13 March 2008

Catch Up Blog Parts 1 & 2

Just a quick not before you read the catch up blog... Our new apartment doesn't pick up signal on our wireless broadband modem, hence the silence. I've finally found a little coffee shop called La Roma Cafe in Hornsby where my wireless modem picks up a signal. I feel like I'm connected to the real world again!!! Yippee!!!! So read on - I hope it's not too long and boring!

Catch Up – Part One

So it’s been a while… Howareya? (The Aussie form of howzit!)

So a lot has happened since last I posted – it seems like a lifetime ago but in actual fact it’s been less than a week. I haven’t got internet access at the moment so I’m not quite sure where I left off – I think we were waiting on the edge of our seats to find out if we’d won first prize in the Sydney Apartment Stakes. Meriton (the managing agents) were supposed to let us know by Tuesday afternoon or early Wednesday morning. Now you all know what I’m like – I’m not the most patient of people when things need to get done. I didn’t want to make a complete pest of myself and have Meriton turn us down because I was just p!ssing them off.

It turns out that of the 7 apartments we applied for over the last weekend, we were approved for 4! I had turned down 3 of them and the 4th I had hanging on a string. I was lucky in that the agent we dealt with on the 4th was very understanding when I told her about first prize – her and her boyfriend had been through a similar situation the month before. I also had put down two holding deposits which I withdrew – when I went to collect the cash from the one, I was told that they were considering us until they got my call - so let’s call that five approved! So I guess all my admin skills (filling out paperwork) and anal retentiveness (all supporting docs attached & every little detail accounted for) paid off in the end. I think the deal-clincher was that we had a letter from the company saying that they would be paying our rent - put that together with glowing references from Pat Laing & Tony Holmes from Kindroggan in Pinelands & I guess we had a recipe for success!

Well, by Wednesday afternoon I was biting my nails – still no word on first prize!!! By this time I had started a little gentle bugging of the agents. With apologies and promises that we’d hear by absolutely no later than midday on Thursday, I managed to get some sleep. Midday on Thursday came and went…. And I was now gnawing up to my elbows!!! Patience out the window, I started trying to get hold of the person who was dealing with our case at the office only to be confronted with her voice mail – (Hi! You’ve reached Kim, I’m away from my desk blah blah blah fishpaste!!! – perky sounding cow!!!). So I tried to get hold of someone else at the office who could help me – I swear that no-one in that office works at their desks!!! Aaaarrghhhh!!!!! So then it was back to the sales guy I’d dealt with & I really gave him a blasting! My tether had ended hours ago and I was now dialling a mobile phone with a bloody elbow stub! I knew we had the other apartment to fall back on (which was about 15m from the company office) so, in my usual way, I kicked up a fuss! J Eventually, after 4pm, I got a call from Kim. She tells me that everything is fine ‘n dandy except there’s an issue with the method of payment that the company want to use (EFT vs B-Pay – online bill payment). You’re kidding right?????? THIS is what’s been holding up the works??? Why not just pick up the phone and tell me???? AAAAARRGGHHHHH!!!! Okay, so I frantically call the payroll guy, Tony, at the company who says “Poppycock! Give me her number & I’ll sort her out!”. So I sit and chew listlessly on what’s left of my elbow – by now I figure that we’re not going to get it. Tony calls back and tells me Kim is going to ask her manager to make an exception – if she comes back and says no, he will arrange to pay by B-Pay.

So this means we’ve got the apartment! Right? Yeah, I suppose so….. *sigh* I was SO exhausted from stressing out about getting it, that I couldn’t even be really excited. It was just such a huge relief really.

Right, so now we have an address to move to – which also means we have an address to have some furniture delivered to. I rushed out on Friday morning to Crow’s Nest (just up the Pacific Highway from St Leonards) and ordered a bed from Forty Winks – lovely South African lady, Naomi, had sold me on a good value for money double bed which could be used for the spare room after our container arrived with our Simmons. Then I hoofed it over to Plush where I’d spied a really nice sofa - chocolate brown soft leather with a chaise on one end – that’s my side!

