Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Allegro: “Springtime is upon us. 
The birds celebrate her return with festive song, and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes. Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven, Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.”
Largo: “On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.”
Allegro: ‘Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.” – Vivaldi, Spring Sonnet for his Concerto.

I was in Sydney for the day for work today and most of the day I spent indoors as we were being audited. A regulatory body audit is dreaded by most businesses, but I don’t mind them at all. In fact some of them I actually enjoy! Today proved to be one that I quite liked, with my team of colleagues and I working well together and answering all questions to the satisfaction of the panel. This outcome was really the result of good preparation and having material that was up to the level of scrutiny that an audit panel subjects such material to. The final oral report was very favourable and we now expect the written report, which will be also favourable.

The day here in Sydney was rainy and cool, so just as well I had to spend the day inside. The sky was quite leaden and the rain kept falling in sheets. Definitely a day of spring showers and lingering winter grays. On the drive to and from the airport, however, there was a sure sign of Spring on the median strip in the form of Gymea lilies (Doryanthes excelsa) that have started to bloom. These are a kind of most imposing and spectacular Australian native flower, with long, one metre leaves that resemble sword blades and a central thick flower spike that grows to two metres tall (and up to six metres!). On its top there is a compact cluster of crimson, nectar-filled flowers.

The wattles and the grevilleas are also blooming and the rose bushes have just started to sprout, their unfurling leaves still dark crimson and russet. The bulbs are making their final show, with daffodils, hyacinths, anemones, bluebells, tulips on their way out and the freesias, ranunculus, grape hyacinths and sparaxis still flowering. Winter may linger but Spring is in the air. One of these weekends coming up soon, we must go to the Botanic Gardens as it is a glorious season to visit it. Although the natives are often not as spectacular as the introduced species, the Botanic Gardens have a good variety of plants, both native, as well as exotics. It’s funny how the rose, the Madonna lily, the chrysanthemum and the lilac are all considered exotic species here in Australia!

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