Sunday, September 9, 2012

From Oz To The Emerald City

Well we've successfully made the move from Melbourne, Australia to Seattle, Washington. From Oz to the Emerald City...It's only until January (while the missus finishes her sabbatical research on WW2 fiction) but I think five months may be enough time to get a handle on the place. We'll see. Since we got here it's been very sunny and pleasant which is something of a relief because Melbourne just had six months of an atypically wet autumn and winter. I imagine the same weather system (El Nino, La Nina?) that has been giving Melbourne unseasonably chilly, damp weather might also be giving the Pacific Northwest dry and sunny weather? I don't really know but we are going to enjoy the sunshine in Seattle while we still have it. 
The first order of business for me after arriving here was to take the kids to a baseball game. It proved to be a good one. Thirty seconds after I said to my daughter, "just watch, Jesus is going to hit a home run," Jesus Montero did in fact hit a home run. It was technically father's day in Australia and that amazed look in my daughter's eyes at her dad's prophetic skills was an epic father's day moment. The Montero HR proved to be the winner for the Mariners over the Angels and to add to the coolness of the afternoon, after the game all children under 12 were allowed to run the bases, which my girls thought was fantastic.
I'm blogging this right now at the Starbucks on Alki Beach in West Seattle. It's a blue sky day with a temperature of 72 degrees. I'm eating a pumpkin scone and drinking a cup of coffee which is delicious and strong and (take note Melbourne) took less than thirty seconds to arrive after I ordered it. To my west I can see Puget Sound and the snow capped mountains of Olympic National Park. To the northeast lies the gorgeous city of Seattle which with its Space Needle and mountainous environs looks like a city on Hokkaido or maybe Korea. It's so clear today that you can see all the way up to Mount Baker in the Cascades (which border Canada) and all the way down to Mount Rainier, 70 miles away to the south. This is a nice town and I know of which I speak. I have put down roots in a lot of places. Like Ronnie Van Zant I'm a bit of a free bird. For long periods of time I've lived in Carrickfergus/Belfast, Coventry, Leamington Spa, London, Oxford, New York, Jerusalem, Cairo, Boston, Denver and Melbourne, and although all those places have their pluses and minuses I have to say that Seattle wins hands down in terms of the beauty of its setting. Ok, I havent got the rain yet, but I wonder if Seattleites know just how lucky they are to be living in a place like this.