I also made a brief clandestine trip back to Canada in June - I was interviewing for a faculty position at Acadia University in Wolfville. There were only three people interviewed so I had a decent shot, but it wasn't meant to be. I found out last week that they had given it to someone else. Although it was a pretty awful trip (only 3.5 days home, 2 days in the air) and it was disappointing to come so close to a great job so close to home, it was a good experience, and hopefully I'll get the next one that comes up. My original goal was just to get an interview, considering it was a pretty high profile position (tenure track, Canada Research Chair), so it bodes well for future applications.
The chilly weather here has slowed down our hiking schedule but we've still managed to do plenty of fun things, including a visit to the Science Center (yes, dinosaurs are cool), lots of market days, baking, and our now-weekly get-togethers with our friend Steph. When we tell Edie that Steph is coming over she immediately says "party!" - it's fair to say that Steph is a fan favorite. We've also started going for night walks. Since it gets dark here just before 6 pm we can take Edie out for a walk before she goes to bed. She loves getting bundled up in her stroller and holding her flashlight to look for possums and echidnas (which we would never see this time of year, but that shouldn't stop her!).
Edie's rapidly expanding vocabulary continues to impress. She greeted the moon the other morning when I opened the curtains after she woke up at 5:30 am, and she's taken to piling plenty of toys and other trinkets into her bed before she goes to sleep. Just when we think she can't get any cuter, she surprises us again.
It's also election campaign time here, with Australia's first female prime minister, Julia Gillard (recently annointed after dumping formerly unstoppable Kevin Rudd with an overnight party insider coup) going against opposition leader Tony Abbott. They present very polarized viewpoints, so it should be a good race. Of course, both are promising a tougher stance on asylum seekers that regularly arrive on Australia's shores, mostly from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Even though these "boat people" represent a small fraction of the number of illegal immigrants in the country - the vast majority are people who came legally and overstayed their visas - they are an easy target for any politician that wishes to cater to a fraction of the population that has mild xenophobia. Undoubtedly it's a difficult issue, but unfortunately it's one that pokes at our base emotions.
That's all for now. We'll enjoy these cool days....it won't be long before we're sweating it out again. Enjoy the pics.