In 1976 my first leg of my big trip overseas saw my

British Airways flight land in Hong Kong.   

Off we tumbled, after nine hours of flying,

into the Hong Kong Airport duty-free department store

where my eye was taken by a

delicate coral-like carving housed in glass.

British Airways departing Heathrow.

The girl behind the counter became excited when

I showed some interest in making a purchase. 

My interest was taken as a sale, by her. 

As I pondered whether or not to purchase,

said souvenir was being wrapped up. 

‘No’ appeared to be lost in translation, so to speak. 

All I could see was my souvenir becoming a broken mess

after three or four months of travel. 

As I began to walk away the sales girl was having a meltdown

and all I could think of was the heavily armed guards/soldiers

protecting the terminal.   

This could not have been her first meltdown

because I am still here to tell the story.


South Africa’s O. R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg

Leaving Hong Kong our next leg was south,

keeping well away from Vietnamese air-space,

across the Bay of Bengal to New Delhi, where,

from memory, I did not irritate any of the duty-free employees. 

However, I also made sure that I did not show any real interest

in their wares either, which may have helped.

 Time came to board for the third leg of my flight to London. 

As I made my way through security checkpoints to board,

my way was blocked by a seven-foot-tall (to the top of his turban), uniformed Indian.

He and his right armed block me from continuing to the plane

while his left arm was clearly directing me to a cubicle

a few paces off the preferred track. 

Once inside the cubicle, with non-verbal communication,

I was directed to raise my arms prior to a frisk search. 

In my left pocket was a small metal container

in which I was carrying some medication I was/am required to take. 

As the frisk progressed and reached that area of my body,

the container was given a firm, but gentle squeeze,

and I was then allowed to board. 

There was not one utterance of verbal communication between us. 

South Africa’s O. R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg

Upon arriving in Rome I was delighted to know that there

would be no way I could upset any Italian duty-free employees. 


We were not allowed to disembark and spent 90 minutes

sitting in our respective seats while refuelling took place, 

after which we were London bound. 

Our final leg had arrived.




   Amanda                                Sandi       





During the past few weeks…

…we have had several weather fronts pass us by.

Each front appeared ominous, however,

little or no rain fell in our neck of the woods.

On Friday, October 20, we were greeted with this sunrise…

‘…red sky in the morning shepherd warning…’

According to the television weather forecast

we were likely to receive 25-30 mm of rain.

With nothing showing on the rain radar

my scepticism was only being held at bay

by the rain moth which had appeared

earlier in the week in our garage.


Forget radar!

There is nothing like nature

when it comes to forecasting the weather.

The dogs were snuggled up in their

verandah beds about an hour before

we heard the thunder, soon to be followed

by some of the heaviest rain, we have received

since moving here in 2005.

Soon there was 13mm in our rain gauge

followed by another 17mm overnight.

And as the clocks approach 4PM on Saturday,

another 6mm at was noted 3PM

with heavier showers since then.



   Amanda                                Sandi       





Bateleur Eagle

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre,

South Africa.

Purple daisies.


Our new Weeping Cherry has commenced blooming.



   Amanda                                Sandi       





Fishbait on Point Lonsdale Pier

French farmers are still finding unexploded

ammunition in their paddocks.

These munitions are taken to a depot

outside their town, which is cleared

every two or three weeks.

Shrapnel is also in plentiful supply



   Amanda                                Sandi