Red back spiders, deciduous trees and ‘fair dinkum’!


I heard the familiar shout of my name from outside and I knew instantly a spider had been located. Paul hates these creatures at the best of times, but the one HE ALMOST TOUCHED as he pumped the tyres on one of Claire’s bikes was the potentially fatal Redback spider, also known as the latrodectus hasselti. Wikipedia informs us that the Redback is one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. So Paul had every right to scream. Aaarg! The spider is not commonly seen, and as Claire Nield later told us later that day she had never seen one in 8 years, we felt that Paul had been extremely unLUCKY!!!!

Still, he loves a dramatic tale, and this one I know will be told and further told. Bill Bryson recounts many anecdotes to me daily as I read his book Down Under, the hazards and anomalies of staying/living in this far off land are countless but are far outweighed by the positive aspects. The trees and shrubs, the plants and even common grass is so different to England and even Europe. Each day I see something different to marvel at, and the “Australians’ (I can’t help thinking there’s no such thing) entertain me with their enthusiastic and distinctive accent. ‘How ya going?’ is the phrase for ‘Hi!’ and is said with such a positive lilt. Love it!  We are intrigued by the need to add the letter ‘O’ to some words, such as ‘rego’ for registration plate, ‘arvo’ means afternoon, ‘ambo’ for ambulance, and so on!


And of course, we (the English) are Pommes (Potatoes? Pomegranates?) , or POMES suggested as meaning Prisoner Of Mother England - as emblazoned on the clothes of the convicts as they arrived in this land.......