Even though I’m having a “proper” farewell drinks on Thursday night, I think it’s also nice to catch up with friends in a quieter manner. And so Colin and I met at the Lord Dudley for a drink this afternoon.
However, on entering the pub I wasn’t sure how quiet it would be. The footpath was crowded with people, most of them English, according to their accents. I swear the ghost of Sybil Fawlty was haunting the place given the number of times I heard the phrase, “Ooooh, I know”.
It’s not surprising, I guess, since it’s a very “English” bar, with lots of smaller nooks and crannies in which you can sit, relax and chat. So we sat and chatted about what we’ve been doing, and I tried not to bore him by going on and on about my travel plans.
It was then he prestned me with a terrific farewell gift. He’d found one of those “microfibre towels” that I’ve been reading so much about on traveller websites. Apparently they’re fabulous as they dry quickly. I was more appreciative than he thought I would be, as it was something that was on my shopping list for this week.
Colin also gave me a book (in English) by a Swedish crime writer, Henning Mankell which will provide me with endless hours of enjoyment on the plane I’m sure.
His main creation is Kurt Wallander, who…
…is a fictional police inspector living and working in Ystad, Sweden. In the novels, he solves shocking murders with his colleagues. The novels have an underlying question: What went wrong with Swedish society? The series has won many awards, including the German Crime Prize, the 2001 CWA Gold Dagger for Sidetracked, and the Gumshoe Award for Best European Crime Novel for The Return of the Dancing Master. The most recent book, The Pyramid (short stories) (not yet translated into English), is a collection of short stories about Wallander’s past.
I’ve never read any of his work, though I’ve noticed the Wallander series regularly screening as movies on SBS and World Movies.
Only a few days to go until I leave, and only 1.5 days of work left. One of my colleagues joked the other day he might establish a sweep with people guessing what time I would be leaving work on Tuesday. “I can tell you now….”, I said to him, “It’s twelve o’clock, because I’m going out to lunch and I’m not coming back”. Strong words indeed.
As I walked home tonight through the backstreets of Paddington and Wollahra, the sunset caught my eye.
As much as I’m looking forward to my forthcoming trip, scenes like this in the middle of winter remind you that Sydney’s a great place to live.