We're back after four days in Canberra as it turned out as a pre-surgery special. We had already bought a package to go to Canberra to see the Tom Roberts' exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, the Chinese exhibition about the Qing dynasty at the National Library and the British Museum/National Museum Encounters at the Museum. As well, we caught up with the Nolans at the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery which also had a travelling exhibition from the NGA on Federation art, a Wendy Saddington tribute (!) and a display on Canberra housing. We also caught up with Lilitu B. at her shop, and Kit and Neville came down from Sydney for a couple of days. We stayed at Hotel Hotel which was very comfy, friendly and trendy (we wondered whether we were cool enough) and had good food for breakfast and our one dinner. We also ate at an Asian fusion place in Civic and Black Fire (a Spanish joint).I was very impressed by the Roberts show, especially, as P. said, the pastel portraits. Having read the new Reed biography, I at last separated Nolan, the shitty person, from Nolan, the not-bad but uneven artist. We returned three times to the NGA, once for the Australian section, the second time for the International (now upstairs) and the third for the separate Contemporary with 'The Last Supper' made all from Murray-Darling salt by Ken and Julia Yonetani with two other works, including a nuclear chandelier set indicating how much the nuclear power countries use nuclear for power. In the International, the standout was the slightly controversial Grand Canyon by David Hockney which in retrospect was a very good buy. It stands out as a beacon in the gallery and the kids love it. A bit arted out, we returned to Melbourne through stormy skies with minimum worries.