Much of the joy of my trip to Australia involved meeting friends old and new.
I stayed with Andrew McGowan and his wife Felicity. Andrew used to teach at the Divinity School in Cambridge, and was a Priest Associate at St. James’s when I was Rector there. He is now the Warden of Trinity College, University of Melbourne. Felicity is a Professor of Medieval Art in Melbourne.
Andrew’s daughter Maddie lives with him. She is a splendid, bright and engaging young woman. Maddie is also somewhat of a nocturnal person, so I didn’t get to photograph her.
Nicole Elischer, who is Maddie’s mother, also lives in Melbourne. She did me proud by taking a day off work and driving me in to the bush near Melbourne. It is lovely countryside (pictures at a later date). As part of this jaunt Nicole took me to the Hanging Rock Winery, owned by her friends Anne and John Ellis. Anne is a fourth generation vintner, and very proud of her English ancestry. (And yes, think “Picnic at Hanging Rock” – ‘tis that place)
Nicole and her partner Christopher also hosted barbecue for me and their local friends. The food was terrific (no shrimp, but delicious and sweet lamb chops!), and the company was interesting (in a good way). The conversation was so lively, so much so that I failed to get around to taking photo’s – but one of the guests took the two of Nicole and me.
I spent half a day at the Cleland Wildlife Reserve near Adelaide. (Pictures of this later). There I fell in with a man from Papua-New Guinea who was with his friend and mentor, an Australian Lutheran Pastor. The Papua-New Guinean was in Adelaide for the graduation of his daughter at the University there. His photo’ is here cos he’s the first and only person that I’ve ever met from P-Ng, and because he was a splendid and nice man.
I was also an intrepid explorer at Cleland.
In Melbourne on Sunday December 11th I met and had coffee with Christian Cox. She is the daughter of a splendid St. Boniface parishioner, Susan Rife. Christina is in Melbourne for the duration. She and I had a “blind date” (so to speak). We hit it off immediately and had lots to chat about since she grew up and was educated in Sarasota (yeah for Booker High School!).
My favourite part of Sydney was an older area called “The Rocks” down by the Harbour (actually much of Sydney is “down by the Harbour"). I stopped there one day for a delicious and simple lunch.