This time next week I should (hopefully!) be on a plane from Canberra to Qatar.
I’ll be in Ireland (Dublin for a little while, and then up to Northern Ireland) for a few weeks, and then I fly to England, where I’ll be in Yorkshire and then Derbyshire for a few more weeks.
I come back to Australia long enough for a trip to the Chinese embassy, and then I’ll be in China into November.
Now, I’d better take a look at my suitcase and pack!
Celebrations in Luhansk in 2013. The city has since been invaded and occupied by Russia.
It’s a bit of an ironic holiday when huge swathes of southern and eastern Ukraine are currently occupied by the Russians and their enormous military, but today is Ukrainian Independence Day.
Vladimir Putin can’t live forever, so maybe there’s hope for the future. If only Kremlin propaganda wouldn’t live on after him…
Today is Vietnam Veterans Day in Australia, so here is a picture of the Federation Guard marching in Canberra during the Battle of Binh Ba anniversary service in 2009 (you can find it on other sites these days, but it’s actually my mother’s photo).
Binh Ba was one of Australia’s major victories in the war, and it was one of the last operations my father was part of before returning home.
Over sixty-thousand Australians served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1972.
Today is the one year anniversary of the terror attack in Barcelona.
I was in Spain when it happened, on a train with my aunt and mother, in the country to celebrate my aunt’s seventieth birthday (which was the day of the attack, so I will always remember the date).
When we got off the train there were men carrying assault rifles everywhere.
During that trip we stayed one street from where it happened.
The photograph is of the makeshift memorial at the top of La Rambla, where the attack began, a few days afterwards.
The National Library of Australia, on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin here in Canberra, was opened by Prime Minister John Gorton on this day in 1968.
Happy 50th Birthday!
Cockatoos in Canberra late this afternoon. There were dozens on the line, but only a few could fit in the shot at a time!
Today is the tenth anniversary of the Russian invasion of Georgia. Russia still occupies parts of the country, and landowners on the fake new borders report having more of their property stolen every day – it’s a slow motion invasion the world has completely forgotten about.
As with Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, ethnic cleansing is taking place in occupied Georgia, and the Russians are destroying all evidence of local people’s culture and history. Historic buildings are being torn down. (A Crimean Tatar set himself on fire in protest the other day – on camera; nobody in the world reported it.)
Georgia was Putin’s test run for his invasion of Ukraine. Taking place just after Obama came to power, he learnt that world leaders wouldn’t act on Russian aggression.
Even though it’s not really needed for diplomatic purposes, Georgia maintains an embassy here in Canberra, to remind people in the South Pacific why they shouldn’t be doing trade with the Kremlin (Fiji and New Zealand, I’m looking at you!).
Seagulls on the lake’s edge in Canberra this sunny winter afternoon.
The lake, with Back Mountain and the tower behind it, in Canberra on this sunny Saturday afternoon.
We have a serious kangaroo issue around Canberra. There are even dead kangaroos (hit by cars) on the grounds of Parliament House.
This is the grass around the Royal Australian Mint (where Australia’s money is made). Every time we go past – day or night – there seem to be more kangaroos than the time before.
I’m always stunned to see people in other parts of Australia getting excited when they see a kangaroo in the wild for the first time. They need to come to Canberra! Many of us find them in our own gardens!