ring if you hit one with the car – a team will come out and either rescue or destroy the animal; sad but impressive). Saw loads of jacaranda trees but was woozy with the intensity of the sunlight – not too hot, just too strong (it reddened my skin through a linen shirt leaving white bra straps!) so forgot to take pictures. Plus long drive, hours since breakfast and SO much information – every scene imprints itself stacking up waiting to be processed. We stopped at Wagga Wagga , only a four hour drive away where the other half of our school is located (!) and looked round their TV studios, art gallery and theatre there – terrific provision and interesting buildings.

But none of the them as brilliant as the purpose built circus school we saw last night at Albury Wadonga, down near the Victoria borders. It’s the home of the Fruit Flies circus, the seedbed of Australian circus arts it seems – our colleague and fellow traveller Dan is a delightful man, circus performer, trainer and now teacher, and we were there on his invite. The space is vast and when we arrived the skies were full of trapeze artistes rehearsing routines – no flash photos please. Got given a grand tour by Marcus the director who took my denial of vertigo at face value, so I ended up 9 metres above the studio floor on a mesh walkway. Not too proud to hold on – eventually I was able to look down and even take my camera out the bag to record the moment.

Better stop now as I have a presentation to prepare for tomorrow and am simply exhausted by all this new experience (not complaining, it’s what I came for)………… BTW if you read this on FB you might want to follow it from joinoz.wordpress.com as FB are breaking links with blogs from November 22.