They say you're a local in the Top End when you've been here ten years- or at least that's what they said ten years ago! Like most people who end up settling here, I never thought at fifteen I'd end up staying, much less leaving the place for London and very happily returning- the very place I said I never would return to! It's a strange old world, and, it has to be said, very happy I am to be occupying this slice of it.
Part of this previous reluctance to being a local meant I never really got to Kakadu before now: my love of the outdoors only ever involved a fascination with my grandma's garden, wild mushroom rings, rusty-coloured squirrels and rabbit stew. Kakadu's magic is wilder: the colour of fire and woven of golden lace the black masks of bee-eaters and the king of trees, pandanas. In the last glow of the setting sun, with the taste of smoke on the air and a chill to prickle the baby hairs on your forearms, it is golden Country.
And so, having finally rejoiced in my being a Top Ender, here's a few snappy snippets of my very first trip to our gorgeous national park.
If you're somewhere cold, have a wonderful Wednesday evening snuggled up with something milky and caffeinated with a purry cat in your lap and write me a letter. Or email. I'm not fussy, but I do love to hear from you!