So, here I am, sitting on the deck, the waters of the canal lapping at the edge of grass I cannot see, enhancing my impression of being on a ship sailing away. The sun is glistening on the water, the breeze is ruffling the trees and the mad rush of Christmas has died away. Palm Beach, on the Gold Coast of Australia is looking pretty good.
This morning, we are on the watch for dolphins bringing their babies up the canal, a common sight at this time of the year. We may see sting-rays or bull sharks too. Not so welcome visitors, but quite at home here, enough so that it is not recommended to swim across the canal, but to stay in the shallows.
The Gold Coast does not seem to have changed appreciatively since our last visit 3 years ago.(Can it really be that long?) The gardens are still beautiful with lush palms, heavily green gardens and discreet, earthy ochre and tan-coloured houses hidden in the foliage.
Last night, out on the veranda, lumbering fruit bats flapped over our heads while we tried to identify constellations of stars, as they slowly wheeled over-head. We were sipping champagne and nibbling on Stilton and crackers and felt at one with the universe. May 2012 bring Peace to Us All.