So, brief summary of the past few days. I arrived stupid early on Thursday morning. In an effort to keep myself awake for as long as possible I went for a long walk along the sea front and back through Albert Park. Short siesta, then the cousins came home from school and turned out to be delightful. Yay cousins.
Yesterday I spent the morning in the Botanic gardens, which is a really wonderful place. And I happened to be at the war memorial for 11 o'clock; I'm glad to have marked Remembrance Day, which is taken very seriously in Australia. The jet-lag really hit me at about lunch time, and the rest of the day passed in a kind of zombie haze where all my attention went to keeping awake. I accompanied my aunt C to the market, and then my uncle D arranged for me to have some hospitality for Friday night with some friends of his who have kids of an age with my cousins.
These friends turned out to be lovely. They took me to Temple Beth Israel, which is a big Reform shul, for the Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday night) service. It's a bit more towards the left of the Progressive spectrum than I'd normally choose for myself (organ, show-offy chazan, liturgy with English passages vaguely thematically connected as opposed to being translations of the Hebrew), but nice people. And then they fed me a lovely meal, very shabbosdich. Lots and lots of children (not all theirs), and good food, and friendly and pleasant. The wife had a funny accent, and I was thinking to myself, this is ridiculous, I can't possibly be unsure whether someone is Welsh or Irish, they're totally different. Turned out she's half and half, so that made me feel a bit less stupid.
Anyway, people are returning and waking up, so I should go and be sociable.