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Thanks to APEC and the road closures and George Bush needing a motorcade of seventy million limos every time he wanted to drive 100 metres, it was a long weekend in Sydney last weekend. It also coincided with the first weekend of the Women’s Katoomba Convention, so our church group decided to go up on Friday and make it kind of a relaxing long weekend, rather than the usual stressful scramble to make it up to Katoomba in time for the first talks on Saturday morning.

We stayed in a gorgeous and well-appointed house just down the road from the conference centre, at the edge of the golf course. We were pleased to discover that it looked exactly the same as in the photos – I think mum and I have become newly disillusioned about property photos, and how there is a rather large gap between what they promise and what they deliver! But Bodhi Grove was very comfortable and warm and pleasant (it also had the biggest spa bath I’ve ever been in…I felt like I could go swimming).

We had a lovely roast chicken dinner on Friday night, with mum’s Christmas pudding for dessert. It suited the weather perfectly, as it was cold, rainy and foggy outside.

The next morning we headed over to the convention site. This year’s WKC was on the topic ‘A Different Drum’ and had talks from Rose Dowsett (1 Peter) and Lisa Patston (Isaiah) about how we are to walk to a different drumbeat as Christians. Although I found the convention moving and interesting and all of that, my brain was so fried and I was so overwhelmed by being in the same room as 2000 women (the noise! it’s unbelievable!) that I could barely take anything in (my next post will be an overview of my notes, such as they are).

We had dinner that night in the kitschy but cute Swiss Cottage in Katoomba, and I was most taken by the huge cowbells on the wall. They reminded me of my Swiss step-grandmother, Rose, who used to read us a story about these children in the Swiss alps and cowbells (I don’t remember anything more about it than that!). I had rabbit (which the jolly waitress kept referring to as ‘happy bunny’) and mum and I shared the most divine Lindt chocolate fondue for dessert.

I found it a bit difficult to cope with, just the relentless nature of the weekend. Conferences can be hard work at the best of times, but I think I was already very tired, and there is so much happening with work and moving and everything that I just couldn’t function. There was so much talking and interaction and socialising and I am used to having a lot of time on my own, being reasonably quiet. I went and sat on my own in the car for a while at one point, just to get some peace, and wandered off around the outside of the house just to listen to the birds and breathe in the cold air.

Once it was all over, mum and I went to Leura for lunch and then drove to the Baddeleys for afternoon tea. They are both exhausted too, with the impending overseas relocation, so we all just kind of sat in the living room staring at each other and making terrible jokes.