I have not been in this small town since some time in my teens, and this was many years ago. I was still at school, cars were relatively primitive and liable to break down, far from mechanical help. The family car did indeed break down, on a scorchingly hot summer's day, and it took hours for help to arrive and for the car to be repaired.
The town was small, and not at all touristy. It is very different now, and is an attractive place, with craft shops and second hand shops and all sorts of other attractions.
We are staying in a large dwelling described as a homestead, with many bedrooms, bathrooms and living tooms, extensive grounds and it is very comfortable. The gardens need a lot of attention. There are many rose bushes, all in dire need of pruning, and many types of citrus, a couple of which I cannot identify. Lots of eucalyptus trees, and magpies and kookaburras. It is all very lovely, and the frustrated gardener within me itches to get out and prune, pluck and gather, perhaps to make marmalade. There is a pot-bellied stove, and ample logs of wood. All very cosy. My daughters orgainised it all.
Today is my birthday, and since my elder sister's death several months ago, I am the oldest person in the family, and there is no longer anyone who has known me for my entire life. There is much food for thought.
We are lazing about now, having dined on delicious roast lamb, followed by the renowned within the family buttermilk spice cake, a recipe I obtained from a Canadian friend and colleague, the most more-ish cake you could ever encounter.
I am both happy and sad, glad to be with family, but with many reflections on life, past, present and future.
And I am hoping not to get too cold tomorrow.