Thursday, 26 July 2012

London Day trips

London Day trips
Below is a collection of ideas about places you might like to visit.  I have put together groups of places in the same vicinity where you might choose to spend a day.  Look up a few places to see what you might like.  I have listed opening times while we are there and prices just to give an indication.  Sometimes buying online or as a concession card holder will be cheaper.

St Paul’s Cathedral, Millenium Bridge, Tate Modern, The Globe (Shakespeare’s theatre), Borough markets, London Glassblowing
From 20120807 Junior Tour - England Pretour
St Pauls (£15 to go to top, cheaper online, otherwise free; 8:30am-4:00pm Mon-Sat)
- Beautiful cathedral
- Survived both World Wars when everything around it was destroyed
- Information Centre here is a great place for picking up a free map!

Millenium Bridge (free)
- Pedestrian bridge running between St Paul’s and Tate Modern
- It’s just a bridge
Tate Modern (10am-10pm Sun; 10am-6pm Mon-Thu)
- Modern art gallery
- Large sections free, top sections will have special (paid) galleries

The Globe (£13.50 for tour, various hours; to see a show, from £5 for matinee standing)
- The relocated, open-air theatre that Shakespeare wrote for
- Has tours and Shakespearian Shows

Borough Markets (10am-5pm Sun-Fri)
- An excellent place to find a fresh lunch and maybe some other (eating) treats. Eg. cheese, olives, bread, cakes

London Glassblowing (10am-6pm Mon-Sat)
- I have spent literally hours (at least 6) watching them create glass sculptures and vases in their workshop behind their gallery.
- I love this place.
- It’s in Bermondsey which is previously a industry/warehouse-type area and is now a centre for design (very hipster)

Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Monument, Bank of England
Basically all within the Square Mile of the City of London.  The walls of the Tower of London mark a corner of the square mile that was once a walled city.  You can see traces of the wall throughout the city.  The wall was built up at different times with whatever came to hand.  The City of London (even now) has a different police force to the rest of London.  This might be one reason why Jack the Ripper got away - all he had to do was cross the road and he was in a different jurisdiction.

Tower Bridge (free)
- This is the one in all the post-cards
- It does open to let boats through occasionally, you can find when here:

Tower of London (£20.90, cheaper online; 9/10am-5pm)
- Allow at least half a day
- See the Crown Jewels
- See various versions of Henry VIII’s armour
- Free tours by the guards that live there (Yeoman Warders).

Monument to the Fire of London (£3; 9:30am-5:30pm)
- If laid down, the tip of the gold monument reaches the origin of the fire
- Can climb the steps to the top for a view of the city, Thames, Tower Bridge

Bank of England
- Has a free museum taking through the history of the bank, explains inflation (yawn), and shows the first bank notes
- If you think it won’t interest you, you’re probably right
- Still kinda nice to walk in this direction/get lost in the myriad of roads of Central London (the square mile)

Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, Mounting of the Guard, 10 Downing St, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery
Buckingham Palace (depends on which bit you want to see)
- I’ve never been in

Changing of the Guard
- I’ve never been, apparently there are lots of people and you have to wait around to get a half decent spot

Mounting of the Guard
- Apparently much better than Changing of the Guard
- I’ve never seen

10 Downing St
- Where the Prime Minister lives - all you can really see are some police guards outside a gate

Trafalgar Square
- Fountains, Giant lion statues, and a guy at the top of a pedestal (Nelson’s column) in the middle of a busy cross-roads that lots of red buses and black taxis go around

National Gallery (free; 10am-6pm)
- Lots of famous paintings in a beautiful setting
- Next to Trafalgar Square

National Portrait Gallery (free; 10am-6pm)
- Portraits of the who’s who in British history
- Next to National Gallery

Catch the train (~£23; ~1h each way) to Windsor & Eton Riverside. (The Olympic rowing is out this way, so will affect the timetable - check out for details)

To Do
- Visit Windsor Castle (£17, 10am-5pm) - at least half a day - to see amazingly decorated rooms, the most amazing dollhouse, a changing of the guard, a gorgeous church where the Knights of the Order of the Garter sit
- The Long Walk - a long street with park and trees either side. The Queen goes in and out of this entrance to Windsor Castle - this is where I saw her!
- Walk along the riverside with all the houseboats and ducks

I liked Windsor Castle better than the Tower of London - there was just so much more.  It was sumptuous and I could see why this is where the Queen likes to spend her time.

