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I had an amazing holiday. I won't tell you ALL about it because I doubt many of you will give a toss *snort* especially since it was so HOT, but I shall have to rave on a little, so I'll do a cut. It took me quite a while to just read all of your entries since 30th December.

So. Gold Coast, Australia. There was a storm. Storms. Rain. Flooding. The beach was closed. CLOSED! Yes, the mighty Gold Coast was actually closed! The waves were right up to the grass, carving a new sand bank for themselves. The water was wild and brown. We swam in all manner of pools, our place had three different pool areas, and our friends at two other establishments had pools as well. But we longed for the beach a little. We did get there in the end, sat in the sun and played in the sand, and the waves were Rough!

So we went shopping. We went for a drive inland, the Hinterland, my idea, and we (me, I did all the driving) drove along a wild rainy ridge in the bush, we drove round one-lane hairpin bends, we drove down steep roads covered with fallen rock, but then we hit a floodway. See, it doesn't rain that much in Oz, so they just have these flat places where streams can overflow at will, with depth meters at the side (black and white sticks with measurements on them). Here we would build bridges but they don't bother there. So, this road was awash, with a HUGE river swollen and swift above the road, sweeping right across the road and on down the other side. It was scary. The 4WD vehicles pushed through but none of us car drivers were willing! We went back the other way, since one guy suggested we just wait it out as we all stood there in the rain staring at the powerful flow and wishing we had tall cars. It was still raining the next morning! I'm glad we turned around! The children loved the experience.

We went to Dreamworld and Movieworld and I nearly died on 70km/h 20 metre drop log ride at Movieworld. I don't like rides. The children did all the fast rides. I didn't.

Out in the wild, so to speak, we saw turtles and rainbow lorikeets, bats swooping over us at our pool, huge crows, a rhino beetle, giant cockcroaches that could almost outrun us, a crab scuttling out of a suburban driveway a block from the beach (!), spiders, spiders and more spiders, geckos, skinks, ibises, magpies, cockatoos, it was all so exciting.

And speaking of spiders, we were in Zigzag Street (it's a book by Nick) (yes, OMG I did the fannish thing and went there, like eliper did), and the family went with me on a kind of pilgrimage, and every house there had these huge spider webs strung from fence to house, and each one had a big spider in it, and we were screaming! Nick Earls said they are probably golden orbs or something that have really strong webs - he said this: Apparently their webs are the strongest things in nature, leaving silk for dead. I have it on good authority that if you turned golden orb web into a tennis net, it could pull a fighter plane from the sky. And yeah, the minute I hit Brisbane I fell into Nick fan mode even though I tried to suppress it, and I happened to buy his latest teen book at the Inderoopilly Shopping 'Extravaganza' *snort* (the biggest mall in Oz apparently) - and there were two copies of his book and one was signed by him and the co-author, Rebecca Sparrow!! So I bought it and read it, and it was pretty good, a good pace and lots of fun and a lot better that the last book which made me distinctly uncomfortable (for personal reasons I guess), and I finished this one by the next morning and I just had to tell him *g* since you could put $2 in a computer by the front desk in the Brisbane apartment lobby and I had to Google some maps anyway... He is very kind though and doesn't make me feel like a nutcase.

And I wrote, I wrote the whole time we were away, Breathing Space, making bits of it better, but only on paper (no laptop with me) so I have a lot to catch up on. And even if it wasn't good writing and I redid things ten times over, it was nice to be writing. I'd get up before the rest of the family, make coffee, sit out on the little terracotta verandah amongst the huge bamboo trees around our sliding doors and write in peace. It really was a good holiday for that reason alone.

I came home to some nice Christmas form letters (I'm allergic to them but I can see their immense usefulness so I have learnt to embrace them in the spirit in which they were written, I even look forward to Daphne's one these days, hers I've been getting and grimacing over for years now) and some more Christmas cards, thank you kind people who sent those, and wow, a card from Elly-Welly - thanks! So now I know her address!!! I am very lucky. You are kind people. I wish I'd remembered to take all my addresses to Oz... oops.

So we're back. I have a million and one things to do but they will be done slowly and with pleasure. Life is for living. There was a woman in front of us on the plane today who was clearly dying. Today I am grateful today for life ...oh, and Nick. *g*

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
moth2fic
Jan. 12th, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC)
It sounds fantastic!Especially all the wildlife. We've had similar experiences in Spain and Portugal with roads and heavy rain - they just don't bother planning for something that's so rare!
You had a lovely time being a fangirl, didn't you! *g*
And I'm so glad you wrote!!!
It is so cold here. I am jealous!
natesmountain
Jan. 12th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the wildlife is unbelievable over there, the place is teeming with movement everywhere you look. I guess the heat just encourages everything as well!

-You had a lovely time being a fangirl, didn't you! *g*
Yeah, it just snuck out and took hold of me as the car neared Brisbane!

It's amazing over there, you come out of a chilly, airconditioned room or shop and outside it's stifling HOT! Whereas at home we have a warm house and cool weather, or even a house the same temperature as the weather, and over there you have a cool house and it's warm outside. Which is probably the opposite to you! I hope you stay cosy over there.

