Second Autumnal April (still a contradiction in terms), after a long glorious summer – turns out I LOVE the heat, at least the dry stuff we get out on the central tablelands – leaves are putting on a grand display.

Been ages since I posted anything – mostly because every spare moment has been book writing, but I just sent 4 (almost finished) chapters off to the editor so time for a catch-up. This has meant that I’ve appreciated the long summer only in sidelong glances from the computer screen and haven’t really had a break since November. On the other hand there is a certain kind of happiness from doing what you’re meant to do and even though the book has been so much harder to write than I expected, I haven’t resented it for a second. I just want it out in the world – so curious to see what if any life it has out there. My internal critic already has a review: “some interesting if odd, ideas, marred by unnecessary personal revelations and somewhat rambling patches”. Have to hope the ideas outweigh the embarrassment. Anyway still got a way to go tidying the text, chasing references, reformatting to requirements.

And work has been completely flat out since Feb, as I’m caught in the whirlwind of a massive undergraduate course review; it seemed such a good idea last year to offer my help in writing and co ordinating the new subjects that needed preparing. Didn’t realise that included almost every subject taught in the School, as documents need to be brought in line with new quality frameworks and benchmarks. Every week brings new surprises in timing, content and expectations- I realise I’m OK with the unexpected but get mighty cheesed off when ambushed by the utterly predictable. Still, I think we’ll have a Rolls Royce of a course when all’s done (Oh dear, they’re obsolete now aren’t they?).

Other thoughts include awareness of the gulf between how people here think life is in UK and how friends and papers actually report it – not so much Downton Abbey as Hard Times I reckon. A report last week says Australians ( 5% growth, minimal unemployment, small debt) compare themselves unfavourably to Britons on a range of indicators – what are they thinking??? Can’t afford a pool this year?? V odd self perception, must be part of some deeper narrative I haven’t fathomed. Still to be fair UK friends seem to think I spend my life on the beach (200km away). I wish.

Best part of recent weeks has been on/off presence of my lovely nephew Flynn, currently based in Sydney with his Parkour chums. Been grand showing off Sydney Harbour and the Blue Mountains, made me really appreciate the wonder of where I live.