Weather warning today: high winds this afternoon (weather in Canberra doesn't usually mean rain). But forecasts here seem to be just as unreliable as in the UK; it has been the most perfect day; cold enough to see your breath first thing in the morning, warming quickly to hot but not burning sun, cloudless sky, gentle breezes. Heaven.
Today's activities included a brisk morning walk round the local lake (large pond, really), looking nosily and critically at the lakeside houses, a visit to the National Museum of Australia, where it was difficult not to be immensely saddened by the history of the indigenous people, but where I was treated to a splendid example of Australian laid-back obligingness (is that a word?). There is an exhibition of very ancient and precious Aboriginal artefacts which is too fragile to remain in continuous light, so is only shown for 15 minutes at the start of each hour. We arrived early, and the "host" (member of Museum staff) opened the room especially for us; we had the entire exhibition to ourselves, and it was remarkable indeed. After lunch in the sun, we had a lovely walk around (part of) Lake Burley Griffin, then decided that we had had enough culture for today, and pootled off to have our poor tired feet treated to a pedicure and painted toenails. We sat in shiatsu massage chairs which vibrated, pinched and thumped our backs in the most alarming way while surly girls with very limited English improved our lumpy European feet for us. Exercise, culture and grooming - a great combination, apart from being beaten up by your chair.
On the way home in rush hour - which means more than ten cars on the road at any one time - we stopped for half an hour on the even quieter road where we had seen kangaroos in the dusk the other night, and waited. I waited patiently. Herself waited very impatiently indeed, as it seems to have become a point of national honour, as she sees it, for me to have a proper encounter with kangaroos. And eventually, there they were, by a pool, about ten of them. Herself was actually heard to call "Skippy!" and make that little noise you use for cats. We looked at them, they looked at us, striking delightful poses. We took photos, and they decided enough was enough, and bounced away. National honour was upheld; tourist with very clean feet and pink lacquered toenails was delighted.
My sister has pointed out that I haven't actually said if I'm enjoying myself or not. It's beyond enjoyment; I am seriously thinking about becoming an illegal immigrant. Skippy, my heart is yours.