Left on Monday, arrived back on Friday. My grand-aunt died and her funeral was on Wednesday, so we spent two days driving to get up there and then two days to drive back, with one day being devoted to the funeral. I'll have a proper post up later with photos of Sydney and talk about other aspects of the trip.
This entry's purely for grand-aunt Dawn, who was kind to me, loved dogs, spoiled her grandchildren in all the best ways and was a devoted gardener who grew the most fantastic mangoes. A lot of people cried at her funeral, including most of my cousins and all of her grandchildren. Her father was there; she was 62 and he was only in his eighties. She was five years younger than my father and two days before she died, my father had been making plans for us to visit her in Sydney. She's one of the few relatives I have on my father's side that liked me and approved of me, colorful hair and all.
When my mother told me she'd died, my first reaction was to protest "but she's nice" because she was. Nice might seem a weak word but it isn't -- she was kind, she was sweet, she was patient and I wish she'd lived longer.