Thursday, 20 May 2010

Birds at Balmoral...

Today my GG and I took a little trip to Balmoral and had lunch at the Bathers Pavilion, an iconic Sydney this time of the year, it's not crowded, parking isn't too difficult and the views are fabulous...As we were walking in, I spotted several of these sulphur crested cockatoos making light work of a whole section of the garden outside the restaurant. I know they are destructive & noisy creatures, wreak havoc in gardens and are unwelcome visitors in lots of places but I can't help having a soft spot for them. I remember when we first moved to Sydney and I saw these for the first time in their natural was amazing...their raucous cry is a familiar Sydney sound and one which is so at odds with the soft sounds of the birds in an English garden.

This was the view out towards Sydney heads - the water looked so inviting and I was reminded of so many picnics on this and chips from the 'Bottom of the Harbour' accompanied by a bottle of icy cold bubbly....

My time in Sydney is coming to an end and the familiar feelings of uncertainty are beginning to stir in my mind - I am going home but leaving a place which is just as much home to me and where I could happily stay a while longer. I am reminded of a wonderful post by Vicki Archer at French Essence when she returned to France after a visit to her native Australia...I think it may have been called 'Home & Away' and totally sums up my feelings at the moment. It seemed impossible to me today, looking out on the still clear water of Balmoral Beach that this was not my home; I wouldn't be driving up the highway and in through the familiar gates but instead, the task of getting organised for another long flight back to an old Mill House in the heart of England's countryside awaited........s

Friday, 14 May 2010

An Australian Anomaly...

I just spent a couple of days with the Camerons - no, not David and Samantha, Duncan & Sandy, at their property in Scone, the horse capital of Australia...this is the view from the back of their house - out to the ranges, the wild, dry Australian landscape like nowhere else on earth....

Within the boundary of their property they grow these: Magnificent roses, white and profuse - to me, the two don't go together....rose gardens mean lush, green, damp.....don't they? Another anomaly which is Australia....

I had lunch with an old friend today and then we drove into town - coming back across the Sydney harbour bridge I felt a surge of love for this brown land, where roses grow in a dusty landscape and cars go nose to tail for miles up the Pacific Highway on a Friday afternoon, out of the city and up the coast...Australia, home to my family for many years, ancient land of anomalies and surprises, I love you will always be here and I will always come back.......happy weekend everyone.........s

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A Mother and Daughter Picnic..

On a glorious Sydney autumn day, we headed to our favourite picnic spot - Apple Tree Bay in the Ku-Ring-Gai chase national park. After loading up with paper plates and blankets we headed for the Australian institution - the chicken shop - to collect the obligatory b-b-q chook and salads! At the top of the hill we nearly turned tail and headed back...there was a long line of cars and a ranger imparting gloomy information about the parking situation down at the bay...we took the chance and were happy we wasn't nearly as bad as we feared and we were able to find a sunny spot near the water and soak up the autumn sunshine. It was a bonus to spend Mothers' Day in Australia with my GG, by the water, under a beautiful blue sky, having a picnic.....Happy Mothers' Day Aussie Mums!.........s

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tags, Bags & Jetlag!

Just wanted you two lovely ladies (Sarah at Semi Expat and Jeanne at Collage of Life) to know that I haven't forgotten your photo tags!!
In my dazed jetlagged state it's been an effort to even remember which bag the laptop was located in! What is that thing with jetlag? I don't find it's the tiredness per se which gets you - it's that dazed state where you are going through the motions, but not really there....odd and scary for me...I always think that if I drink more water/stay longer somewhere on the way over/take more vitamins etc. etc. maybe it won't be so bad, but it always is!
If any of you have a miracle cure, please pass it on!
Meanwhile I shall step into a hot shower, have another cup of tea and hope I manage to get to the uni this morning without losing consciousness behind the wheel!
If only I could just get all this cotton wool out of my head, I'd be fine.....have a happy (hopefully cotton wool free) day...........s

A (big) surprise for my GG...

In case you've been wondering why things at the M.H have been a bit quiet of late I can now reveal that's because I was busy making plans and travelling here:

to surprise my G.G for her birthday on Thursday & boy, was she surprised! I hadn't told her I was coming and after arriving in Sydney on Sunday afternoon I thought I would send her a casual text on Monday morning and ask where she was....she said she was in her room at Sydney Uni so I hastily drove over, parked up and made my way to her room, knocked on the door and......well, I can tell you it wasn't me she was expecting to see when she opened it. Tears all round, lots of hugs and a wonderful reunion was had by all. She will be 20 on Thursday so I have made a reservation at one of Sydney's best restaurants and all I need to do now is get over the jetlag enough to enjoy it. Yesterday I was running on adrenalin but today the zombie like state has kicked in and I'm not quite sure if it's breakfast time or time for bed...but never mind, I'm so happy to be here and able to celebrate her birthday, watch her perform in the College play and, as a small bonus, it's Mothers Day here on Sunday! Will keep you posted!..........s