Yesterday Julie's friend Christine Porter (also an artist - currently trying to resist become a book artist) picked us up in the morning and took us on the great Mystery tour. We had a dead swallow to deliver to another printmaker just outside of Byron Bay. Went back to Byron Bay and had a day on the Beach. It was really warm, a perfect day for a swim. The water was cold, but once you were in it it was okay. I didn't bring a suit so I just rolled up the jeans and wadded in the shallows and looked at some of the snails on the rocks. There was a great big beautiful one I picked up. As I turned it upside down, it stuck it's antennae up as if to say, "hey, what gives here?"
Christine introduced me to "billytea."
I think I've mentioned before, Australians take their tea very seriously. No matter where you go, there is a tea break, and fresh tea is brewed. This counts for out in the bush too! So we shlepped along the little gas stove, the 'billy', which is the old tin bucket that the water is brewed in, mugs, food and and and. Christine brought sausages which were also grilled on the little stove in a frying pan we also brought down to the beach. It's possible that these were the best sausages I've ever had.
Half way through lunch a jumping ant about an inch long showed up and investigated. We ended up shutting him in the with the lettuce so that he wouldn't bite any of us, because according to Julie it really hurts.
After lunch we went for more tea but I had a coffee. Oh right, coffee in Australia has been an interesting experience. If you walk up to the counter and ask for coffee, the reply is, "what kind." it's like ordering "a soda", what kind? Pepsi. So It's taken a while to figure out that I need to order a "Long Black with cold milk on the side". Then I get a very nice strong black coffee, with a bit of cold milk on the side to cool it down. I can also order the amount of sugar I want in the cup, I can also order warm milk, either on the side or in the cup. Then of course you can order a Short white - which I think is a latte with one shot, and the regulars, cappuccino, mocha etc.
Only took a week to figure that out.
But I digress from the day of mystery.
The last bit was spent in Byron itself. Over coffee I told Christine and Julie about the wedding I'm going to in San Francisco on my way back to Philadelphia. I decided I needed a dress and would start looking here - and if I can't find something, I'll finish shopping in So Cal, when I get back to my dad and Ann's. So we stopped in Byron proper, and browsed. Oh boy - there are some nice shops there. I'm going back today... for more shopping. We went and bought shoes, which promptly broke after wearing them for half an hour (so I took them back), but even better...we found the dress:
I am so thrilled! This picture doesn't do it justice. It's like a sunset! I was showing Brin (another Aussie book artist who lives on Julies property) the dress and told him I'd like to get turqoise shoes to go with it. Without missing a beat in that Aussie drawl said, "Well, you're just going to be a bloody walking rainbow then, aren't you." Yes! Actually the more I thought about it, the more I think ultramarine blue shoes would be nice. Hmmmm....
Okay - I've got to get going here...