Smashes and Dashes

The week began inauspiciously - just as I was turning into my street in West End, I was rear-ended by a tired, late commuter. This meant a further dose of insurance/leasing company/garage paperwork, accompanied by a side-order of hold music with every step - it's becoming the soundtrack to my life.
There was better news on Tuesday though, when C rang to say that the scan she had been sent for due to concern at bub's small size had come back with the all clear, in fact more like a "what are you worried about?"
Also on a brighter note, this being my last week in work before working from home in readiness for my daughter's birth in the next couple of weeks, there were lunches with colleagues, and, more unexpectedly, gifts for the baby and mum-to-be. So many gifts in fact, that they almost left me unable to pack the car at the end of the week. People here in Oz have been remarkably supportive, helpful and kind over the last few months, which has made it far easier than it otherwise would have been to start a family so far from home. Somehow I suspect I may be too tired, when the time comes, to send individual thank you cards - so, thanks, everyone - it's really appreciated!
On the Friday, I drove to the airport in the morning to meet C's mum, Rose, off the plane. We got lunch at the Gunshop, and Rose spent the afternoon exploring the South Bank and the Expo '88 site. Once I had finished work for the day, Rose accompanied me on a very important mission - to West End's Cuban Cigar Shop where the suitably mustachioed proprietor Filip Pilioras talked this cigar newbie through his options, eventually settling on the award-winning and aptly named Bolivar for the big occasion.
As I have with every 12 hour jet-lag, Rose woke on Saturday at 4am. As I was up by 6, we took advantage and picked up some fresh produce at West End market before meeting John, our ex-flatmate who is taking over my room while I work from home. Before I could get away in the car however, I was recruited by Marina to saw branches off the fir-tree in the back garden for use as an improvised Christmas tree. This left me a bit knackered for the drive down to Nimbin, but it was still a nice drive - showing Rose the sights of the Tweed Valley and Wollumbin.
We spent Sunday perusing the covered market at Lismore - because it lacks local colour, I have ignored it this past year but it's packed with bargains and interesting nik-naks, and I came away with useful, good value purchases, and no regrettable impulse-buys.

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