By Peg Prendeville

I said that travel broadens the mind so mine is expanding rapidly every day. Darwin, which is named after the famous Charles Darwin, is a much more modern and green city than I had expected.  It is kept very clean and tidy, with no sign of rubbish on streets or roads. People are paid to recycle their bottles and cans! It is much hotter than cities like Sydney or Brisbane which are further south; therefore many of the houses are rather dark inside to keep out the bright sunlight. At night we sleep with a ceiling fan going non stop and sometimes the aircon turned on also! Mind you we are getting adjusted and do not find it as hot as the first days. 33 seems to be the normal day temperature and it goes down to 23 by midnight.

We have most meals outdoors and watch the beautiful sunsets for which Darwin is well known. I am amazed that the sun sets so rapidly around 6.30pm. I still have not found out why so I must do some more research on that! Many people sit out on the beaches or cliffs to watch it and take many photos. It is beautiful. I am aware that it is just as lovely at home in Glin or Ballybunion but it is guaranteed here every evening. That’s the difference.

As I write, I am listening to a bird which sounds a bit like the cuckoo but is not. His note is cuckooo-cuckuh, cuckooo-cuckuh and he/she loves to sing all day. It is not as melodious as the cuckoo we hear at home.

The people here in shops etc seem very friendly and laid back. No stress here. But it must be very hard to do physical work in the heat. There are positives and negatives to everything I suppose. The greatest negative to me is the distance from home and family but maybe the lifestyle and fine weather makes up for that. Sean’s and Bernie’s friends seem to be happy anyway. Many of their friends are Irish but not all. We met Daniel Hynes who seems quite happy here so far. Talking to those who live here they tell me that the lifestyle is just perfect but that they miss family. Other than that life is good.

Speaking of family all mothers were asked to stand for a special blessing at the Sunday morning Mass as it was Mother’s Day in Australia last Sunday. Each was presented with a little bookmark as a token. Nice touch.

Congratulations to Pa Brouder, Glenbawn and Miriam Langan, Glasha who got engaged in the past week.  Lovely to hear.