The Brownbookproject gets in the mood for Australia.

This Sunday the Brownbookproject is traveling to Australia.  We fly by Ethiad. I wonder if Tyler Brule would fly Etihad.  Tyler?

To get in the mood for Australia I recently entered this FT competition to win a luxury trip.  But I’m very happy nonetheless with our plans to rent a camper and drive from Sydney to Melbourne over 6 days and then fly to Tasmania for New Years and a wedding. I’m looking forward to the wide long empty beaches and forest roads and as far as the eye can see plains.

I would say, as an aside, to anyone who brings up the 23.5 hour flight as a deterrent to visiting Australia to get over it. If sitting on your behind for a day is too much to get to a continent that is as vast and varied in it’s landscapes as it is enchanting and surreal to be on the other side of the bloody planet between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, then you need to take some time to reflect upon your outlook. It gets me quite angry I tell you.

Calming myself down, a small facet of this trip that I’m looking forward to is their coffee. The Aussies have a love affair with coffee that is far more overstated than you would find in Europe.  Good coffee in continental Europe (see how I say continental. Coffee in London is overpriced and has too much of a chemical resonance – this excludes my favourite coffee place Café Saporito on Melcombe Street) is innate and so does not, perhaps, need the fanfare Australians afford to their own appreciation. But they are very good at it. Almost anywhere you go you can be guaranteed to get a decent cup from an independent shop.

I’ve read a couple of books about Australia over the last couple of years. Bill Bryson‘s Down Under is the obvious one which has some fun facts and stories but it wasn’t really that compelling.  More so is Sven Lindqvist’s Terra Nullius. His book chronicles just some of the abuses of the Aboriginal people during the appropriation of the land by the British and their arrogance made/makes me quite mad.  This part of history never ceases to amaze me in how it was justified.

On the plane I think I will read Australian Novelist Peter Carey’s His Illegal Self.

Oh and in case you’re wondering how much abuse I’ll be perpetrating on the planet by this jaunt: 4227kgs of carbon by  flying 36,210 kilometers . Useless as Copenhagen has turned out to be; show me the money you might as well say, I can pay $60 to someone to offset this carbon. Ha, I would do if it wasn’t for the fact that I have planted about 500 2000 Caribbean Slash Pine saplings in Queensland for the State Forestry Commission. True, in 20 years they’ll be cut down for pulp, but my reckoning is that over their lifetime they will convert enough of my carbon emissions to oxygen to more than make up for my adventures.  If someone knows of a way to confirm or refute this statement please let me know. I’m not adverse to being knocked off my high horse.

I’ve got the boardies laid out on the bed, the t-shirts are in the wash and the sun glasses are getting a dust down. Next Sunday I have no idea where I’ll be exactly but I will try to post a picture of whatever I see on Sunday morning.

Happy Sunday!

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