In Christchurch, even on an overcast day I have to wear sunglasses against the glare. (Not on all cloudy days; there's just a certain kind of high cloud.) In Melbourne, it seems to be frequently very comfortable for me to not wear sunglasses even when it's perfectly fine.
Also, at the conference I was at yesterday the air conditioning had been turned on a little too well, so at lunchtime when I was talking to someone we went out and talked in the sun. We were there about half an hour. In the full summer sun at noon. What was I thinking? --And yet I didn't get burned.
I bailed on the conference early due to the last session being of no interest to me whatsoever, either professional or personal, and instead took the opportunity to go find the Koorie Heritage Trust which otherwise would have been permanently scheduled against all my other conferences. Unfortunately baggage allowances these days limit you per bag as well as by weight, which I hadn't paid attention to before choosing the bag I'm travelling with, but I got a few books I should be able to squeeze in.
Got back to the hotel and changed shoes, then met my co-traveller who had hired a car and conceived the notion of going around to see the penguins come in from the sea at sunset. I'm not yet used to the scale of things here, which is not a reference so much to the rush hour traffic out of Melbourne or the two hour trip (although I did eventually realise that the reason my backbrain was convinced that we were heading north, even though the setting sun was on my right at the time, was because in Canterbury if you've got the sea to your right then you're heading north) as to expecting there to be a couple dozen people hanging around on a beach watching these penguins come in. Instead there were a few hundred, sitting in actual amphitheatres and well outnumbering the penguins.
The penguin place keeps calling them the "little penguins" which I thought was just, you know, being cute for the tourists, until I saw them next to the seagulls massed on the shore. In the end I'm not sure which of the two species were actually bigger, but the penguins would definitely collect in little groups before venturing through the gauntlet of seagulls. So tiny.
(No photos of penguins allowed, though jerks kept trying. So I got a blurry sunset photo on the way, and then a blurry photo of a bird which my backbrain promptly decided was a cassowary. Was my backbrain right? Is it possible to tell anything from this photo? Maybe it's a moa.)
Woke this morning with a sore throat which I'm going to treat like it's dehydration rather than early onset con-crud, because the latter would be a blasted nuisance given that I've got three conferences still to attend next week.
So far have visited/attended things at three separate universities, two of which are in walking distance from me and basically next door to each other. Monday is at a fourth, and then I think the next ones are back at universities I've already been at. [ETA: Oh no, just realised Monday's conference isn't at the university, it's at the university's conference centre here in the CBD. So disappoint!]
- In which she is in Melbourne