Other than that, it's the sunniest, most pleasant winter I've experienced so far. The other day was 25 degrees and positively balmy.
In the meantime, my husband and I attended Chinchilla Show, which is an agricultural community event. I performed on the main stage with some of my students and had a good time. Then the botanic parklands opened up in town, and they really are an oasis. Everyone adores them. The new water park here apparently cost six or seven million to make. The water is pumped all the way from the nearby creek and goes back there once it's been sprayed all over the delighted kids that assemble under it. There's a humongous watermelon bucket that fills up with liters of water and tips over every once and while. Peyton is terrified of it and prefers to bolt when it empties.
Anyway, when the botanic parklands opened up, I got to sing at that event too. I did my first classical numbers in this town, having a crack at Porgi Amor and Voi Che Sapete. I thought this might meet with ridicule, but the crowd seemed delighted with it, and many people were saying they'd never heard anything like it (in a complimentary way, I certainly hope).
In the meantime, Michael and I are hoping to settle here in the long term, and we're making plans to that end. We purchased a house for a very reasonable price, and it looks like it's going to be a great home. It has a fantastic tub which was actually one of my "must haves" because of the summers here. I can't exactly dance under sprinklers at the water park like the children do, as I don't think they really intended that area for adults. But I can lie in the tub with a cold one (Aussie lingo for chilled beer), and that sounds just fine to me.
The weather is a lot cooler than summer, so it's easier to move boxes this time round. I'm doing multiple trips across town to the new place, and it's beginning to look a little more homely.
Who could have known that I would love living in the outback so much? We took a winter trip to the Weir the other day, and the water level is getting pretty low. Kayaking might not be the best idea right now. But the bird life is incredible, and I saw several huge species I didn't know. The roos were watching us from their positions in the long grass. It's still a novelty seeing them.
If any of you read this and think it sounds inviting, you'd be right. I would heartily recommend a trip to the outback, and Chinchilla is a good place to visit, even if you haven't heard of it before. By the way, I'm still eating water melon, even in the middle of winter.