Catching up

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
Trip End Dec 05, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday 28th was another quiet day, trying to get Benjamin into a good regime and over the jet lag.  Spent the morning at The Rocks as the children have been really interested in the history of Australia, and the convicts that landed here in 1788.  We went to the Heritage Museum and saw where the early settlers built their homes, how the city developed throughout the 1800s etc

We hired a car today and went exploring to Rose Bay, where we are thinking of putting the children into a sailing course.  It was a great place - sailing club, beach and playground....what more could you want?

We are quickly coming to realise that Sydney is a hugely expensive place to live.  The weekly shop was ridiculously expensive, close to double the cost of the same shop in the UK, and eating out equally crazy prices.  Same thing with babysitting, cleaners etc etc.  

Saturday saw us catching up with some very old friends from University - Sarah (Wilkie) Emmett Bennett and Nick Bennett and their gorgeous 3 children, Tia, India and Tom.  They very kindly invited us over to their great house near Manly where our kids quickly joined in playing with all the toys in their playroom.  It was the first time they had had a proper playdate or even played with a room full of toys since we left the UK at the end of December, and they really loved the time with other kids their age.  Tia is 5 and India a very confident chatty little 3 1/2 year old.  Tom is about 16 months old so a good little mate for Benjamin.

We all headed to Freshwater Beach via Manly to pick up 2 boogie boards for our kids.  What an amazing spot - Brad and I were instantly jealous of the amazing quality of life the Bennetts have. Nick surfs before work most days and has the choice of numerous great beaches.  Sarah and the kids also have tons of choice re: beaches and playgrounds as well as a fantastic big pool in their back garden. 

We had a good couple of hours on the beach, the kids trying to dodge all the boats that were racing in some kind of competition.  Watching the teams getting in and out of the water provided much amusement for us - a scary number of budgy smugglers and silly hats on show.  Couldn't work out why all the guys were giving themselves massive wedgies as they were getting into their boats until someone said that they do this so that their bottoms stick more firmly to the seats.

After a wonderful barbecue at Nick and Sarah's and a big swim we headed back to the city ready to catch up with more friends in the evening.  This time it was Adrian and G, and their respective other halves.  Everyone met here at the flat then wandered down to a Tapas restaurant here in Finger Wharf.  Great night of catching up on news and chatting about old times, old friends etc. etc.

The kids first night with a babysitter and Katherine's first night out since sometime before Christmas all went very well.  The babysitter put a new meaning on motormouth, but seemed to do a good job with the kids - even Zach who woke up having had a nightmare about sharks attacking him and Jamie in the waters near the botanical gardens!  

On Sunday Brad spent the morning with Jamie on a speed boat with yet another London friend, this time a long time work colleague, Patrick Holt and his two boys, which Jamie loved. Poor old Zach had to stay at home as he had a sore throat and a high temperature.



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Greg Thomas on

Good to hear you have all eventually made it to the right side of the earth - downunder! It won't be too long before you join us in queensland where it's beautiful one day, perfect the next... unless of course it's still flooding or a cyclone is about to cross the coast.

wickens on

Looking forward to seeing you in March. I need to sneak in a few days kitesurfing to remind myself which way is up!

Jude Barker on

Glad to hear you are all back on track with the trip and enjoying Oz so far. Was very envious to read your entry on Freshwater - we had a fab Christmas there two years ago with Paul Monnington, Matt Knight and families. They all live locally - the Monningtons in Freshwater and the Knights in Seaforth.


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