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November Evenings

Has climate change showed its hand more obviously this past week?  Summer has not officially arrived in the Antipodes, but dry radiating high temperatures of between 35 to 45 degrees Celsius have already been recorded in the south-eastern corner of Australia. Located nearer the ocean, I should be grateful for the cool breezes that inevitably blow through my house windows after a roasting evening. The crispy fresh comfort of subtemperate zones are easily forgotten as one moves into the sometimes bewildering adjustment with the energy-depleting and mind-harassing feel of raised temperatures.   Yet, this also means to be more engaged with the environment, when relief sweat infuses our skin with the saltiness of beach air and the spurting growth of plants in response to the changed climate.

The sunlight was still strong and shone straight into my group's originally seated table at the Belgian Beer cafe in Cammeray, north of the Sydney CBD.  Charmaine chose a curry, intitially surprising of a Belgian theme, but then one thought of the imapct of its African colonies on its cuisine back in the mother country.The cafe is well known for mussels cooked in a beer-infused broth (which Chris had), but I was drawn to the double-cooked crispy pork belly - ah, very rich, esepcially with the skin on.  It did not match my expectations formed from what I savoured at the Kaiser S'tuben in Terry Hills, another suburb of the greater Sydney area.  Nevertheless, the pub scene beside the dining area was lively and buzzing, filled mostly with suntanned twenty somethings having obvious relief from an already hot day in the middle of November.  The cherry beer I had a glass of was most agreeable.

Crooner David Campbell was profusely sweating away as he boogied and danced through his on-stage performance at the Norths Club down the road from the cafe.  David has somewhat successfully transformed his career from an excellent start in Les Miserables to a swing and jazz band artiste, who effectively engages his audience with flair in variety and personal charisma.  The positive vibes with an audience played their significance when I attended a UTS Alumni panel discussion on perspectives of careers in the next few years. It had been a temperature, traffic and logistics challenge to get up to Sydney CBD from Wollongong after work, but the forum was worth very minute. The event was tipped off by Joyce, who even reserved a seat for me in a fully packed auditorium at the UTS School of Architecture & Design.

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