The Monopoly Board
- You know the streets

Shopping: Oxford St, Hamleys, Harrods
Oxford St
- A street full of mainstream shops - usually packed

Hamleys (188-196 Regent St  London, UK W1B 5BT)
- A 6 storey toy shop (fun!)
- Hard to walk out empty-handed

Harrods (87-135 Brompton Road  London SW1X 7XL)
- Expensive and known world-wide

- Big name brands at cheap prices.  Usually quality, but need to search a bit.

- Really cheap

And plenty of others

Southbank, The Eye, Houses of Parliament (Big Ben), Westminster Abbey
- Really nice to walk along the Thames
- often a festival atmosphere

The Eye
- Expensive to ride but fun to see

Houses of Parliament and the tower containing Big Ben
- Cool to see

Westminster Abbey (£16; 9:30am-3:30pm Mon-Tues)
- Beautiful
- History of coronations and weddings

Other Great Starting Places:
Walking Tours
These go everywhere, fairly cheaply, departing at a variety of times.  I am keen to go on the Harry Potter tour and can recommend the Jack the Ripper tour.

Hop-on-Hop-off buses
There are two main companies. They are comparable on price, quality and route.
The Big Red Bus
The Original London Tour Bus

Free Stuff!
There are free museums and galleries all over the place.  You can access all the permanent galleries for free (there are boxes for donations, but no obligation) and there are often featured shows for a price.

The National Gallery - some of the Big Name Painters of all time on display
The National Portrait Gallery - a history of Who’s Who in (mostly English) history
The V&A (Victoria and Albert) - Design Gallery (sculpture, paintings, jewellery, costumes...)
The Tate Modern - modern art
The British Museum - full of colonial plunder including Egyptian mummies
The Wellcome Museum - some weird stuff - science and art museum combined
The Natural History Museum - haven’t been, but heard good stuff
The London Museum - takes you through a history of how it was to live in the London area, from the point when it was only animals

Olympic Events
Women’s Marathon (Sunday 5th 11am)
Lookup Wikipedia for the route which has a start leg, followed by three loops of the same course passing sites such as: Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Bank of England, Tower of London, The Monument, along the Thames opposite The Eye, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament.

Men’s Triathlon (Tuesday 7th 11:30am)
The 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run will take place in Hyde Park, one of the eight Royal Parks of London. The swim will take place in the Serpentine which will have a pontoon constructed to act as the start. The cycle will involve athletes leaving the park via Queen Mother's Gate, travelling through Wellington Arch, down Constitution Hill and on to Birdcage Walk in front of Buckingham Palace before returning to the park to complete the event with a four lap run around the Serpentine.
A temporary 3000-capacity seating area will be constructed in the park in June 2012 and a three-metre high temporary fence will surround the events.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

WUGC Day 1, Sunday 8th July

While it was the first day of play for all other Ultimate divisions, Women’s Masters don’t start until Tuesday.  We used the morning as an opportunity to train together again.  We brushed up on our connections and zone defenses, an intriguing site for the neighbouring soccer players, not to mention the sumo school or cage of monkeys.

The afternoon was free time, with the majority of players choosing to head to the fields.  First stop the Australian Mixed team (Barramundis) beat both Germany (17-10) and Finland (17-1).  The Australian Men’s Masters (Wombats) got up over the USA (16-13) – described as an entertaining game due to the characters involved.  The Women’s team (Firetails) followed up their showcase game with a win against Singapore (17-5).  The Open team (Dingoes) “beat up the Frogs” (17-8).

As I was flying straight back to Australia after the final game of the tournament, I joined up with Liz and Lu to explore the area.  We each had already found some lunch at a local street market where you could buy fresh seafood and grill it yourself over hot coals in buckets on each table, a band singing Engrish onstage.

Going in search of a temple that Liz had spotted from her hotel room, we came across a park where hundreds of kids were waiting to play, were playing or had just played.  The boys were there for baseball on the lushest grass I had seen and the girls for a version of basketball.  The boys were really cute all in their matching, complete baseball outfits, but the three of us were most intrigued by the girls’ game.  Played on gravel in the steaming heat, there were no basketball rings.  Instead, at each end, there was a stool that one of the players would stand on, and around them, a semi-circle that a defender would stand in.  It appeared that every other aspect of the game was the same, but to score, a team would throw the ball to their teammate on the stool to catch.  As is fitting for an Australian, we cheered for the underdog.  This team fielded one of two girls who were a head shorter than everyone else, looked 6 where the others were 8 and who ended up standing near their own goal daydreaming.