Mind you, it's pretty warm here. I just threw open the deck doors to drag the now dead Christmas tree outside and I'm only in a t-shirt and shorts.
microjotz
Jan. 12th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Glad you all had a good time.....hope to see some nice pics soon.
natesmountain
Jan. 12th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
Photos! Oh, yeah we took a hundred or two. I'll have to do some serious culling first! Sometimes Christy had the camera and was clicking away. And there were lots of shots of people on fast rides, but by the time the shutter clicked, they would have gone past!

Happy New Year!
vivh
Jan. 12th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
Welcome back, glad you had a great time... I always wanted to go to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, very jealous...
Really glad that you found time to write and relax too!
And I agree with microjotz, I want to see photos!!!
natesmountain
Jan. 12th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Brisbane is lovely, not a big city like Sydney or Melbourne, although it's growing all the time. The drivers are mad. You would love the feel of the place though. And the older suburbs are just delightful, houses on stilts and hills and cute little wrought iron additions... and spider webs!!!

And as I said to Phil, I'll have to cull the couple of hundred pics and select a few reasonable ones!

-Really glad that you found time to write and relax too!
And now that I am relaxed, I have to find a way to stay like that...
vivh
Jan. 12th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
"Lots of pictures" is very good!!! though I suppose a couple of hundred photos might overwhelm LJ a bit!!!

We used to get really big spiderwebs in Vanuatu, and big spiders too... but nothing poisonous, I found them really fascinating!!!

When is school back over there?
natesmountain
Jan. 12th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
OMG I can imagine the wildlife in Vanuatu. Like your crab in the hall story *g* - I do find it all fascinating, but I just couldn't adjust to having it all in my house! I'd have to have screen and spray mania.

School goes back on various days between Feb 1 and 7 I think. Mostly on the 7th after Waitangi Day, probably. I shall have to check that! I will now have three children in three schools.
vivh
Jan. 12th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Vanuatu wildlife was mainly of the creepy crawly variety...but for the large part you learned to ignore it!! - though I do vividly remember the day a gecko and a cockroach had a fight in my living room!!

Hmmm, you've got 4 schools to keep track of including your own...that will be interesting!!!
ringbark
Jan. 12th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Welcome back...I was just saying to Viv today, is Jenny still in Australia? Because I noticed you had been very quiet, and thought that must be the reason.
Pictures. You did take pictures of the floods?
natesmountain
Jan. 12th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
-, is Jenny still in Australia? Because I noticed you had been very quiet, and thought that must be the reason.
Heh! You don't think I have any restraint? *g* Nah, we just got back yesterday. I didn't even sight a computer for twelve days.

-Pictures. You did take pictures of the floods?
Well, we tried to avoid the floods. Over there, it's really dangerous when they do get flooding, because you can't necessarily head for the hills as you would here. But we did take lots of pics of the floodway we couldn't cross that day and the wild beach that was closed! So I'll definitely sort those out!!!
margaret_r
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
It sounds like you had a great time despite the storms! Very glad you got some writing in too.

Your comments on the roads and the flood levels had me nodding and grinning - Australian roads have to be experienced to be appreciated! And the spiders!! I think the Queensland variety are specially designed to freak you out, although I have been told they are harmless. We have the much smaller but far more deadly red backs and white tailed here.

I was keeping check on the weather and thinking of you up there in that wildness. I'm so glad it didn't spoil your holiday for you and you all enjoyed yourselves.
natesmountain
Jan. 13th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
-It sounds like you had a great time despite the storms! Very glad you got some writing in too.
We did! I wasn't going to let the weather ruin anything.
And it was great fun to be writing again.

-Your comments on the roads and the flood levels had me nodding and grinning - Australian roads have to be experienced to be appreciated!
I'll say. They are NOTHING like NZ roads. Even the motorway interchanges are different and very confusing! The number of times I had to make a mad dash lane change!

I was thinking of you with all the fires and heat. I'm glad it's cooler over your way today.
hannahfmuk
Jan. 13th, 2008 10:32 am (UTC)
Hey, you're back! Yay! I've missed having your lj posts to read (they're the main reason I still check my friends page at all these days). Good to hear you had a great holiday, and to see some of your photos.

And yay to you for your Nick Earls pilgrimage! I've only read a couple of his books but I did enjoy them very much so I'm very supportive of your being such an uber-fan of his :)
natesmountain
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
-Hey, you're back! Yay! I've missed having your lj posts to read
Aw, that is so nice of you! *hugs for Hannah*

-And yay to you for your Nick Earls pilgrimage! I've only read a couple of his books but I did enjoy them very much so I'm very supportive of your being such an uber-fan of his :)
Hee, sometimes I feel like I shouldn't get fannish, but I just can't help it. Christy mocks me but I think she's okay with it really. I just like his humour so much, and his ability to see really ordinary things in a funny way, or to get people mixed up in hilarious situations when they were just trying to be as normal as possible! And he's not so up himself that he can't answer an email!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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