the weather was jolly nice

Over various unpleasant events of the last couple of weeks, permit Yatima to draw a discreet veil. Let us reflect instead upon the not inconsiderable delights. I found a picture of my mother aged about two, looking exactly like a sepia-toned Claire. My sister and I gave each other necklaces, hers a silver teadrop, mine a diamante cascade. My nephew Ross adopted Alex, jewel-eyed prince among medium-hair brown tabby cats. During a lengthy lunch at the Stamford hotel in Brisbane, Claire learned to skewer sultanas (golden raisins for you Americans) with a full-sized silver fork.

I finally got to meet my personal trio of Australian baby boys, Harvey, Korben and William, all huge-eyed and irresistible. We caught up with many, many old friends at a glorious picnic on the Lane Cove River: Tash blooming in her last trimester; Keith and Tracy, Matthew and Melinda newlywed; Justin and Paul taking a well-earned break from their latest startup, which, along with Claire, constitutes our mutual excuse for seeing one another in Australia rather than in San Francisco where we all live.

The park at Lane Cove is a little like Tilden but far more beautiful to Jeremy’s eyes and mine. The eucalyptus trees in California look nothing like the pink-fleshed scribbled-over Murray River redgums that grow in their native habitat, with spiky grevillea in the open heath under their canopy, and whip-birds and butcher-birds and currawongs and bell-birds and kookaburras and rainbow lorikeets providing the unforgettable soundtrack of home. It was already April, very late autumn, but still far warmer there than it is here in San Francisco in early spring.


Now Claire and I have returned, and goop is back on its feet thanks to the indefatigable efforts of one Mister Walsh of Amalgamated Durables. Normal service is expected to resume.

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