Last Wednesday I had a day off because of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) day. This public holiday remembers the massive loss of Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli, Turkey during World War 1. This was Churchill’s biggest mistake. Allied troops were massively defeated by the Turkish/Ottoman army. Anyway, for me it was a lovely day off on which I joined the mountaineering club for a bike ride. There are two big hills here called Black mountain and Mount Ainslie both between 800 and 900 metres high (Canberra lies at around 600m). There are many firetrails going through the ecalypt forests on these hills which are ideal for a mountainbike ride. We had lots of fun and we even found some single tracks in the forest of Black mountain to descent on. Single tracks are the most exciting. My bike performed adequately although it is not a true mountain bike. It has 21 gears but the sprockets are too big to go up the steepest hills. From Black mountain we rode to Mount Ainslie but me didnt climb that hill since some of us were pretty exhausted already. We came back via the war memorial where the ANZAC parades were early in the morning.

Yesterday evening was a special day for all the dutch residents of Canberra because the the Dutch Ambassador here had organised with his wife a get together at his luxurious residence located behind the Parliament hill. So we celebrated queensday (Koninginnedag) in Canberra! There were a lot of elderly people. Many spoke at least some Dutch, however there were also people who must have forgotten the Dutch language as they simply spoke English. I met my Dutch ‘supervisor’ and post-doc from the uni and I met a man with whom I spoke with for most of the one and a half hour. He came to Sydney to do his PhD and eventually married an Australian woman. He said he has been in Australia for at least 16 years. The evening was interesting but it didnt last very long. At around a quarter to eight I wanted to ride back home but fate must have struck me because my bike tires were flat! I called one of my housemates right away to ask if he would pick me up. He could and thankfully I only had to wait for half an hour. I spend 4 hours today to fix the tubes from my bike. There were lots and lots of tiny invisible thorns in the tires that kept punching holes in the tubes ><

I’m also wondering if my nail on a finger on my right hand is ever going to heal since i managed to bust it between the door and frame several weeks ago. There is a possibility i’ll loose the nail… of course it will regrow eventually. And while i’m at it, I burned my hand on the element in the oven today while preparing some food. Argh… Australia is dangerous I tells you.

Here are some pics of our little slimy pets. 🙂 First 5 photos. The tub is standing in the living room.