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>> Saturday, 10 May 2008

we've arrived...

Though not completely. I think my brain is only just catching up with my body. For example, I keep receiving what can only be subliminal messages from home. Last night, in a jetlag-induced half-dream, I imagined receiving the following message from my mother:

Arrived safely at the flat. (Stop). All OK. (Stop). No sign of the mouse. (Stop) But a very strong smell of roast chicken? (Stop).

(Note - the reference to the mouse is probably wishful thinking on my part...).

So, here we are in Sydney. All the stories of 16 degC, biting winds and driving rain have turned out - so far - to be just that; stories. We are wandering around in t-shirts and summer gear, looking hugely out of place amongst the natives, who are all wrapped up against the 'chilly' temperatures of around 20 - 23 degC with scarves, coats and long trousers. The bright blue skies and intense sunshine are throwing our European teeth and the shirts that looked respectably white back in the dingy London light into sharp relief. (It may be time to go shopping).

The Boys are having the time of their lives; having lapped up attention in Bangkok more usually reserved for minor royalty and c-list celebs back in the UK, they now getting used to seeing more sun in one day than they usually see in a month. Both are making themselves at home: Boy #2 is practicing his 'scare the parents silly by running full tilt towards every quay edge that he can find' skills at every opportunity. As there are a lot of such edges in Sydney this can be quite wearing.

Boy #1, meanwhile, is doing his best to fit in, having learned Australian colloquialisms at the foot of the master, and last night had to be restrained from marching through a particularly busy area of Circular Key shouting "Have a go at that! Crikey, Matey!" at the top of his voice. This resulted in a lot of startled glances from the locals and I'm sure I heard more than one person mutter "You're not in Queensland yet, sonny" under their breath.

The Crocodile Hunter has a lot to answer for.


Tracey 10 May 2008 at 09:50  

Don't forget the sunscreen with our blue skies and sunshine! Even we get caught at this time of year. When it's not 30 degrees, you don't think of sunscreen, but you'll burn all the same - and you poor pale Pommies who hardly see the sun seem to burn even more quickly. (In the middle of summer you could put money on the reddest people at the beach being from the UK!!!)

Maybe you should have gone to Brisbane first and got the Crikey thing out of their systems! Are they going to be terribly disappointed to only see Steve Irwin on huge posterboards at the zoo and not in person? (Mind you it was the same when he was alive anyway.... chances of him being there when you went were pretty slim.)

Keep your eyes out for the sunglasses I lost there a few years ago!

Meantime it's really interesting to read about your experiences as a visitor to my own country. (Don't worry, I don't think everything is great!)

Potty Mummy 10 May 2008 at 11:31  

Hi Tracey, don't worry, I'm the sunscreen police at the best of times, and since even my MiL got burnt here (and she has indonesian blood), am being extra specially careful (the Boys and Husband are bored by it already!).
And Boy #1 has been updated on the Steve Irwin situation - though I think he is still expecting to be greeted by Terri, Bindi and Robert at the gates. We'll just deal with that when we get there...

Iota 10 May 2008 at 14:38  

Glad you're feeling a little less discombobulated.

aims 10 May 2008 at 17:36  

I keep thinking how lovely it is for you just to be there. A dream for me - and I'm determined it will happen one year.

Watch out for the snakes and spiders and all those wonderful things they have there.

Expatmum 11 May 2008 at 02:07  

I have so many friends in Sydney I keep having dreams about being there and not being able to find them! One day I will get there. It's not even as far from Chicago as from the UK so I have no excuse.
Have a great time mate.

Expatmum 11 May 2008 at 02:09  

PS. I forgot to say congrats on the mention in the Telegraph (online too.)

Noortje 11 May 2008 at 06:00  

What a great adventure you are on, with two little kids no less! You will have your hands full and pretty soon you'll be speaking like an Australian too. You'll be putting shrimp on the barbie. Have fun. It must be wonderful.

Tattie Weasle 11 May 2008 at 07:04  

Crikey! Fame must have got to you to go all the way round the world to avoid it - many many congratulations on the (very big) bit in the Telegraph. Just bullied friends into letting me use their computer at 6.30am in the morning and we all have hangovers - another story...involves The Littlest getting up at 5!
Brilliant stuff - so chuffed!

