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This is a unique, Australian product that should be sold on supermarket shelves in North America.

Down Under

This may be the only place on the planet I can say that I am sick of being crook and expect some degree of understanding and sympathy.  “Crook” has taken an evolutionary twist on its way to the Southern hemisphere, its meaning leaning towards “ill” or out of sorts. I am guessing now that what I thought was a cold or an allergic reaction may, in fact, have been the flu.  I probably picked it up at the Writer’s Festival.  Everyone knows that writers are solitary creatures and should never get together except in bars or at Irish pubs. Only bad things can come of it.

The strain that latched itself on to me came on like Sarah Palin’s proverbial bulldog and I am still suffering from the symptoms, which seems hardly fair.  I eat right, exercise, and usually start each day with Uncle Toby.  For those of you unlucky…

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Strange to read this after all these years. I have moved on to an IPod and Bluetooth earbuds. Yuval Noah Harari’s book, “Sapiens,” is keeping me intellectually stimulated these days. He is a polymath up there with Jared Diamond. There are another dozen books loaded up, ready to entertain, exasperate and captivate me for hours on end.

Down Under

Yesterday was a red letter day in more ways than one. The weather, first of all. Melbourne goes through more weather in an afternoon than Florida gets in a year. Take a look at the forecast on any given day and you are likely to see a dozen different predictions that would, in an ordinary place, be mutually exclusive. Heavy rain, sunshine, high winds, gentle breezes.

Cloudy with meatballs. On April fool’s day, you would expect the weather gods to have conjured up something strange and spectacular–lightning, thunder, hail, hurricanes, a snow storm or two. Instead, we got a wonderful day– a long day of late summer sun at its finest.

It was a perfect day for a ride but I’m attempting to condition body and brain to a workout routine, so I made my way to the gym instead. The one device that makes a workout (or dentist appointment…

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We did return to Tasmania, but only the one time. It was for a kayaking trip on the Freycinet Peninsula. The island has some wonderful scenery, friendly faces, good food and great bubbly. Just like Nova Scotia!

Down Under

Take a look at a globe, if you’ve got one handy. Or launch Google Earth and point it toward Australia. Due south of Melbourne is an island about the size of Ireland. Originally called Van Diemen’s Land, it is now known as Tasmania. To mainland Australians, it is affectionately called “Tassie.”

As we slipped away from Melbourne the morning of February 8th aboard the “Spirit of Tasmania” I got a plaintive text message from my daughter–“please take the chocolate with you.” My penchant for Cadbury’s dark chocolate with almonds has not made this blog to date, but there it is. She needn’t have worried that I would leave it behind.

Since our only packing restriction was the size of the Subaru, we were equipped for an expedition to the Antarctic. Even in summer, Tasmania can require everything from ponchos to mittens. We had camping gear, hiking clothes, paddling gear, city…

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