Tonight I am listening to the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and recalling our holiday in New Zealand. We may book our China-Japan flights this weekend, which is very exciting because I haven't been to China before. Yet, I wouldn't mind visiting NZ's South Island again. It's such an easy destination, few language problems (except for the really thick accents of the far South), road rules almost the same as in Australia. What I really loved was the magnificent scenery coupled with a feeling of solitude. Dramatic mountains coupled with coasts silent but for the wind and the waves.
I could seriously imagine us living in Christchurch - somewhere with the life and intelligence of a university combined with the facilities of a city, yet small enough the escape into natural peacefulness is simple. I'd love to have some research or teaching post where I could potter along without pressure, just a desire to learn and create. I suspect that "commercial pressures" are inescapable, but it's a nice fantasy to have.
Jetstar are having a two tickets for the price of one deal at the moment and we just couldn't resist. After agonising over which destination to fly to (Hobart, Christchurch, Queensland) we eventually decided on a winter trip up to the Gold Coast. Now, I don't like the Gold Coast, but I do like water slides and have insisted that if we visit the theme parks then one of them has to be Wet'n'Wild . I've never been there before, but it's a long time since I went on a decent water slide.
I wish that Jetstar flew directly to Perth or Darwin from Sydney. I haven't visited either of Western Australia or the Northern Territory. Winter is the ideal time to visit the latter. We do want to visit Tasmania again, but it would be more pleasant in the warmer months, especially as we want to go to the west coast.