Frog in the Field 11 May 2008 at 08:04  

Steve he still lodged in his mind? Ha HA!!
I won't mention the rodent, sorry, obviously Pig and I are beginning to give you nightmares.
We too were started at in Oz (well most places really) because we were in T-Shirts and they were wrapped up against the dire cold.

Frog in the Field 11 May 2008 at 08:06  

ps. Why is Ioata using such BIG words so early in the morning?? Hmm? Say!

Millennium Housewife 11 May 2008 at 15:19  

Saw you in the Telegraph and came in for a look, good blog! Keep writing!

aims 11 May 2008 at 17:15  

Ooooohhhhh!!! Just saw your name in the newspaper!! How lovely is that!

OMG! Girl! You're going to hit the big times - I know it!!

Susan Farndell 11 May 2008 at 18:31  

Having just returned from 2 weeks in the US driving A LOT! with a 16yr old with an autistic disorder sitting in the back sleeping all day and then keeping us awake half the night in the hotel room, I completely sympathise with the jetlag problem. It didn't help that we did not eat before the flight home and the airline seemed to consider it reasonable to expect every one of their 260+ passengers to enjoy without complaint the same meal. Apparently we were all vegetarians too because the meal in question was pasta in a cheese sauce with NO MEAT. All the more fun because my son can't eat cheese.

I trust at least your flight was better than ours and you can recover soon to enjoy the wonders of Oz. Never been myself so dead jealous. Have a great time and hope you find time to keep up the blog.

Grit 11 May 2008 at 21:54  

i am so impressed that you are blogging from sydney. i can barely manage the walk from kitchen to office without getting distracted on the way. keep it up!

family affairs 11 May 2008 at 22:45  

Well done with your recent press coverage...just dropped in to say hello as I was mentioned in a teeny weeny section at the end compared to you..have fun in Sydney - I used to live in Melbourne. I love Oz..

Tracey 12 May 2008 at 03:06  

Someone! Please link me the telegraph article!!!!

(Psst... you know that 'shrimp on the barbie campaign was all rubbish! - I've never called a 'prawn' a 'shrimp' in my life!)

Tracey 12 May 2008 at 03:21  

Cancel that. I realised I was actually clever enough to google it. Congratulations to Potty Mummy, and all of you who got such a great write-up!

Potty Mummy 12 May 2008 at 06:08  

Iota, the discombobulation is over - for now. My nose is feeling a little sore though (and yes Tracey, I HAVE been using factor 30...)

Hi Aims, it's great, thankyou. And am trying not to think too much about the creepy crawlies; no sightings so far but we are in a city. Not so sure we'll be as lucky in Queensland.

Thanks EPM - both for the congrats and the best wishes. I can highly recommend you make the trip (get me - I've only been here 5 days), and congratulations right back at you, by the way!

Hi Noortje (another name change?). I definitely have my hands full, but am managing to stick to my British recieved pronounciation for the moment. Can't speak for Boy #1 though...

Thanks Tattie - and up at 5am? And not even from jetlag? Crikey, as my oldest would say...

Hi Frog, yes, I think Steve-o will be around for a while yet. More shocked glances at our unseasonal attire today. Am beginning to understand how visitors from Newcastle must feel in London...

Hi MH, thanks for the visit and the kind words, and I hope you don't mind the abbreviation.

Hi Susan, thanks for the visit and your trip back from the US sounds rough. Can't believe they gave you all the same veggie meal; I'm surprised all the passengers didn't storm business class in search of meat!

Hi Grit, without being rude to our host country, have you seen Australian tv? You would blog too, I guarantee it...

Hi Family Affairs - thanks for the visit and was planning on checking out your blog following that article, I remember the journalist was very complimentary about it.

Tracey, I'm disappointed. You don't all call prawns shrimps? I'm going home... (Actually, scrap that because I know you don't all call them shrimps. In Sydney they call them bugs - but they are mammoth sized compared to what we get back home, so I think a different name is probably in order...

Carolyn 15 May 2008 at 05:55  

The thought of Boy #1 running around with an Australian accent is hilarious, but I can't even think about Boy #2. Makes my stomach go into knots...

Enjoy the sunshine. It was cold as winter here today. What the...??

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