Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sheldon


I mentioned that something sad had happened in my last post. This was that my dear little pet rat died. Sheldon came into my life after my friend found him in her garden and, as he was clearly domesticated, I adopted him.

He developed an adorable personality and it didn’t matter if we were watching tv together, playing outside or just snuggled up on my bed, he would always make me feel better no matter what!

One evening he was out playing on the sofa with me as normal but then collapsed into my hand. I suspect it was a heart attack. At least it was a quick way to go and he hadn’t been ill or in pain beforehand.

I miss him a lot. A little part of me still expects to see him waiting to come out and play when I get home from work and it makes me sad when I remember he isn't.

Rest in peace my little Shely.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Goo Goo G’ Joob


a.k.a. My 2 weeks with Mum

Sunday morning, very early, I was up and at an airport waiting for a flight which was of course over an hour late. I stood and watched reuniting after reuniting and got a little nervous about seeing my mother again. Eventually she appeared and all my worry disappeared. Why was I nervous? This was the woman that raised me and I could never feel weird around her.

Australia Survival Kit
When she arrived back at my house she was presented with her Australia survival kit which contained: a beach towel, thongs (flip flops), sun block, bug repellent, sunglasses, a toy kangaroo holding a flag and, of course; a beer.

She wasn’t allowed to stop for very long before I whisked her away into the city to get all the tourist BS out the way. Ok when you’re the tourist it’s not BS but to everyone that lives in the city tourists are like cows in the country, slow and big and always in the way when you have somewhere important to be. Be that as it may, I actually enjoyed showing off the city to mum. We did circular quay and the botanic gardens and all that stuff.

Over the next few days we did
·         the zoo - seal show is still amazing no matter how many times you see it
·         Bondi beach – fish and chips in the sunshine is an international winner
·         the bridge pylon – oooh ahh pretty view
·         etc.

It was nice to have the time to do the things again as the person that lives here not the newbie. Ok on holiday I rather get up later than when I would to go to work but c’est la vie. Mum was gradually getting acclimatised and losing the jet lag which was good.

Wednesday night was sad. I’ll write about that later.

Home for the 8 days
On Thursday we picked up our camper van and began our 3000km road trip down the south coast. Getting out of Sydney was a pain in the arse but after that we saw very little traffic as we went through little town after little town. It’s strange how backwards and stuck in time some of these places are. You take it for granted that there’s electricity and signal and internet but there isn’t everywhere here! And normal things like in the UK you are never more than 30 minutes’ drive from a supermarket that will sell you all your groceries but in these little towns there are still a baker and a butcher and stuff because the big corporate chains haven’t got there yet. It’s nice in a way, somehow purer and more community based. Having grown up in the middle of nowhere in the UK, I know these little towns are the kind of place where I would go bonkers in.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a traditional city girl. Give me a horse and a national park and you would not see me for weeks but that’s not a good way to make a living. Mum and I joked about emigrating and setting up a B&B somewhere out here. I could run the business, Mum can cook, Dad can bartend and my brother….. Well, he’s a blacksmith so he would be happy making iron gates with curly metal work on them. It’s so far from the life we have now but it’s surprisingly tempting and would give us all the opportunity to take back the hobbies we have sacrificed to get where we are today. But then I wouldn’t have the opportunity to carry on my education and meeting new people would be so much more difficult. Not to mention I would have to give up on socialising with anyone I knew from back home. Maybe I’ll stay in the city for now ha ha.
Boing!

Our road trip turned into an inadvertent Australian animal safari with us making detours to see wild kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats, pelicans, penguins….. The list goes on. I loved being on the coast though. Its true; an Englishman really does have the sea in his blood and ok I’m an English woman but same thing, I’m always happiest near the water so being able to wake up and stroll along the sand and go to sleep to the sound of the waves was amazing. I really must learn how to surf. A friend has said he will teach me (more fool him) but I must take him up on that before the weather gets too cold and I chicken out.

We saw the 12 apostles in the hail. Yes that’s right; hail. We both got soaked! I was so glad we had dry clothes in the van and I didn’t even care about stripping off in a car park to change as it was so damn cold! We bought sexy woolly hats with ear flaps to keep ourselves warm but even they didn’t do the trick that day.

Fairy Penguin
We spent a day on Kangaroo Island and ironically didn’t see any kangaroos but we did see the pelicans being fed in one of the most hilarious spectacles I have seen in a long while and we also went on a night time penguin hunt to see the fairy penguins which are so damn cute!

When we made it to Adelaide we were greeted at the van rental depot by a scouse who very nicely drove us to the airport. Honestly, you come all the way to Australia and you still find the odd scouse about! Flew back to Sydney and I was surprised by how much I had missed the place and how much it felt like home when I was back. I’m not thinking about how much I am going to miss it when I leave; I don’t want to.

In the last few days mum was here we visited my great uncle (so my mums uncle) which was nice and we went to the Sydney Easter show which was so much fun. Ok there were far too many flags about (I’ve said it before but: for a country with very little history they sure are patriotic!) but other than that it was a really good day.

On Sunday mum flew home. I waited with her at the airport until she had to go through security and I couldn’t be with her any more. Saying goodbye was a bit surreal, I had only just got used to her being here and suddenly it was time for her to go! I met my housemates in town for dinner and drinks and tried to enjoy the last few hours of my holiday.

So to summarise:
States travelled through: 3
Arguments with mum: 2
Indigenous species seen in wild: 6
Number of koalas seen: Bloody hundreds!
Weird looks about the campervan: Dozens
Kilometres covered: 3000
Money spent: Far too much!
Fun had: Lots
Mothers reintroduced to life outside of work and washing up: 1
Last thought: Goo Goo G’ Joob!