Thanks for the kind thoughts devoted readers ...
Marius flew back to Melbourne a little over two weeks ago to check up on me and to "escort me home". We had a lovely week being tourists in Melbourne before succumbing, one after the other, to a special Melbourne head cold. Marius is mostly recovered while I am stuffed with drugs in preparation for our flight tonight. In fact, we have left behind the steam driven internet at my parents' and are enjoying the hospitality of the Air New Zealand lounge (and their wireless broadband) before embarking.
Yes - the desert beckons. I have been lucky to have missed the worst of the summer and am looking forward to more pleasant conditions in the dust. I have enjoyed the "winter" in Melbourne - nine weeks of it - and am more than ready to return to my own patch. I have kissed the faithful dog goodbye, patted the parents, hugged the children, packed, checked in.
Marius is sitting next to me enjoying a fine Barossa Valley red, checking his emails while I am writing this. A fateful date to be travelling. I was in the air over Europe ten years ago when that incident occurred. I sincerely hope that there will be nothing memorable about tonight's flight.
All the best to those remembering the lost lives and innocence.
Normal transmissions (with pictures I hope!) will resume soon.