The park was an oasis in a very industrial area.  The whole family was out and we dubbed the playground a ninja training ground given the amount of balancing equipment.  Leaving there with a hundred photos of Japanese kids, we felt like our stereotype of the Japanese was reversed.

Our search for the temple aborted, we headed back to the local market, only to find it had been packed up, then back to the hotel to form our next plan.  A tourist map supplied the answers – we headed to the Nintoku-ryo Tumulus (Emperor Nintoku's burial mound) and Daisen Park to visit a tea house.  A couple of trains later, we found the Tumulus, really only visible from the air, it’s a giant keyhole shaped mound covered in greenery, surrounded by a moat, more greenery and another moat.
We headed to the tea house in nearby Daisen park, only to find it closed.  The park itself was probably a more authentic Japanese experience and it was full of people.  We stopped to watch a couple of games Shoji (Japanese chess).  One of the elderly men in particular took an interest in us and we tried to converse.  He asked us where we were from (Australia), whether we were students (no), how old we were (30 – really? Asking a woman how old she is?), whether we were married (after showing them my ring, he then examined both Liz and Lu’s hands) and whether we had children (no).  To start with I thought he was trying to pick us up, but on reflection, I think he was just curious about our culture and expectations for women in general.

The rest of our afternoon passed with a quiet sit by the lake, praising the ingenious fishermen, laughing at the groups of giddy lap dogs and their owners, learning some Japanese phrases, respect for an elderly man's high knee hill runs, taking photos of tiny kittens and a wander through the serenity of the park.

We met the rest of the team in Namba (there is more than one information centre..) for dinner - a delicious combination of food including a highlight Shamba(?) where you cook your own food in a giant pot of boiling stock.  From there, an exploration of the river and some icecream for dessert.

Unfortunately, all my images from this day were corrupted - it's a good thing I have such a good memory.

WUGC Day 0, Saturday 7th July

Today was the first official day of the World Ultimate and Guts Championship (WUGC2012).  It was launched by numerous politicians and, notably, Miss Japan.  We were entertained by fan dancers, percussionists with giant drums and each country was represented by a school child bearing our flag – a much more efficient and endearing method than each athlete walking out, but without the same buzz.

The very first games in the Open, Women’s and Mixed divisions followed, with Australia playing Japan in the Women’s match.  A really tough match with turns from both sides, and blocks being generated by the Aussies.  The confidence of the Aussie Firetails seemed to peak and trough, which, together with some unfortunate drops, saw them finish down 17-10.

My team, the Women’s Masters, known as the Flying Foxes (or I’d like to think ‘affectionately’ as “the old bats”), played a warmup match versus Great Britain prior to the opening ceremony (Lee and I made a mad dash from Kyoto to the field via 3 trains and a bus).  It started with torrential rain, moved through high wind and in the final stages, sunshine – all in 45 minutes.  Both sides worked out some of their nerves with some early turns, particularly drops.  GB’s strengths were their inside-out break throws and hard man defense.  The Foxes used this as a great opportunity to meet each other (3 of our players are based in 3 different countries outside Australia) and to run through our strategies.  We were lucky to come through with the win 8-5.

Thursday, 5 July 2012


After travelling all day, two flights and a bullet train, we arrived in Kyoto tonight.
Without trying to sound like a pretentious wanker, we have travelled quite a bit lately and as result each new place tends to stir up memories of a past one.
My first impression of Kyoto was of the humid heat, which took me back to Hong Kong (but without the smell). As we walked down quiet, one way streets with bicycles tethered to themselves, I was reminded of the Netherlands.
Once we checked in at the hostel and were shown to a completely separate building down the street, I was reminded of the place I stayed in Venice.
A feature of Kyoto that seems all its own are the vending machines that are literally 10m apart along every road.
We ate a late takeaway-style dinner (ordered through a vending machine, of course) of Katsu Don and Sukiyaki, then wandered through the local supermarket boggling at all the seafood, fresh and dried, available. Following advice from Andy, my work colleague, I bought some milk chocolate to try.
I am looking forward to getting to see more of this historical city tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

If only

I have debated whether to post about this topic as it's highly personal and I'm not sure that it's appropriate.  However, just like plenty of other people out there I am choosing to share perhaps too much information - primarily, as a journaling process and secondly as a way to reach out to people.

