Yesterday I drove my daughter to Heathrow at the start of her extended trip to Australia with a side trip to Bali before she finally enters University this October to read Anthropology and History.

It was all a bit frantic at the end. Her mobile phone broke the day before so I popped into Vodaphone at Paddington station and walked out ten minutes later with a new Blackberry. For those who haven’t noticed Vodaphone have abandoned all roaming charges for the summer period (and may extend. I’ve been waiting for years for one of the major players to make this move as it is one of the biggest ripoffs around. Either way, most of today was using the (always free) Blackberry to Blackberry messaging as she landed in Bangkok, made to Sydney, struggled to make the connection to Brisbane and then endured a mad bus driver to the hotel I had booked for her first two nights. Probably the last bed she will sleep in for a bit as she and friends plan to more or less live in a van as they progress north to Darwin.

Instant communication is a wonderful thing, seeing her reactions to some of the racism she encountered on entry to the hotel (“Watch those abbos in the park”) and being able to respond straight away is a privilege. She will join me in Broken Hill in August when I am out, but in the meantime not only is the inevitable worry of protracted absence removed, but I have the privilege of hearing her thoughts and reactions on what is a voyage of discovery. I didn’t manage to persuade her to do a travel blog, but I may act as a proxy from time to time!

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