I have had a very busy week!
Wednesday I headed up to the Blue Mountains, for a day's walkabout with Blue Mountains Walkabout
, an Aboriginal owned and guided operation. It was, of course, absolutely pissing it down, but they don't cancel for bad weather, so we set off as planned from Faulconbridge. (Three of us plus Evan the guide.) (A general note: any statements made about Aboriginal culture are my best understanding of what I've read about/been told. I am very open to any corrections if I've gotten things wrong & anyone reading this wants to correct me!)( walking about )
I'd very strongly recommend it to anyone who's in the area -- very much worth it. Although I was shattered by the time I got home!
I have also been doing much socialising: met cryx
for coffee on Thursday, in a nice fair-trade place in Glebe which had vegan chocolate cupcakes! And the company was excellent :) Friday night I went over to geekboyoz
's, for pizza & several episodes of True Blood (which is gory, slightly ridiculous, & has a ludicrous amount of sex in, but which is v entertaining). And I am v fond of just hanging out with nice people. Then yesterday I met up with electricant
for a couple of beers at the Red Oak, which is a beer cafe/microbrewery. Good beer & good conversation = a splendid thing!
Things that I have broken this week:
- my socks (see above).
- the Tab key on the eeeeeepc, after it booted up with weird keys-not-working, & I took some keycaps off to have a look, and then broke the Tab key getting it back on. (And halfway broke the 2, as well.) Next time I booted it: no problems. GO FIGURE.
- the extension cable on the USB modem (at least, that is my current conclusion for why it drops out intermittently if I'm using the extension cable when on the sofa).
- my plans for returning home, in that the freighter to SF is now delayed, so I won't make the QM2, & am thus getting a freighter from Philadelphia to Tilbury instead. And will miss Glastonbury, & uon
's sister's wedding. Boo. Still: could be worse. Thumbs crossed nothing else changes!
I have also discovered that I appear to have developed some kind of surfing-dependency. Hadn't been in all week (due to bluebottles at first, & then torrential downpour), and have been off/on grumpy all week. Went down this morning & spent two hrs pissing around on a board (I am getting better!), came out feeling outrageously cheerful, and got lots of work done in the afternoon. Fvck knows what I'm going to do when I get back to London; either visit Brighton a *lot*, or find something else equally cheering.
Surfing is aces partly because I really don't think about anything else *but* the waves & what I/my board is doing for the entire time I'm in the water. And the waves just keep coming! It's like meditation, but with additional going 'zoom'! And then falling off and getting half a ton of water & sand up your nose, but there we go. (I have surfing calluses on my hands now. I am v proud.) Songs have many functions in Aboriginal culture: lore/laws, social information, stories, navigation... a songline is a route between various sacred/ceremonial/etc sites.
 The Aboriginal group that used to live here were the Darug, but the last full-blooded Darug person died in the 19th c -- the population was very heavily hit by a smallpox epidemic immediately after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. The only Darug remaining are people who have Darug ancestry -- they're trying to recapture/rebuild what they can of their cultural knowledge, but a lot of it is lost forever now. Evan said that he spends a lot of his spare time looking for Aboriginal sites in the Blue Mountains.
 Dreamtime is not a very good translation of the concept -- I get the impression that it doesn't translate well at all into English. I've heard it before translated as lore/laws/cultural understanding (by the Anangu people up by Uluru). Evan described it more as a way of being/experiencing; as being in touch with country/land and with what's going on around you. The link between lore/understanding and country is very, very strong in Aboriginal culture.
 I gather Brighton has a surfing beach?