Almost 7 weeks ago I miscarried.  The pregnancy was at 7 weeks and 5 days.  Since that time, Lee and I have filled our lives with busy-ness.  I have re-entered the Australian Women's Masters team, I have continued coaching the Australian Junior Women's team, after about a month I was ready to take photos again and did two photoshoots.  

Today, I went to see the Doctor about another matter and on coming out received some scans.  I have only had one scan.. from the day I miscarried (it's actually longer than one day).  That was a bit of a side swipe.  I could see it.  It was real.  The report from the scan is so dry, and yet knowing the outcome so powerful.  Our little foetus stopped growing at 6 weeks, without even developing a heart beat.  And yet I still feel sad for what could have been.

Now that all the body changes have reverted and we're so focussed on our outside life, it's so easy to believe that it never happened.  That the dream was never a reality.  I am left wondering how my life would be different.. 
I wouldn't be going to Japan next week to play for Australia.
I might even be wishing that I could go and feeling like I was missing out.
Our house might have some semblance of order.

Instead, I console myself with the fact that everything is operating as it should.  Which right now just feels a bit weak.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The footy

Sunday, we had the luck to land some seats at the footy (Australian Rules Football). Not just any seats, but seats with mini screens and close to the middle of the field where substitutions take place.

It was great to be at an Australian-loved (Victorian-obsessed) game watching the West Coast Eagles (my team) beat Richmond.

My lasting impression was less about the game and more about the crowd. The supporters hate the umpires. They are referred to as maggots and every call or perceived lack of call sets off the resident expert. The loudest and most frequent cheer is not actually for the teams or players, but an appeal to the umpires of "Ball!" (They are calling for the opposition to be penalised for Holding the Ball.)

There are 5 active umpires on the field that is approx (insert size of field). (It's no wonder that it's referred to as going for a kick in the paddock - you could feed a community for a year on produce from just this space.) Only in Australia would a field this size exist for a single game. The umpires are extremely fit and are more often than not in a position to see the play. However, being a contact sport, with a ball that can travel 50m with each kick, the sheer size of the field, the number players surrounding the ball and an intention to keep the game flowing, it's pretty much impossible to keep everyone happy. So how do you strike that balance?

It's impossible to play the game without umpires and impossible and not worthwhile for them to call every foul. My Pollyanna view is that supporters should have the awareness to realise this and move on. Perhaps they think it's safer to have a go at an umpire, than risk annoying the big bloke a couple of seats down.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Great Australian Holiday

Every January, our family would head to Geraldton for two weeks of beach holiday.  This would constitute getting up 'early' to go to swimming lessons every morning at the beach (1h), swimming for a further hour (depending on the conditions) and driving back to the caravan park.  From this point the options were: jumping out at the front gate to go straight into the pool for another hour or more before lunch or cutting straight to a warm shower, getting into trackies and vegemite on toast.  We lived an hour's drive from the coast and water is pretty scarce, so I took every opportunity I could to swim.

Afternoons started with a mandated 'sleep' (sigh) before we could take on the playground, card or board games or, if we were lucky, a bit of TV, right up until it was dark enough to eat tea and play some Spotto.

I re-lived a little of this over this Easter weekend, when we went down to Ocean Grove with a bunch of Frisbee nerds.  I will justify the Nerd label by a short inventory of what I noticed you could steal from the twelve of us over the weekend:
  • 12 smart phones
  • 2 ipads
  • 2 laptops
  • 2 internet dongles
  • 3 DSLR cameras (2 Nikon, 2 Canon) & 2 tripods
  • 2 Kindle book readers
  • A collection of books on Anatomy and Lean principles 
One of the coolest things about the weekend was that it was comfortable.  We easily transitioned between playing card games (Munchkin, Bang, Jungle-Speed, Cribbage) in a fun-focussed atmosphere to all pitching in to cook or clean up. 

