May Day, the festival celebrating the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, seems an appropriate time for beginning a blog for the first time.
Of course, as an Australian residing in Canberra, this morning proved to be an aptly chill affair for the welcoming of the coming winter. Leaving behind the mists and autumn toned trees of the city, I followed the sound of bells to the summit of mighty Mt. Ainslie, rising all of 846 metres above sea level.
There, still in darkness, was a gathering of the Surly Griffin Morris Dancers.
With bells strapped to their legs, colourful sashes across their shoulders and bowler hats and wooden sticks raised before them, the group twirled, stamped, shouted, slapped their sticks and danced the sun into dawning.
Music was made, laughter and spiced buns were shared, and in congratulations of their achievement the Griffins retired to the mist-cleared city for coffee.
It was a glorious start to the day, and a vibrant and noisy welcome to the coming of my first winter in the national capital. Canberra has proved to be full of such pleasant surprises, offering a rich (perhaps autumnal!) abundance of outdoor activities, friendly people and delicious coffee, as well as confirming the excellent reputation of the Australian National University and the wonderful supervisor under whom I shall write my doctoral thesis.
And, self-evidently, the surprise that I would write a blog about these things.