Just so you don’t think we are sitting around since returning from our trip to the Alice, we’ve been busy entertaining another teacher from Colorado last weekend.  He came up for the Bendigo Bush dance.  That’s a bit like a country square dance, held in a big hall, a live band playing old time music from before WWI.  People come and get you at your seat and take you through the steps as you dance.  Sometimes they call out the moves, like square dancing.  Around 10:30pm, tables are brought out for a supper (a pot luck late night snack) and then the dancing continues for another hour or so.  We danced for about 2 hours and left after supper as our friend Matt wasn’t feeling well.  He was in Bali during his holidays and seemed to have returned with a case of Bali Belly.  By the way, it’s hard keeping up with the dancers, especially after an hour bike ride earlier in the day.

The next day, the 3 of us took the train to Melbourne to see one of the exchangee’s partner off.  His job in Scotland wants him back now, so we all met at a downtown pub and surprised him with a farewell drink.  Leon and I returned on the train in time for a late dinner.  Actually, we ended up not eating dinner at all at that point.  Still watching our weight, but it’s hard when you start the day with a nice American breakfast, then switch to cider by 2pm.

Which brings me to this week’s plans.  Leon has returned to Canada to sort out his house sale and I am on my own for a little while.  When he returns, he’ll have his youngest son in tow and we are planning a few adventures for the both of them.  The first stop is Sydney.  Leon has already reserved our room at a youth hostel which is downtown and used to be the train station.  We will sleep in a regular room but his son will have a dorm room in an old train car.  Sounds neat!

In the meantime, the ladies at work didn’t want me feeling lonely, so I’ve already been to drinks after work (herbal tea only for me) and I have a nice dinner out to look forward to next week with my office mates.

We only have about 9 weeks left before we leave, so you can understand if we are trying to do and see as much as we can in the weeks we have left.  Spring has arrived in these parts.  That means the nights are around 10C and the days can be up to 25C or more.  Warm weather at last!  The roses are in full bloom all over the place, along with the irises and a few other blooming shrubs.  And of course, the birds are nesting.  We have a couple of magpies that we love in our yard.  The trouble is that they’ve had babies and are now training them to fly, eat for themselves and even to sing.  Burt (the male) seems to think I want to harm the chicks (which we named Pippa and Peeper).  So he keeps swooping me whenever I go into the yard.  I’ve tried wearing Leon’s hat or my glasses on my head, but it’s no use.  I am not sure how I will do the laundry in the next 2 weeks, but I’ll have to work around the magpie schedule.  The chicks are getting big and it’s fun to watch their antics.  It’s becoming a bit of a source of entertainment for us.

The Bush Dance band – Emu Creek Bush Band – puts a lot of effort into keeping the old songs alive.  Most of their songs are from pre-WWI.  Here is a Youtube link to one of their performances.

The Emu Creek Band performed. You can see the large hall. It gets crowded and people move fast!
I am in the middle of a large square dance.
Leon was asked to dance within seconds of getting to the dance.