We also went to the beach.  At the beach there were Frisbee games and kite-flying.  Despite its freezing temperatures, most of us ended up in the water too.  The surf served up a sequence of spilling waves, perfect for riding.  It was gentle enough for me (with an injured lower back) to even catch a few into the beach.  Much more pleasant than many of my short dumper experiences at WA beaches.  The freezing water and weight off my back did wonders in the short term, even if I didn't think so later that night.

The pure enjoyment from the weekend seemed to stem from a bunch of fun people that are all big kids at heart - a great way to approach life, I think.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dining Out

As a kid I loved reading and I loved watching TV.  These were my two favourite activities while on holidays.  I was often told, "Go outside and get some fresh air in your lungs."  The air in our house was probably fresher than the air outside in the city, but there was more implied.  

One of my favourite wake up calls was when Dad came in full of energy saying, "Up, up, up, up, up.  It's a be-yootiful day.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the [insert day specific activity here (eg. sheep are waiting in the yards)]" while his arms waved like he was levitating us out of be in time to his "up"s.

I think having a stationary office job makes you appreciate time outside, but I think I have an even stronger appreciation, because I've lived in London.  London has plenty of great things happening all the time, but it's also no secret that its weather is not a main attraction.

Now, when I get home from work and it's one of those still, just-comfortable evenings, I am dead keen to get outside and take advantage of it.  The same goes for when it's sunny at lunch time or any other chance I have.  Tonight was one of those nights, and today had one of those lunch times.  It's a good thing for our bank account that Lee and I have such busy evenings as my first thought is, "Let's go and eat outside in Lygon St."

I would love to sit on our balcony, feet up on the balustrade, looking out over the houses, but unfortunately our balcony is full of bikes.  Instead it was the grassy verge between the roads (it's hard to explain).  I made myself comfortable on the cooch grass, crickets in the background, an occasional insect buzzing past, and when I had finished, I lay back and searched for pictures in the clouds.

Eating outside is part of the culture.  Staying with Co-Head Coach Lu (and Pete) yesterday I was invited into their "dining room", which could also be called their balcony, for a delicious breakfast of pesto scrambled eggs and ricotta cheese in the fresh Sydney air.

Picture these:
- the verandah
- cafes spilling onto the street verge
- picnic and cricket/soccer/frisbee in the park
- the good ol' Aussie BBQ.
They are so much a part of the Australian lifestyle that we can take them for granted.  

I'm just glad I don't.  Thanks London.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Sunscreen and Sock tan

I am earning a crust again.  I'm still the Bread Eater in our partnership, but we can afford some pretty decent bread.
(As a quick aside, we were given Michael and Jan's breadmaker when they moved to Seattle, so we've been enjoying some delicious fresh-baked bread.)
This means that I no longer have as much of that dearly-loved Time.  In fact, looking at my calendar I'm starting to panic a bit.  We have come home and slotted into some previously-established habits, such as Monday night league and club training.  On top of that we have brought back some new interests, such as photography and are getting more involved in the professional scene in Melbourne too.  Having been away and isolated from our families, we're also keen to make sure that our connections with family are frequent too.

On Friday, it was announced that I was one of the lucky ones selected for the Australian Women's Masters team.  This means a trip to Japan at the start of July.  I am also the Co-Head Coach of the Women's Juniors team - which means a trip to Dublin at the start of August.  The preparation for these two events will be a fairly big commitment in the coming months.  Already I am seeing the outcome from full weekends outside with a developing t-shirt and sock tan, and last night experienced that familiar sensation of scraping layers of sunscreen from my face - still better than sunburn.

We thought we were busy before we left, but bringing back our 'full' life from London, plus time for friends and family, means we're approaching new heights.  I think the outcome will be a couple of tanned, fit and life-fulfilled Australians, and hopefully not two strung-out shells of beings.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Same, same but different

It's been a while since I've posted and in that time we've been acclimatising back into life in Australia.  In many ways we have just slotted back into where we were.  On the Frisbee side, I am lucky enough to be playing with Sporting Team Box Athletico United (luckily there have been no additional words added to the title since I left) and Lee has rejoined Chilly.  Both teams have evolved in the time we have been away, but as always there are big plans.

Lee is working at Praemium on Collins St again.  Praemium moved us to London and back again, so this is not surprising.  His role has evolved to include more management, leadership and, as a result, responsibility. His involvement and enthusiasm for work has doubled and I can see that he'll really reap the rewards.  I have also been offered some work by my previous company too, so I may be working within throwing distance of Lee again.

