Trees here bear flowers that remind me of an old-fasioned lavotory brush. They abound in this part of Oz. Always the same basic style and shape, but in many different colours from grey-brown to deepest crimson, often with green parrots squawking among the branches pecking at the seeds. Then, as a total contrast, we see the beautiful violet hues of the Jacarandah tree, so prevalent in all corners of the country, and in Sydney itself. The purple haze of the Jacarandah greets visitors who land on Circular Quay.
But such beauty is not without its drawbacks. A notice on the tennis court at the back of the beautiful apartments where we're staying proclaims that there are black snakes
in the bush which begins but a yard away on the other side of the wire netting. The sun is something to be watched, too. I sat on the balcony for a couple of hours in what I thought was pleasant early morning sunshine, and by lunch time one arm was red with sunburn. Evidently the UV was high that day, even though the skies were intermittantly cloudy.
The names here are reminiscent of home, and slightly disconcerting. Newcastle is 146 kilometres away to the north, Penrith, Grosvenor, Blenheim, Liverpool, Haymarket are scattered around Sydney, but in the suburbs, Aboriginal names prevail. My favourite so far is Wooloomooloo Wharf on Blue Bay. Yes, that's eight letter o's in one name.
The heat is building. The rain clouds have dispersed and we wake to brilliant blue skies. Now, naturally, we cool-blooded English start to complain of the heat around noon. By four o'clock, it is tremendous. We're just never satisfied. Back to Sydney late Sunday, with the promise of good weather to come all week.