|Happy 100th Blog Post, Robyn Thiessen!|
Well, no, it was actually the 100th Anniversary of the… well, just read this excerpt from Australian Aviation online: “A international naval review and the next Pacific International Maritime Exposition will be held in Sydney in October 2013, to coincide with the centenary of the arrival of the first Royal Australian Navy fleet into Sydney in 1913.” There. Supposedly it was the biggest event in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics (not to mention that two One Direction concerts were in town the same day and the NRL the next day…Sports!). Prince Harry came, as per custom, to kick things off and represent the Queen, and over one million people were there to watch. I was very fortunate to be invited by a friend, Holly, and her boyfriend Mitch to join them in watching atop the Glenmore Hotel from its rooftop patio in the Rocks (the original landing point in Sydney Harbour of the colonists…/convicts). We were packed shoulder-to-shoulder with other people, but the view was well worth it. I’ve never seen anything like that. They had images and videos of the Navy’s achievements and actions through the 100 years displayed like magic on the side of the Sydney Opera House, there were light shows along with fireworks, tall ships in the harbours, and even fireworks dropped from flying aircraft overhead. I think I stood dropped-jaw the whole 30 minutes. I don’t even want to know how much money goes in to producing an event of that scale…. it would no doubt be a staggering amount. Frivolous, absolutely…. but still spectacular.
Here is a short video clip found on youtube of the fireworks in action, if you’re interested!
And a few poor-quality phone pics I took from the Glenmore Hotel…
|Aussie flag displayed on the side of the Opera House|
|More Fleet Review fireworks|
I’ve been thinking lately about all the people in my life who have helped get me to the point where I am right now, as well as who make the journey incredible along the way. I feel so fortunate to know the people I know. Even with an event like Saturday night’s, I would never have gone or seen the show from the vantage I did if it hadn’t been for Holly and Mitch, who I wouldn’t know if it hadn’t been for Caitlin (since Holly is one of Caitlin’s oldest friends), and I wouldn’t know Caitlin if I hadn’t gone to France and been put in the residence I was, (I wouldn’t even be in Sydney if it weren’t for her and Josh and Stu and Shaz…as well as encouragement from numerous people at home) and I wouldn’t have been to France if, well, the deconstruction could go on and on. It really makes me pause and consider my own actions and influences on my friends and acquaintances, whether I am a good friend or not and what I can do to be a better friend and person. Because I just… I just couldn’t do this on my own. Not figuratively – literally. When I get down – and I do get down sometimes – I remember this, I remember all the wonderful people, I think about the goals I’m working towards, and I am able to pick myself up and refocus.
Amazing what a little break from school can do for one’s outlook, isn’t it?
Speaking of, this two week mid-semester break has been just what the doctor ordered. I practically feel like a new person. I’ve been out! I’ve been to the beach numerous times, I’ve organised my class notes in prep for exam time, I’ve caught up on [some of] my reading and I’ve watched the first season and a half of the West Wing (where has that show been all my life?). I went to a little island in the Harbour called Cockatoo Island, where Holly and I drank a jug of cocktail and shared a pizza whilst sitting in the sunshine watching sailboats go by all afternoon… and last night I saw a show at the Opera House with my roommate and her boyfriend (Cinematic Orchestra with 40 musicians from the Sydney International Orchestra). It’s been a good break. Today is Labour day, and uni resumes tomorrow!
Today is also my amazing mother’s birthday!!! Happy birthday mom – you and dad are at the very top of my list of people without whom I couldn’t be doing what I am doing, and I am increasingly grateful for all you have done for me and the love you’ve shown. Your retirement is about to get amaaaazing (when I get a real job, that is).
|This is Holly, she is wonderful!|
|My first visit to Coogee Beach – about a 10min bus ride from my place.|
The weather has never been awful in this fine country, but it’s been even better since spring began. I found myself walking home from the bus stop late one Friday night a few weeks ago. My feet were killing me so I took my heels off and walked barefoot on the sidewalk. My usually busy street was very quiet, and the cement was still warm. I wrote earlier this year about spring in a cold climate; new life after a barren winter, and how one really must experience it at some point. Well, spring in a tropical climate is equally intoxicating, even if life never ceased for most of the flora. Warm soil, crab grass, palm leaves… jasmine blossoms, orange blossoms, faint salty air from the ocean only a short drive away… It’s ethereal, magical, yet I feel those smells viscerally. I smile involuntarily. No jacket and no shoes. Divine. Memories of my childhood March breaks spent in Florida flash by and I am overwhelmed again with how blessed I have been.
|This little blossom is the potent origin of one of the delightful scents I experience on my walks.|
|Sydney city line at night, from the Manly Ferry|
|The Harbour Bridge, as seen from a ferry|
|Reunited at last! Caitlin and I at Middle Harbour.|
|Lots of days look a little bit like this….|
|…and lots of nights look sort of like this (dinner for one?).|
|Brunch with friends to see off Stu (far left) who moved to Melbourne 😦|
|A shot with me, further proof that I have friends.|
It’s not always easy being this far away from home and from my close friends and family. And despite being in the same hemisphere, Aaron is still very far away with a time difference and an equally busy schedule which makes staying in touch difficult at times. But little bursts of happiness and kindness (and modern technology…) give me strength to brush off the bad and move on to the next good thing.
|New motto. Heh.|
Now, will someone remind me of this next time I’m despairing? (I estimate this to happen shortly before exam season in one month).
Peace, love, blessings and good vibes.