Cat has left the country

FORTRESS SYDNEY September 3rd, beginning of APEC week, where 21 world leaders converge on town and crazy security measures are in force. Click HERE for all the news on the APEC conference in Sydney, how the city is locked down and the breathless expectation of this year's Prime Ministerial fashion statement.

Bright sunny spring day here in Sydney, waiting for removalists to arrive after days of helping Mother pack her apartment. I'll be away from Mexico for nearly 6 weeks so will be posting a few travel blogs not the normal Puerto Morelos newsletter which will resume at the end of October. All things charity minded are on a soft hold (Frank holding the fort) but just before I left we managed to hand over much needed boots to our firemen who were thrilled to get out of their gardening boots. Also brought down from Texas was a brand new defibrillator which has been installed in the public Health Clinic in Puerto along with an EKG machine transferred from Dr Carlos who has received another one. We also arranged considerable relief in the form of two truck loads of food, clothing and emergency supplies delivered down to Mahahual in the wake of the havoc caused by Hurricane Dean, pictures show some of the supplies, unloading and the food relief team with Sandy and Jennifer from Puerto Morelos. The people of Mahahual were greatly appreciative for what we were able to provide - thank you everyone for your support especially to some extremely generous individuals.

It is always fun here in Sydney and great to see my friends and eat in marvelous places. Pictures include Sydney streetscapes, lunch in the business district and lunch around the corner with my Mother and son Marcellus. Also a visit to Palm Beach with Dr Mick to see my brother-in-law's new paintings and a chat with Sydney Architect Arthur Schribel. More soon.

September 4 and 5 - cold early morning at Sydney Harbour after dinner with the family in Chinatown I take a few tourist shots for my friends in Mexico, breakfast of chilli beef noodles and catch the train up to Muswellbrook where my friends Holger and Marianne run a beautiful B&B in the best horse country in Australia. I am in the country with birds singing and a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, outside spring flowers bursting everywhere, camellias, peach blossom, wattle, varied acacias, lavender, rosemary, jonquils, pansys, gerberas, cherry blossoms floating in the air - just as pretty as a painting, green grass, magpies, blue wrens, ducks, cockatoos, kookaburras, grass parrakeets with mist in the gully, soft rain dripping from the eaves and sunshine glinting on the rocky escarpments. Went riding yesterday and was promptly dumped on the ground, some sort of horse comment on my abilities but the indignity was made up with a meeting with Jojo an orphan wallaroo joey kept at the homestead, Jojo's Mum was in a car accident a year ago and will be let into the wild in another 6 months time. It's sad time here - for the first time ever Australia has an outbreak of Equine Flu apparently brought in by a ship from Japan and a fault in our quarantine. Its Spring Racing Carnival here and all the horses have had to be quiarantined. And here in the stud country all the studs are locked down. We visited Widden stud where the foals fetch up to $525,000 and a service costs $65,000 but they cannot work at all horses and people are all cut off from the outside world until the Flu is under control

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