Mercifully, the conference was held at the Hunter Valley Resort and Brewery in the middle the most renowned wine region in New South Wales. Thus in between sessions we were entertained with winery tours and tastings, and the grog flowed generously during the lavish dinners. However for the endless stretch of daylight hours, I was held captive by an under-cushioned over-erect chair in an inadequately heated room, suffering in my intellectual ignorance and struggling to keep my eyelids from fluttering to a sleepy repose. Fortunately, I have a rich inner landscape (and I was seated beside a window) such that I could indulge myself in whimsical fantasy while various Norwegians, Russians, and Frenchmen droned on about the tripartite synapse-astrocytic regulation of glutamate.
It did not help my spirit of arousal to know that while I endured such agony, Kevin was receiving a Big Kahuna Massage upon returning from a chauffeur driven winery tour. He has been working very hard lately, and I am happy that he got a chance to relax…and though I still shudder at the thought of him in possession of an ATM card and unchaperoned at a cellar door, I confess that he did bring home some particularly exquisite bottles of wine, which I certainly never would have permitted him to purchase had I been present.
After the conference, we did a little touring on our way out of the valley, visiting an olive farm (yum), a cheese factory (Yum), a chocolate factory (YUM), and Peterson’s Cellars - a wonderful maker of sparkling red wines (YUM!!). To my consternation, I could not persuade Kevin to pull over to allow me to poke and photograph a dead wombat, but I did manage to capture this shot of a mob of kangaroos as they hopped jovially into the sunset across the grassy plains. Those little black smudges are the kangaroos.