After some final mess to deal with regarding the crate of G&S Society things being shipped home (and with many thanks to Neil, Oliver, and Amy(?) for a chance encounter in the Octagon), we're finally ready to leave. We've said our goodbyes, there's nothing left on the to-do list, and all we have to do is make our way to Manchester Airport. Cinderella is in half an hour, which is good as our bus appears to be running late (it was due here five minutes ago and has only just arrived);
it's going to be a long trip. Fortunately we're well rested, having not just finished our show!
With a long trip ahead of us and no wifi, this is as good a time as any for a run-down of Buxton vs Melbourne. What have I most enjoyed here, and what am I most looking forward to back home? In Gustha Ebbastodder order.
* Meeting random people on the street and having something in common with them. We can trade G&S quotes with all sorts of people here.
* A G&S every night. Duh. :) And the whole Festival Fringe, where we and several hundred other people enjoy in-jokes and metahumour based on G&S. Related to the above.
* Unmetered fast downloads. I've been torrenting heavily while we've been here.
* Freedom to do things on a whim, without needing to schedule it around everything. I've been megging a lot of nights.
* Being of value to the Festival organizers.
* The small-town atmosphere. Quite a few people came to recognize us, and I don't think that's just because we're Aussies.
* Walking home with people like Jackie Mitchell after the Festival Club.
* Thorntons Chocolates
* Rambling conversations with awesome people like Robyn Pidcock, the BOH theatre techs (note, there is no F in there), and the Smiths
* Belle's Heaven
* No mosquitoes or cicadas!
* Thea! I can't wait to see my darling sister again. And I know she'll be as delighted to see me.
* Casey. There's no convenient piano where we're staying - or anywhere else, pretty much. I made use of the Octagon's while waiting for the truck, but that's about it. I do like being able to just sit down and play something. Same with the church organ, too.
* Reliable internet connetions. Actually, it's probably no more reliable than here, but we've already solved all the issues at home, so it "just works". Also, I have control of the routers, so again, things "just work".
* Being of value to the nuclear family.
* The benefits of suburbia - convenient public transport, for instance.
* Pedestrian crossings that don't sound like alarms.
* Sweet As's chocolates
* Church services that are based primarily on the Bible, not on social gospel (three Angelicos discussing stuff isn't really church, although it is of interest)
* The whole family there to share in joys and pleasures
* No rain. Yeah, I know we do need rain (aye, sorely), but it does get inconvenient when you're out in it!
* My favorite skillet - with a lid. Frying sausages without a lid is so inefficient.
* Working fully in metric instead of the weird hybrid system found here
Every day, I learn something new, and do something productive. That's my rule. So far, I do not recall any day when I've failed to fulfil it. I'm not, by nature, one to express extremes of emotion; I don't tend to panic, fret, erupt in laughter, nor explode in anger; but through this whole trip, I cannot point to any time when I was dissatisfied or bored. Perhaps that says more about me than about Buxton, but certainly there has been much of delight and interest in these four weeks; I'm
glad to have come, and am looking forward to our next visit - whenever that may be - with hope and joy, but am also not sorry to be heading homewards.