A last day to blob around Brisbane. I don’t know any other major city that can boast a mangrove swamp boardwalk. We waddled around the Botanical Gardens, admiring palm trees and the lack of lilies in the lily ponds, fended off marauding cuckoos (or similar… my ornithological knowledge is limited – might have been kookaburras or possibly emus) over lunch and to Arthur’s glee got a Magnum with a lolly stick that won him another Magnum for free. Afternoon wondering how tacky we can really go on the souvenir front and deciding that kangaroo scrotum corkscrews were beyond the pale. Paul isn’t convinced they’re really bits of real kangaroo but alas for the kangaroos’ sake, I fear he is wrong.
Pondering the penal colonies and whether we sent our convicts to the other side of the world for their better reformation, but actually it was more likely to have been to get them out of England and leave us in peace. I hesitate to draw parallels with children in church.
The riots in the UK are all over the news here. Hearing about such violence back home is heartbreaking, embarrassing, painful, worrying, especially having friends and colleagues in London, Birmingham and Liverpool. There is a certain smug Schadenfreude in the press reporting the events, but sadness among the ‘real people’ who talk about it.