New meaning for PR in my life: I’ve started the permanent residency process. Spent Thursday morning in Sydney with all the other people who hope to make Australia their home – all very pleasant and efficient (unlike the horrible offshore camps where desperate refugees are warehoused). Lots of forms to fill (including citizen status of parents, living and deceased!) – decided to start with medical in case general feebleness and old age present insuperable barriers. I sense not – white, British and employer-sponsored, so shd be OK. And as the beautiful Australian summer lingers on, I can really see the point. Getting more grateful for Bathurst posting (at last) as the dry inland heat is not only bearable, it’s really rather lovely. Coast is much more humid which makes lower temperatures harder to cope with.A few sticky days when the brain melts but I’ve managed to keep writing through the summer – got 7 nearly finished chapters now, 3 to go. I know there are potholes flagged behind me which I’ll need to tidy up and fill in later. Then there’s the joy of referencing (finding the author, title, publication and/or page simply ceases to exist under scrutiny)…. But am reasonably on track to complete full draft by end of March. Well, I say that, but am about to be derailed by fast approaching new academic year and the much more joyous arrival in a couple of weeks of my beloved nephew Flynn on the first leg of his global wanderings. Suspect I’ll mainly be a base for his adventures – he’s a parkour coach and has thousands of FB chums with spare sofas wherever he goes (a return on the welcome hostel my sister provides to passing parkouristas in London). This is him doing his stuff


Got a couple of trips in mind which  we may do together – but have promised I won’t go backpacking with him. So, just got to finish writing, tidy the house, sort his room… Can’t wait. First  family member to make it out.

All being well, I’ll see the rest in June as I have papers accepted for the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in London and the Barcelona PR conference the following week (so add writing full papers to the To Do list). Should have time to do whirlwind catchup with friends too.

As the new academic year gets going I do have a sense of being in the right place – I’ve got interesting work as Course Director of the Doctor of Communication and will be part of the team re writing the whole undergraduate programme this session – so should keep me out of trouble (not that Bathurst is exactly a hothouse of temptations). I think I’m setting up a balance between work and little jaunts out of town – the Hawkesbury, a bush retreat coming up and a trip back to Jervis Bay all planned before end of April. Like I say, no riots but pretty productive.