I interrupt my self-imposed exile from blogdom to wish the world a warm greeting on this, my homeland’s national holiday. Australia Day commemorates the first landing of Captain James Cook and the First Fleet at Sydney on 26 January, 1788.

This was not the first arrival of humans, nor even the first arrival of Europeans, but it was the event which marked the beginning of Australia’s modern history. For this, we celebrate. Thanks be to Almighty God who brought my parents to Australia, where I was raised in relative comfort and privilege. Not just in always having a spacious house, new clothes, wholesome food and luxuries like a car, television or computer; but also that I was raised a native speaker of English, a cradle Catholic free to learn and practice the Faith, the receiver of a world-class education at the state’s expense (even now in university), and have always received free or heavily subsidised medical care.

Happy Australia Day.

My Christmas was wonderfully spent with my extended family in San Diego, California. I returned to Japan just before the New Year, and suffered horribly from the effects of extended travel and probable gastrointestinal viral infection. My thesis work is coming along, and please God I will be finished in time. Once that’s out of the way, I expect to return both here and to Flickr with belated stories (and photos) of my trip around California and my upcoming trip around Japan. Until then, pray for me!