(continued from part 4) So I talked basically all day and apparently everyone liked me because even when they had the chance to hear Roger or Jennifer, quite a few of them still picked me! There were just about 300 people at the conference – super great group!
Saturday night we (the speakers) were invited to a banquet. I have to say, the Australian APDT are a WILD bunch of women! (and a smattering of men) The Rocky Horror Picture Show was playing on screens around the room and they had a DJ and after dinner, dancing (I was a wall-flower). It was nice getting to know Karin Bridge (President of APDT AU) and a few of the other members. I went to bed around 10:30 pm and apparently the rest of the group lasted until I think 1 am.
On Sunday, Alan, the AV person with the hotel, taught me a bunch of things; how to add hyperlinks into my presentations and a few other computer things that previously have been beyond me. We had a nice chat as well during one of Roger’s talks (sorry Roger…) I am quite grateful to Alan – not only is he very nice, very sweet, very knowledgeable, but he is very nice looking to boot!
I gave one more talk in the afternoon - Putting Fun Into Pet Dog Classes. The Board gave us all (Roger, Jennifer and myself) a neat pouch to attach to your belt, a lovely fleece vest with the APDT AU logo on it and pin (did you know that in Australia, they call fleece type pullovers "jumpers?"). Then we were all on stage for photos and I hope I get copies soon...<hint hint to those of you that took them>
Throughout the three days I ended up doing 3 booksignings - I was scheduled to do only 2, but by popular request...!!! :o) How cool is that???
I was quite let down after the conference ended. I wanted more and more and everyone was leaving! <sniff> I thought it was funny that everyone else was exhausted and I was still raring to go! I think they all thought I was nuts. So I went out to dinner, Jennifer met up with me and she is such a hoot! Then she crashed and burned, so I came up to the room and worked on this blog so I wouldn’t forget anything.
Today (Monday), Pauline and her daughter Jacqui took me on the ferry and we went over to see the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks and we did some shopping. (I think we also went to Parramatta at one point - I am not sure) and we also drove around Olympic park and saw the largest cemetary in the southern hemisphere) I bought some authentic aboriginal art and just had to get a boomerang – no, I will not be throwing it for the dogs! I also got an oilskin coat since mine is getting kind of ratty and because the US dollar is (for a change) better right now, it didn’t cost me much in US dollars. It was a hot day and at one point, Pauline went up these very long, very steep steps and I waited at the bottom. I asked her what was up there and when she responded "a nice view," I said, "I think I can pass it up..." THEN, I finally crashed and burned myself! Not too bad for being here 6 days! I never did get jet lag and for that I am grateful.
Pauline has been an incredible tour guide – she is extremely knowledgeable about many topics – flora, fauna, politics, history, and much more! (and she works for the equivalent of the DEP) and I learned a ton of new things! She has gone out of her way to help make my stay here quite lovely and for that I am eternally grateful!
Tomorrow – my last full day here down under, will be spent in the care of Jacki King – another APDT AU member.
Completely out of order because the days have now all run together;
I have seen koala bears, kangaroos, thorny devils, perenties, rainbow lorikeets, regent bowerbirds, southern cassowarys (this is the most amazingly cool looking HUGE bird), magpies, noisy minah, spotted tailed quoll, wallabys, dingos (they look like Shiba Inus), Little penguins, weedy sea dragons (they are really cool!), seahorses, sharks, platypus (they are much smaller than I thought and remind me of a cross between a penguin and a seal and are only about 18- or 20 inches long), water dragons, yabbies, meercats, long necked turtles, emus, Ibis, white cockatoos flying all over the place (weird to see them in the wild, rather than stuck in a cage in someone’s house), black cockatoos, ravens and crows (which sound VERY different than the ravens and crows at home) mudskippers, barramundi, port Jackson shark, different species of stingrays and sharks (and I learned how to tell the difference between a male and female shark), a full array of coral, a zillion different kinds of other fish, (Anna would be jealous!), hump-headed maori wrasse and a ton of other birds that I don’t remember the names of. I didn’t get to see the Tasmanian devil because it was sleeping in a dark corner of the section he was in. (I am still waiting to get some photos from Pauline - on day one, I forgot and left my camera in my suitcase at the hotel, so she took pictures from her phone)
I have seen mangroves, (did you know that you can’t get rid of them because if you try to dig them up to develop that land, it releases poisonous gases? So now they are protected) and the most amazing array of trees and plants that I have ever imagined. Bottle brush, red gum trees, date palms, Gymea lily (I think that is how it is spelled), moreton bay fig treess, and trees that the bark peels away in very big sheets and people used to use that bark to write on. Did you know that the trees in Australia aren’t used for building houses? The trunks aren’t big enough or straight enough to use and they don't have heardwood trees there, so they used to make houses out of bark instead. And did you know that none of the houses are made of wood at all? White ants destroy any wood products, so all of the houses are made of concrete or brick. Also, none of the houses have basements! The continent is mostly sandstone and doesn’t lend itself to digging a basement.
The entire time I felt like I was in a museum diorama and when you see the photos, you'll realize why I felt that way.
Erosion is a huge problem on the coast. Roads along the coast were abandoned and rebuilt off the mountains as separate (not touching the mountain – kind of like a separate bridge if that makes sense) and in just a few years after the road closed, you can’t even tell there was a road cut out of the mountain!
I wanted to buy a didgeridoo – the really weird noise that you hear on movies that are based in Australia that we all equate now with Australia – but they were just a tad expensive – as in over $1,000.00! They were absolutely gorgeous though and I enjoyed looking at them and there were some people on the streets playing them and showing us how the sounds are made. They almost remind me of kazoos – not the sound itself, but how the sounds are made.
Causes Pamela Dennison Supports
Glenhighland Farm (Border collie rescue), NEBCR (New England Border collie rescue)