Australia was familiar – same language; a shared culture to a large degree, more so than America – but utterly foreign at the same time, and I hadn’t expected that difference to be articulated so immediately through its natural environment. In response, here’s an impressionistic selection of notes and images on encountering Australian flora, fauna and environment for the first time, influenced partly by my simultaneous reading of Robert Hughes’s majestic The Fatal Shore. (This motif – reading historical accounts, whilst encountering the contemporary – is lifted specifically from Jonathan Raban’s Passage to Juneau.) I’ve also folded in other accounts of New Worlds, including Brazil and America, drawing from art, film, food and books, all circling around the sense of environmental difference to Europe.
In brief: this is what blogging should be.