Urbeach, Real Beach

This is the longest gap I have left between blog posts in almost three years. The occasional hiatus is good - it teaches me a lesson.
We threw a fondue party for friends. It was great. People turned up with everything from specialty breads to spicy courgette sticks, and we made a traditional swiss-stye emmenthal fondue, and a chocolate fondue for afters. I had feared it would be an inappropriate summer meal, but the opposite was true: we put the fondue kit out on the deck, and people piled in with the fresh veggies and bread and so on, and then arranged the dipped sticks on their plate to cool, and ate them at their leisure.
The following weekend we headed South for a beach camping trip at Woody Head, and made side-trips to check out Yamba and Maclean. Maclean struck me as a very pleasant town, and it's twinned with Portree of all places (due to a history of settlement by highlanders and islanders).
progress on built-under has been swift due to Fran's imminent arrival - we have prepped and painted and sealed and sanded with gusto, and the place is now basically finished except that the cement floor needs tiling, a job which we're hoping to do the easy bits of ourselves, while paying a professional to come in and do the hard parts, such as the joins between different cement slabs.
Last Sunday I found a fruit bat stuck on a cactus on our deck. The poor thing must have flown into it at speed and got itself stuck. I freed it (being very careful neither to rip its wings, nor to expose myself to scratch or bite) and then fed it some peach, which it sucked rather than chewed. After a few minutes, to K's delight, it spread its wings and flew off into the trees. For all I know it may have died of its injuries later, but it certainly looked fine at the time, so I like to think it at least stood a chance of survival.
This weekend we headed up to Brisbane where we're picking Fran up from the airport. I had agreed to give Aaron two banana trees from my garden, so we met him and his family in West End, and he headed off with two large buckets each filled with loam and a banana tree, hopfully destined to fill his garden and fruit copiously.
We spent a morning with K on city beach. This was almost unbearably exciting for her - the noise, people, fountains, toys and city vibe left her completely unable to take her customary afternoon nap, and yet, bizarrely, in a good mood. Which goes to show you never can tell. We also walked along Queen Street with Oscar and Aida and Hannah and Samir - taking in the window displays and the George Square Xmas tree, and catching up on the big-city gossip. Finally, we caught up with Naomi and Behruz too...They have finally bitten the bullet and bought a house They have a nice little place near Holland Park - very tucked away and overlooking a bit of greenery, and convenient to the city and the freeway. They'll be seeing more of us in the near future.

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