Between walks – Friday 17 and Saturday 18 September 2010

Friday 17 September

I’ve been leading an exciting life with visitors. Last week my cousin Chrissie came to town. We’re almost the same age, and used to look pretty similar, apart from our eye colour. For Christmas, Aunt Joan would make us dresses in the same pattern but blue for Chrissie and green or yellow for me. We never lived in the same town, but we managed to spend quite a bit of time together as children and as teenagers.

Our paths diverged in 1966 when Chrissie went nursing and I remained at school. We’ve had very little time together since then, more’s the pity. I was very pleased when I heard she’d be visiting Canberra. We spent Friday morning wandering around the National Gallery and scored a window seat in the Members’ Lounge for our cuppa. There was much catching up to do.

We had lunch at the Botanical Gardens with Annabel and Camilla. The weather at the moment is heart-rendingly perfect: sunny but mild. (If only Canberra never got any hotter than this!) A quick walk round the Gardens was followed by a flying visit to my house so the cats could demonstrate their extreme nervousness by running and hiding.

Chrissie was kind enough to help me bring in the accursed washing so I wouldn’t have to spend the weekend worrying about it. She also offered to help me get back to Denmark. “I could come with you as your nurse,” were her exact words. I don’t quite need a nurse yet but I do need a travelling companion who doesn’t mind carrying everything. Someone who could share a twin room and sleep through the CPAP machine would also be good. The idea of going to Denmark with Chrissie will be in my thoughts!

Saturday 18 September

In the morning I collected my sister from the airport. She flew down to watch me dance on Sunday. It’s not that good a sight, but I really appreciated her support!

We started the weekend with breakfast at the Daily Grind at Kingston, and did some shoe-shopping next door. Next, we scrutinised various bits of the Canberra Centre – clothes and coffee shops, mainly. Then it was time for Fiona to check in at the Canberra Rex. (Once upon a time when I was a student, the Canberra Rex boasted a Scottish Bar, decked out in red tartan, and an Airport Bar, festooned with model jet planes. I vaguely remember spending a fair amount of time in one or the other after SCUNA rehearsals.) The room wasn’t as nice as she’d have liked, but its age gave it one advantage: you could open the windows.

We came out home to visit Dac (who soon disappeared for a nap) and the cats (who broke the habit of a lifetime and emerged into Fiona’s presence to play with the laser pointer). Towards 7pm I confidently drove us off to Kambah, where we were to watch the run-through of a dance performance on its way to the USA.

The daughter of my clogging teacher runs a Performing Arts school called DancEdge. Louise (my clogging teacher) and Tracy (another member of Silver Soles Cloggers) were off to Disneyland and Universal Studios with the DancEdge kids. They had a brief duo in a clogging number which the DancEdge tap/ballet dancers had apparently absorbed in five minutes (I’m still a beginning clogger after 6 years) so I was looking forward to seeing that.

I say I drove off confidently because I’d already been to the venue of the run-through. I waited in the carpark for ages wondering why everyone else was so late. Turns out I was several weeks early. Nevertheless, I managed to get lost finding it again. Fortunately my sister is quite used to this.

Most of the audience would have been family members of the performers, but the Silver Soles Cloggers turned out in force to see Louise and Tracy. The whole run-through was terrific: accurate, bright, and full of energy. I particularly enjoyed the clogging number which, as promised by Louise, went at a million miles an hour.

Fiona and I rounded the day off with dinner at a Turkish restaurant in Kingston, where we were treated to yet more dancing – bellydancing this time. There were also bellydancers on the Community Stage at Floriade when I arrived there on Sunday 19 September, but that’s another story.

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