Usually I worked in the mornings, until my brain was very full of information, and then I did some touristing. It worked out quite well, and I got to see lots of things. Like Parliament House, which of course accommodates both branches of the Australian government, but is also home to a few very important historical artefacts, like the Yirrkala Bark Petition from the Aboriginal inhabitants of
One afternoon I strolled along Lake Burley-Griffin to the Captain Cook Memorial Fountain. Even though he is highly symbolic of colonial aggression and expansion, I’ve been fascinated by him and his travels since I read the book Blue Latitudes a few years ago.
After a smoking ceremony, and some singing and speaking, we all marched to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which was set up on the lawns of Old Parliament House in 1972. At the embassy, our numbers swelled and there was an even bigger ceremony, led by one of the original Tent Ambassadors—who last year was arrested trying to save some kangaroos from a government-sanctioned culling program.
On another day I visited the National Portrait Gallery, where I watched a video-portrait of Pam Aherne, founder of Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary.
At the National Gallery I looked at art from around the world, including the visiting Degas exhibit, but got a bit sick of the crowds. Outside in the sculpture garden, however, it was just me and these three swans.
Old Parliament House was a good, cool place to spend a few hours on one of the 38 degree afternoons.
I had some dining-out highlights, as well. Of course Au Lac with Anna was good. I also enjoyed some tagine and couscous with Cristy, P and Lily. On a Sunday afternoon I was taken to Bungendore, just outside
I am, however, glad to be home. I made it home just in time for Tropical Cyclone Ellie which has given us plenty of wind and rain, but has already been downgraded to a tropical storm. But cool, rainy weather means baked goods, which I will leave for my next post...