Friday, 30 October 2009


Things have been so hectic since I got back from Oz so my blog has been a bit neglected. I was back at work the day after I flew back to London and pedro arrived back in the UK last week, he's straight back in Mark's garage, Dreamshack, so I'm sure he'll have the engine out and the oil leak cured in no time. Further investigation will tell but his theory is that I've bent the crank case when I hit something underwater fording a Pakistani river. anyway, more of that later meanwhile back to where I left off.....

I flew from Singapore into Brisbane where Tracey, my best mate from school days, lives with her husband Gary (aka Reg). They emmigrated to Cairns about 11 years ago and only moved into their new house in Brisbane a week before I arrived!

They were surprisingly organised...not a box in site...they were all hidden in the garage! I did however hear the occassional cry of "Where's....?" "I can't find.....?" etc Apparently Nelson the dog doesn't travel well, Tracey spent the 3 day drive from Cairns hanging out of the window to escape the smell of his farts! Reg found this highly amusing as he was in their other car towing the boat. Nelson seems to have settled into his new home now though.

In need of some rest, I spent a couple of days chilling out, walking Nelson round the bay, drinking copious amounts of wine and rum in the evenings and eating yummy aussie seafood!
I've been to Australia a couple of times before so as I only had 12 days I decided i'd rather spend the time catching up with friends and family than sight-seeing. Tracey and I did manage one day out though, we drove along the coast and took the ferry over to North Stradbrooke Island.
After a huge seafood platter lunch we figured we'd better walk it off with a stroll round the coastline.

Tracey insists she saw two turtles in this inlet, I couldn't spot seems every time I turned away they resurfaced, hmmm.

Big signs warned of weak cliff edges......

This didn't stop Tracey showing off her builders bum though!

I didn't spot the turtles, we did both see whales off this headland though! Unfortunately they were too far off shore to catch them on my poxy compact camera (my slr lies in a watery grave and the insurance didn't pay up quick enough for me to get a replacement before this trip) I was stoked anyway, I've paid for whale watching trips a couple of times and never spotted anything so to see them unexpectedly, just off the coast was amazing.
After a bit of shopping in the fab little shops on the island we had to floor it back in time to catch the ferry!

After Brisbane it was a (relatively) short flight down to Melbourne where my cousin Jodie and her husband Aaron met me at the airport. Jodie's going to hate this photo but she kept trying to escape the camera so it's the only one I have. If you look closely you'll see Aaron in the background preparing the traditional aussie barbie.
last time I saw Jodie she only had one baby, now there's three! Have you ever seen such cheeky looking monsters? Charlotte, Harley and Britney.
Britney was desperate for me to see her riding her pony so here she is at Pony club. They have four horses and on my first day in Melbourne i had the dubious pleasure of accompanying Jodie to the vets where her horse Cruize went in a stallion and came out a gelding! I'll spare you the photos!
Uncle Ted, my mum's brother, and aunty Carol. Really good to see them again after so long and mum was over the moon to see pictures of her brother looking so well.

The night before I had to go to Melbourne for my flight the children tried to feign illness so they could say goodbye. I placated them by agreeing to go to school with them in the morning.
Harley, Britney and Aaron's daughter Lauren.

Jodie lives in Toongabie which is a 2 hour drive from Melbourne, she drove me back in to town and I spent my last few hours before my flight with aunty Carol's sister Valda, her boyfriend and her son's Matthew, Robert and Nathan.
Last time Valda and the boys saw me I was in hospital with lots of tubes in me! They had come to the UK on holiday a few years ago. Towards the end of their stay we headed to Dublin for a few days where I collapsed and was rushed to hospital! It turned out I had Pancreatitis caused by gall stones...a LOT of gall stones (I told my doctor my stomach hurt!!) I was kept in for two weeks before being deemed fit enough to travel back to the UK for further treatment which wound up being five ERCP procedures and open surgery resulting in 6 months off work!!
With flights to catch it meant Valda and the boys had to leave me in hospital, catch the ferry back to Wales and drive the car, which I'd borrowed from a friend, back to London. They felt terrible about leaving me when I was so ill but really had no choice and my travel insurance were brilliant, they flew my mate Beth to Dublin to accompany me on my flight home.
All the same it was an emmotional reunion and they were very happy to see me back on my feet. Valda managed to dodge the camera though....I'll get you next time!!

1 comment:

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