Thursday, 1 January 2009

We're all going on a summer holiday.

There are two reasons for this post. Firstly to wish you all a Happy New Year (well, it’s New Year here already) and secondly to warn you that this is probably the last post for a few weeks. We’re off on Sunday for a holiday in Albany – a ‘city’ on the south coast. My parents-in-law will be looking after the place, while we have two weeks rest and relaxation.

Albany is my favourite place for a holiday. My family lived there for four years and they were happy years. It’s a lovely place, although we nearly didn’t go there because my mother thought the granite hills that surrounded it looked too much like the slag heaps in Wales. They call it a city now (pop 40 000 in winter, 70 000 in summer) but it still has a country feel about it. It’s the oldest place in Western Australia, founded in 1827 (I think!) two years before the official founding of the colony at Swan River (Perth). That was because the British knew that the French had been sniffing around down there and they didn’t want them getting in first (the Dutch had shown way too much interest too). So they set up a town to stake their claim and now it’s a thriving ‘city’, full of history.

For us country bumpkins from the hot inland though, it has other attractions as well. Number one is that it’s cool. It can be 44C here and only 24C down there. Actually it can be pretty miserable weather down there, even in summer (as you can see in the photo below), but it’s better than baking. On the down side that means that the kids can’t make as much use of the lovely beaches as they’d like, but they do have the occasional hot day. Then the sea breeze comes in and cools the place off for the evening.
Another attraction for me is the number of bookshops, music shops and art/craft shops that I can spend my time in. Up here, books come from the newsagents, there’s one shop that sells music and one craft shop. In Albany you can spend the whole day just browsing bookshops – new and secondhand. It’s heaven. Of course, P and I have to take turns going off on our own to do those sorts of things because the kids baulk rather strongly at the idea of spending the day in bookshops, but we manage it.

For the kids, there’s toyshops and electronics stores, plus some of the big apartment stores which have thirty times the number of electronic games to choose from than any store up here. Then there’s the Go-Cart track, the Forts Museum and the Aquarium and the park and the obligatory pancake lunch at Dylan’s. We haven’t finished out holiday until we’ve had a pancake at ‘Dylan’s’, a café overlooking the harbor. I don’t know what we’d do if they went out of business.

Do you get the feeling I’m looking forward to this holiday? I will, of course, be taking my laptop, so I promise to squeeze some writing in between all that bookshop browsing!

See you when we get back.


Rena said...

Have a wonderful holiday, Kate, and Happy New Year to you too!

Lexia said...

Happy holiday and a good new year to you and yours, Kate.

Luc2 said...

It sounds cool, and i don't just mean the weather. Have a great time!

Angela said...

Have a great holiday! It's so funny to hear you say 'summer' when I have 2 feet of snow sitting outside...