Hello everyone. I have been trying to resist the temptation of starting my blog for this year (it is a bit of a chore) but digs from several quarters have spurred be on to believe that I have got some readers although the book deal offers have yet to materialise!
This years trip down under started with a 3 night stop over in Dubai and I must say it was lovely to get off the aircraft after the 7hour leg, knowing we had three nights in a comfy bed before embarking on the second 14hr sector to Sydney.
The stop over in Dubai was designed to fight the jet lag effects we have felt in the last couple of years and to enjoy a couple of days chilling after a busy Christmas/New Year but it was so much more than that. We stayed in a lovely down town hotel, thinking we would maybe spend most of the time by the pool with a bit of shopping in the vast Malls but in fact, never found time for the pool! We hit the biggest Mall in the world, Dubai Mall on the first morning but true to Snowden form, were fairly overwhelmed and jaded with it within an hour so visited the underwater world at its centre which was amazing although we later found there is an even bigger (needless to say, the biggest in the world) one down at the coast. We passed it later on the tour bus but felt we had seen enough under water for one trip.
We bought a 48hr pass for the hop on hop off bus tour and spent the rest of our trip doing exactly that, getting a good feel of the old blending or nearly being eradicated by the new. We had expected it to be very hot but actually we were at their perfect time of year with weather in the low 20’s, perfect for sight seeing and if we got a bit hot, we could nip into a bus shelter to cool down, would you believe they have air conditions bus shelters! On the down side, we found Dubai much more expensive than we had anticipated. We had expected drink to be expensive but also eating out was very costly too. Our steak and chips with bottle of wine the first night cost us over £200.00! Nice restaurant but not that good!
Well rested we traveled on to Sydney arriving in on an early Monday morning which was Angie’s Dad, Paul’s final day before he took the evening flight home to Newcastle.
We freshened up at the apartment then walked down to find their new home which they moved in to a week or so before Christmas. It is lovely and gives them so much more space than they had in their lovely little house in Margaret St. They have actually moved about 500m so are still an easy walk from us and have lots of space and a garden for the children. Unfortunately the compromise on the wish list was no off road parking but as lots of the other houses in the street do have drives and or garages, there is less competition for parking space and so far they and we have usually been able to park right outside the door.
Needless to say it was wonderful to see Jack and Eva both of whom are gorgeous (obviously!) Jack is maturing into a lovely polite thoughtful little boy. He still has the odd melt down when frustration or tiredness over takes him but is gradually learning to manage it. Eva is much more even tempered and always smiling and happy. Her downside is that she sleeps very little and I don’t know how A and O cope on the sleep deprivation but somehow they seem to. I won’t be offering to have her overnight for a while yet but both children are vey happy to come out with us without Mummy and Daddy in the day time. Eva seems like a little doll as she is quite tiny for her age but very nearly walking. She stands and takes a couple of steps and enjoys the applause but then loses balance and reverts to crawling or walking around the furniture. She will be 1 in about 4 weeks but think she may be away before then.
In the intervening 2 weeks since our arrival, we have bought a car so that we have a run around and generally settled in to Sydney life. Jack has had his 4th birthday which was celebrated with a party at home for some of his friends and their Mums.
We have caught up with friend Joseph who flies out next week to his native California to pursue the next stage of his future there. Partner Luke will follow in May and we and Oli and Angie will miss them greatly as they are definitely part of our Australian family.
After Australia Day tomorrow, Sydney goes back to work and school after its long summer holiday so to coincide with that, the Margaret St house has just gone on the market so J has been helping out with a few jobs there to get it market ready and is today down at the new house doing a few things there to help out. It is all in pretty good condition but a new kitchen is wanted fairly urgently and replacement bathrooms and general decoration are on the list so there will be plenty of odd jobs to keep Jeremy happy. The main thing he misses when we are here living in our very manageable apartment is little projects so he is now in his element!
I am heading off for a bit of a walk as I have been fairly disabled since breaking my foot in November. This has left me generally unfit as well as frustrated and in 4 weeks time we are scheduled to be walking the Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand with Paul and Moyra so I need to push myself into some action!
As ever, your news would be welcomed.