The last sleep—only I can’t. I have at least said a good farewell to Brisbane, to the great people who have become friends, to the gift of reflection, renewal, rediscovery. I think I now understand the concept of sabbaticals, and we all should have them.
It only took four days to really say the goodbyes.
Wednesday I met Annabel at Threads and More. Mars was there with her lovely granddaughter who brought her needlepoint and joined the ladies. Geraldine, unexpectedly, was there; the rain had canceled her trip. Lynda, the owner, greeted me with the “Hi, Jane,” I have begun to expect. It’s like showing up at Cheers and I’m Norm.
Annabel, who took me on a tour of quilt shops, gave me three of her scrumbles. She has been working on these for two years to get enough to make a jacket, but she gave me three of them. I was so touched. They will probably be hung on my wall. She also wrote the sweetest note.
Lynda reminded me that if I am going to get to come back, I must give her enough notice to advertise some workshops for me to teach. I promised.
I paid up and walked back to the train station for the last trip back to the city.
Julia came in her new sweater. She was determined to finish it before I left and she did. It looks wonderful on her. We had a nice evening and then Liz, Julia and I went to this special restaurant and had desserts and wine.
Julia taught me something very important—I didn’t want to eat anything because I was wearing my new dress and I didn’t want to get the inevitable food stains on it. She reached into her bag and pulled out this big silk scarf, threw it over my shoulders and chest and said, “There, now you can safely eat.” I had a really classy bib. And I did get wine on it, but Julia graciously said it would just remind her of me.
Friday—I went bib shopping. Scarves were on sale and I bought three.
We visited one of their favorite seafood places for lunch. It was very different. It was a seafood market where you could buy whole fish, filets, prawns etc. and then they would cook them for you.
Upstairs was a big room where we could eat and look out at the boats in the harbor.
We drove to Noosa, where some of the beautiful people go, and shopped a bit. Ate ice cream on the beach and watched the storm come in. Steve bought a T shirt and Liz bought a great beaded top. The rain came and so we headed back to Brisbane. Steve and Brett talked every possible kind of motor sport and then relived every World War II series ever shown on the History Channel. Liz and I just listened and laughed and I knit.
She brought us a going away bag with Anzac biscuits, souvenirs of Australia, and a calendar to mark the date of our return. She really believes we will be back. Wrote such a lovely card.
We came back to our place, had cheese and fig and beer. Brett gave us lots of info as we watched the third match of The Ashes test match—cricket, against England. Such a great day with friends.
Today I washed and packed and just thought. Steve ran in and out to get us some food, but I was content just to sit and wait for tomorrow. This has been such a gift and I do so hope I won’t forget the things I have learned. I know I’ll never forget the people who have made us feel so at home here.
It’s 1:30 am and I should be in bed. No worries. I’ll sleep on the plane.
More later—from home.
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