New Zealand's population "as at Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 7:48:12 pm" is 4,269,722, (see here for the latest,) while over in Australia, "on 20 July 2008 at 17:50:29 (Canberra time), the resident population of Australia is projected to be" 21,368,996, (here) and considering we are two hours ahead of them, this is darned close to the same moment. The city of Sydney is supposed to have a little over 4.25 million, and the State of Queensland a few families short of that. From memory, Australia's area is about the same as the 48 continental American.
What I'm trying to say is that it's a much bigger country and therefore they do some things very well. I'm noticing an influx of eminently desirable Australian books in our shops in the last couple of years; beautifully prepared picture books on cooking, arts, craft, style/decor, you name it. I also mentioned Craft Arts International before. At the annual textile conference I sometimes go to, young curators from National Gallery of Victoria present papers, and I, as well as some senior Kiwi curators, am/are always flabbergasted with the scale of things over there.
So I've been thinking, with making a few new Aussie weaver friends here and all, I'd love to have a jump-skip over to the big West Island (that's what one of our popular post card calls Oz). But the best time might be right now: NGV is having a fabulous Art Deco exhibition until October. The building in which NGV is housed is worth a look itself, and the museum shop is... well, everything you'd expect from a museum shop!
Alas, we have to replace the woodburner this year, so no trip to Melbourne; not even a trip to Wellington to see Rita. And then another thing, I've never been to New York, or New England, and I've only been to Canada for 3 minutes illegally while the Immigration guys in Minnesota watched our car, and I've only been to continental Europe for 2 days, in Amsterdam. Heck, I've never even been to Masterton!
OK, I'm going downstairs now.