I have a dream about parks

This blog is temporarily about travel.

It’s a long story but we are all still in Australia. Something to do with broken planes, volcanic ash clouds (from Chile) etc. This is horrible because me, lola and nell were really looking forward to all the lovely plans my friend ML had for us when we were due to arrive in the Solomons (lunch time today, but at the moment it looks like we will be 3 days late). But Brisbane is the most fantastic city to stay in (esp with a courtesy hotel). It’s very walkable, wonderful for cycling (if you know how to avoid the freeways) and the climate is gorgeous…

LOLA: Today I went swimming twice, once on the roof top of our hotel (16th floor, courtesy of flysolomons) and the other time in a freezing cold (60F/20C) outdoor swimming pool with a beach. It didn’t look anything like Highbury Pool or the pools I’m used to – as it wasn’t blue, but brown. And the area was made to look more natural with beaches and rocks. And there were ibises (a long-beaked bird) in the water too (see pic above)!

NELL: The playgrounds in Brisbane are better than British ones. The one on the South Bank had a slidey pole, a spinning roundabout, a tyre swing, mirrors, some weird climbing objects and best of all was a huge tree with lots of little branches dropping down from it (a fig). You could climb right into it, it was amazing.

NICOLA; And all this was free. The most wonderful landscaping you’ve ever seen. I was so suprised as the news earlier in the year implied that Brisbane had been trashed by floods. Even if some parts are still suffering the general impression for a visitor is that this place is super rocking. It is full of eateries and cafes, the most wonderful shaded shopping malls, the biggest buildings for art galleries filled with exhibits of a different scale, and some amazing museums too. Even the underpasses are decorated – we were captivated by one with two giant models of lifesize-whales and a baby whale calf above our heads, and if that wasn’t enough there was a recording of how they communicate to stop visitors in their tracks.

We haven’t followed the Oz budget but this is a country that is still being built and so long as you are not part of the Aborigine community it is clear people are feeling confident, amazingly so. They worry about the GFC (global financial crisis) but the oz dollar is hideously strong which is backfiring as most visitors are now local, not from overseas. I’ve had more conversations today with Lola and Nell about economics than ever before. I look forward to seeing how much they’ve taken in as the years go by. Until then Lola takes over charge of finances from Monday, let’s hope she can…

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