We are back in our place in North Carlton, realising just how beige it all is, how much stuff we really don't need and trying to work out how to get rid of the excess.  Our big plans to renovate are crawling along week by week.

As for cultural and social differences between Australia and the UK, I haven't noticed too many in addition to what I've noted previously - except maybe a propensity to play more country music - something that I'm not really complaining about.

Some lessons I am rediscovering about Australia, is the need to apply sunscreen every day, wearing a hat and walking in the shade.  I don't know if I'm sweating more than I used to, but I'm certainly noticing it more.  It's only 35 degrees!  I feel sorry for Lee who has to wear long sleeves everyday - although he does also roll them up everyday.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Australia Day Weekend

I'm home!  There's nothing quite like an Australia Day weekend in the bush to really feel like I have come home.  

Relaxing in the shade on the verandah, occasionally jumping from the deck into the pool for a round of laugh-out-loud or Stealth Marco Polo, the sound of the Hottest 100 on the radio; or 
Chewing on the medium-cooked, inch-thick, big-as-my-palm steak done on the barbie, the white cockies chattering and whistling in the gum above, as the golden sun sets, feeling the condensation pool around the cool drink in my hand; or 
Feeling the sweat accumulate on my back with the sun high above, feeling the full brunt of its strength against my skin and the heat from my hair making the 35 degree heat feel hotter, the smell and the grease of the Banana Boat sunscreen, cool grass between my toes; or
The smell of an incoming rain storm, the first cool, big drops, the intense darkness of the clouds, the penetrating heat slowly easing, the blowflies sheltering in drier areas; or
Sitting in the shade of a tree of the high sun, the click-click of the sprinkler, tasting a fresh muscato with a fresh salad, in great company, with a backdrop of green vines, big trees and rolling hills covered with yellow grass; or
Cruising down the highway with windows wide open, the rushing wind and road noise, hand on the back of Lee's chair, chatting or listening to an audio book, the crackle of the radio handset as the convoy drivers talk about existentialism (yes, actually).

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Back in Australia

It's only fair that now I'm back from travelling that I notice differences in Australia compared to the rest of the world (sweeping statement as I haven't actually been everywhere else in the world yet).

I have no idea why there would be any speed-caused accidents in Australia, because as far as I can tell, no-one speeds.  The locals tell me that speeding fines and demerit points are just so huge that it's just not worth it to speed.  Even doing 66km/h in a 60km/h zone is a $500 fine.  I find that easy to do accidentally, imagine if I missed a sign.

Going out to eat is expensive.  Hopefully that will help to curb our takeaway menu a little.  Fuel is expensive (compared to the U.S., but not to Europe).  We're trying our hardest to survive without a car.

I've missed this bloke.  (For those who don't understand this, it is a type of person, not an actual person.)  Yesterday I was greeted on the street with a smile and agreed that it was a "be-yoo-di-ful day".  This optimism and cheerful greeting from a stranger on the street I have really missed. 

The 'Burbs
Maybe it's because we're in the suburbs compared to across the road from a transport hub that we notice things like: trees everywhere and no-one out walking.  There is all this space and no-one in it.  I've blogged about it before, but this effects personal space.  When there was an issue with the trains, Lee noticed the Melbourne idea of a packed train is close to the number of people on a normal London train.

The Accent
This is driving me a bit crazy.  Previously it was the 'ay-ye' sound that seemed really pronounced, for example, "You don't say".  But now I'm hearing much more.  The 'er' pronounced 'a', as in, "Baker".  The nasal tones, from women in particular.  Part of the problem is that I can hear it in so many other people and cringe inside, but at the same time can hear myself reverting back to it!

It is everywhere!  I had forgotten Australians' fascination with all sports.  I turn on the radio or the TV and all I see is sport - if it's not tennis, it's cricket - if it's not cricket it's something else.  Isn't there anything else happening in the world?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Aussie Adventures begin

Having lost all my carefully crafted posts about New York, Washington and Seattle, I am feeling a bit sad and deluded.  Several hours worth of phone restoration has not helped.  It may be some time before I can bring you the tales from these adventures, but I will continue to keep you up to date on other happenings.