Just a cautionary note for readers:
I ordered two Bill Bryson books on a Barnes & Noble gift card. Both of them arrived in the mail yesterday. I picked them up from the same apartment office that holds my bookshelves today.
"I'm a Stranger Here Myself" is a very, very funny rendition of what it's like to move back to the US after two decades in Britain. I was giggling at the beginning and laughing so loudly at the end I was afraid I'd bug the neighbors.
Especially endearing was his description of having all his belongings spray across an airport floor: "My hair, concerned and unable to help, went into panic mode." Possessed of Panic Mode hair myself (note: gorgeous ringlets only happen past eight inches in length; before that, hair stands on end), I snorked and snorked and snorked some more.
But: Oh, dear. "In A Sunburned Country" made me want to go to Australia. So much so that the only thing keeping me from running up the credit cards was the bottle of Dalwhinnie, and that to such an extent that I just eyed it balefully and said out loud, "Dear sweet Jesus. Is that how much Scotch I've had? Oy." Pour, sip, read is likely to be my M.O. for the next day or so.
Mom testifies, hand on heart, that the only thing keeping her from Oz is the idea of flying there coach-class. DVTs, apparently, are enough to keep at least one Parental Unit in the Pacific Northwet. One of my colleagues, on a long-term assignment to the cardiac care unit, is planning to go there for three months--at least--in a few weeks. I doubt she'll ever come back, working as she will be in a place where men outnumber women three to one. And she's a natural blonde, too.
I must go to Australia. Beer is the national pastime and the national drink; it's been compared favorably with the state in which I live. Geographic state, I mean, not the state of pour-sip-read. Australia has a whole lot of venomous critters, which means I'd fit right in.
It would only cost me US$2830 for a non-stop. Maybe I could get the credit limit raised.
Edited to clarify: Mom writes that it's not the threat of DVT that's stopping her from flying to Australia again, rather, "it's the idea of having to see a movie like 'Titanic' both over and back.'" Having been subjected to "Dick Tracy" on the way to Denmark and "Titanic" en route to somewhere I can't recall, I sympathise.
Does Qantas have films of cute lil' ol' platypi?
And, (query for those better-versed in monotrematics than I), what exactly is poisonous about a platypus's spurs? What sort of poison is it?