The jet lag is slowly receding. Coming back this way, it means a wave of fatigue so deep I can barely stand. I can feel fine and suddenly find it washing over me and dragging all clarity with it. The tide’s coming in later each day and I’m hoping to make it through my first day back at work before it hits.

Some photos have also lagged but are definitely worth posting. This one was in the old part of Porto – I found it astonishing that it seemed to appear on a demolished site. At first glance I thought it was painted but zooming in with the camera proved that it was tiled.

It’s now my desktop background at work.

I love the simplicity of this bird against the old customs house in Porto. It was a little hard to make out and certainly didn’t rate a mention from the tour guide – he was too busy telling us about those bridges.

And there was this stunning tiled picture on a grand home near the university. The other reason it’s so remarkable is that it doesn’t appear to be religious. I checked for reeds, Moses and other biblical figures and it seems to be a straightforward desert scene. Quite eye-catching.

You’ll notice the summery quality of light. Melbourne’s winter light is taking quite a bit of getting used to after all that brightness.

Edited to add: There are other photos of the sewing machine company – here, a shop sign in the Azores, they also seem to distribute designs of national dress.


Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy

Did anyone else read those Le Carre novels? At the time I wasn’t quite sure what a tinker was – I read these as a teenager – but I did imagine something like this:

In this matter, I am completely outnumbered by the rest of the family. Take apart a theoretical model? No problem. Take apart a piece of machinery? Where’s the sledgehammer?