compare and contrast

My visits to Brisbane are falling into a settled and pleasant routine. Last year I blogged my feeling of chagrin at the parent’s room at Brookside Mall, which was bigger than my then apartment. This year I was pleased to notice that my new apartment is (slightly) bigger that the parent’s room at Brookside Mall.

Last year when I visited Kate she broke the wonderful news of her pregnancy. This year Claire and I got to meet James Harvey, her delicious and wildly cute son, who laughs and laughs and hardly ever cries.

Last year, after Kate and I talked to each other for five hours without getting remotely bored, we promised to try and stay in touch. This year after we talked up a precisely similar storm, we agreed that we were both too busy to stay in constant contact, but that if we ever end up in the same city again, we’ll hang out together all the time.

There was one thing I don’t think I blogged last year that I should have. Jeremy and I were about to leave for the airport, and my heart was raw, because I didn’t feel I’d found the right things to say to my sister. We started singing songs from our childhood to tiny baby Claire – silly rounds like Fish And Chips And Vinegar and nonsense songs like Flea Fly. Sarah has a wonderful voice, and hardly anyone still remembers those idiotic old songs but me and her – certainly no one knows them in America. Getting to sing in harmony like that was my parting gift. It was almost the thing I’d been trying to say.

Last year I kept feeling that the time I spent at the computer was stolen from Claire. Right now, as I write, Claire is sitting five feet away with Ross and Kelly. They’ve been happily playing dominos for half an hour. I don’t think Claire has even noticed that I’m busy.

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