Monday, November 17, 2008

Meeting old friends for the first time

Rundle Mall, Adelaide (my current location).

ADELAIDE, South Australia (Nov. 18, 2008) — A few years back, I joined a mailing list connected to a web camera focused on Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The list brought folks together from all over the world. Though the official mailing list is now off line, a group of us continue to talk frequently off list. Taking advantage of my unique geographical circumstances Monday (Australia time), I scratched another I-Cammer off my "To-Meet" list as I had dinner with Helen Potiris and her family in Adelaide.

Helen (with Chris and Amelia in the back) picked me up in front of my hostel in downtown Adelaide at 6:30 p.m. sharp (Helen was coming back after picking up Chris at work) and drove me to their home in the southwestern suburbs where I also met Helen's dad, Jim, and Chris' brother Adrian.

Amelia's third birthday is coming up in about two weeks so I took the liberty of buying her a kid's digital camera along with a Snow White card (what little girl doesn't like princesses?) and I made the card out as being "From John on behalf of Mom's I-Cam friends." No one on the list minded my adding that part I trust. Amelia (left) is a real sweetheart, and although she regarded me with a wary eye at first she warmed up later in the evening and regaled me with tales of flowers, ponds and how their cat, Musket, had been sick as she played with her new camera.

Helen was making pasta for us all (along with an ambitious anti-pasta side plate) when we were all surprised by the unexpected visit of Chris' sister Hazel and her husband Harry from Perth -- making their first visit in several years. Needless to say it was quite busy in the Potiris/Goodhall household, but Helen handled it with the grace of an air traffic controller and no one felt left out.

Me with the Potiris/Goodhall family.

After dinner, the bulk of us went to the shore at Glenelg and took a nice walk, culminating in a trip to the ice cream parlor. I had something called Jaffa Orange, basically a chocolate-orange mix. Quite tasty. We retired back to the house for tea, put Amelia to sleep and spoke about the US southwest (among other topics) before we called it a night and Helen drove me back downtown.

Thanks again Helen for dinner and an overall wonderful time.

(Part III of through the Centre will post later from Sydney. I'm off to catch the train now for a 24-hour ride.)

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