But I can't get it out, because my flight to Sydney on August 30 has a stopover in Fiji. Fiji! I wasn't able to work things out for a 24-hour layover, but I'll be in Fiji for a small bit. It looks so small and precarious on a map, lost in the middle of a foggy sea. (In your heart, you'll hear it call you: "Come away...Come away.")
And then I go to Sydney, then Perth, then Melbourne, then back to Sydney. Plans move on apace.
There are two Morris dance teams in Sydney, and contact has been made. Unfortunately I will be in Melbourne the day the Sydney Morris Men dance out at Bondi Beach, but the team Squire has suggested we all meet up for a pint while I'm in town. Hooray! I've asked them if they are a singing team.
I may be able to make it to a practice night of the gay and lesbian band in Sydney. In fact, they practice on my very first night in the country. I could begin the day in Fiji (Fiji! Gosh gee, hey gee, you ought to be with GeeGee!) and end it at band practice. Unfortunately, I will be in Sydney on the night the Melbourne band practices. I definitely did this trip backwards.
sinnabor wrote a letter of introduction to a friend of his in Sydney, who sent me the most delightful note welcoming me and offering to show me around when I arrive. My friend Geoff, who had a lot to do with trying to get me to come to the SAGE-AU conference in Australia, has offered to put me up when I'm in Melbourne. ("I hope you like food," he noted slyly.) My friend Elizabeth and her family will be in Perth the whole time I am there, for the same reason, with almost as much free time as me. A guy I hung out with a lot at the USENIX-LISA conference in Seattle 6 years ago and who lives in Melbourne has indicated a desire to meet up with me when I'm in Melbourne (it's yet-another-Brian, but that's a lifetheme). The SGI folks in Melbourne seem pleased that I'll be visiting.
Now I'm starting to research hotels. I found the Ardmore House in Newtown, near the University of Sydney. Click on the "rooms/rates" link for a wonderful picture of your hosts Declan and Peter and their dog Tara. Say, do you think they're Family? I'm leaning towards staying there at the moment, although I've found an elegant place nearer to Central Sydney that offers seriously discounted last-minute rates (within two weeks of arrival), and I suspect that these will be available since I'm traveling off-season.
In the meantime the vaudevillean voice in the back of my head continues on:
Rings inside her nose, bells upon her toes
I'm here to tell you that she's some high kicker
Her kick is like the kick in homemade liquor ...
But oh gee, say gee, you ought to see my GeeGee
From the Fiji Isles!
Maybe if I sing Waltzing Matilda often enough and loudly enough GeeGee will go away.