An Australian Easter
Funnily enough it rained here in Australia on Bank holiday Monday too, so we felt very much at home but warmer. Gradually getting over the jet lag but I am writing this at 5.30am so still a way to go but at least I am staying awake past 7 pm! We had a wonderful day on the beach, my favourite one. The bush comes right to the beach line so there is shade when you have had enough sun, the sand is nearly white and very soft and the water is a wonderful blue. Rock pools are fun to explore, with care, though we haven’t seen a blue ringed octopus yet on this trip.
Besides the tourist side of things the politics is interesting here at the moment, with elections looming following Tony Abbots displacement. Education is on the agenda with the potential abolition of the funding, as is, of SEN. Currently funding is attached to the child, though the school administer this, and it is this attachment that is set to change. Like our system it can be complex and seems to be open to interpretation, also funding doesn’t take into account social status as it is awarded to those in private education as well as those in state schools. However there are large contigents of teachers lobbying for this funding to remain unchanged and it is interesting chatting to them about the similarities of the education system here compared to at home in Britain.
Talking to people and finding out the differences in our cultures, as well as the similarities is always fun and eye opening. Generally though, in this part of NSW it is a bit like being at home. The weather is better and there are brightly coloured birds decorating the feeding station, not to mention the kangaroos bouncing around the neighbourhood. Culturally we are not so far distant. Obviously just now we are not talking about the 20/20 cricket world cup as England remain in the competition, just making sympathetic noises, though we know if Australia were still in and we were out it would be a different story!
Going to the Hunter Valley wine region for a few days today, a little bit like going to the Loire Valley but English speaking. The journey will take about five hours, not long here, though we will make a couple of pit stops along the way for coffee and lunch. In between times I shall be working on assignments ready to pull them together later.