Okay, so now that we’ve secured the apartment, ordered some furniture and know that we have somewhere to move to on Sunday, we can get to the fun stuff…

But first a little background info. Geoff is my brother, Doug’s godfather. Geoff and his wife, Pearl, moved to Australia in the early 80’s (okay the details are sketchy here ‘cos I was a nipper – I think Geoff went first & came back for Pearl – I remember being at their wedding – Geoff had “help me” written under his shoes at the alter…). They first lived in Sydney and then moved up to Queensland – the Gold Coast to be specific. Geoff & Pearl have always been family – maybe not blood relatives – but definitely family. Geoff stood up and represented the Wells clan at Doug’s wedding in New Zealand eight ‘n a bit years ago when none of us could be there.

So when we were still in SA, I heard via Doug that it was Geoff’s 60th birthday coming up & that Pearl was organizing a surprise party on Friday, 7 March. This would be just short of 2 weeks after we arrived in Sydney. So I hit the budget airline websites – JetStar & Virgin Blue – and found a flight out of Sydney to the GC on the big day. Woooohoooo! So this is a BIG deal ‘cos we’ll get to surprise Geoff on his 60th and be a part of the celebrations. We’ll ALSO get to see Doug, Mons, Chris & Jazzie – Monica is my sister-in-law, Chris (please don’t call me Tiffer anymore) is my 8 year old nephew and Jasmyne is my beautiful little niece who we hadn’t met yet – she’ll be 1 next month. So we completely threw caution to the wind and booked these tickets while still in SA – we didn’t know how we’d get to the airport from wherever we were staying in Sydney – we didn’t even know if Scott would be able to get off work in time! Nothing like winging it!

So, Friday arrived and Scott managed to get off work a little early so we were at the airport with plenty of time to spare. The train line from Central station to the airport is privately owned so cost a bomb but it took a fraction of the time a cab or bus would’ve in rush hour traffic. Pearl told us later that the best thing to do is just take a cab from Central station to the airport as this costs about half the amount that the train would. Anyway, I digress…. So we touched down at this tiny little airport at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast only 15 minutes after we left Sydney. Yip! That’s right – there’s a 1 hour time difference between Queensland and New South Wales.

Me at Sydney domestic airport at our boarding gate

We took a cab to the restaurant where Geoff’s party was – a Chinese restaurant at Nobby Beach. Doug met us outside and we put our luggage straight into their car before going inside. Doug followed us in & captured everything on video so as soon as I get the footage from him, I’ll post it. I snuck up behind Geoff and although Pearl had let the cat out of the bag earlier, he still couldn’t believe that we’d flown up for the weekend for his birthday! It was a fabulous party!!! Geoff doesn’t look anywhere near 60 and Pearl is as gorgeous as ever!!!

Doug & I at the party - Doug filming Geoff's speech

We met some other ex-Saffers and a few Aussies too. One little incident stood out as pretty quirky… I’m not sure what the lady’s name was – she was the one who gave the speech at the party – came up to Scott & I and started telling us off - something to the effect that us Saffers were coming to Australia and showing up the Aussies as lazy sods ‘cos we work too hard & that there were some Aussies who didn’t appreciate this. LOL! I suspect that she may have been a little pickled and she certainly didn’t mean any harm by it – it was just that Scott and I didn’t quite know how to reply or whether to just burst out laughing! J We went with the latter.

Geoff laughing at being wished "Gelukkige Verjaarsdag by an Aussie!

Anyway, it was a FABULOUS party and we had a blast! I’m not sure what time we left – somewhere around 11pm - and we hit the bottle shop on the way out to get some beers. They even have drive through bottle shops in Oz! We were staying with Doug & Mons in Banora Point – just inside the NSW border so forward an hour in time again! Or is that back….? I give up!!! Basically, if we left the restaurant at 11pm and it took us 15 minutes to drive home, we got there at 12h15!!! Anyway, we sat up having a few beers and a chin wag with Caroline (Mon’s sister) and her boyfriend Ben who’d been babysitting. I think we got to bed around 2am….. but I was starting to feel like I was in a time warp anyway…… ZZZZzzzzzzzzz

The outside of Doug & Mons' place (especially for Mom & Dad!)

In true 10-month-old form, Jazzie woke the house up at some ungodly hour and Mons trudged downstairs while Doug slept on peacefully – damn, I’d forgotten how that oke loves his sleep! So, that was our first intro to Jazzie – she certainly has lungs! But that did nothing to prepare us for the gorgeous, beautiful, cute child who we met in the morning. Did I mention that she’s gorgeous?

Mons, Jazzie & Chris - we bought Chris this funky latex spikey head thingy...

Scott with the funky latex spikey head thingy...

It was wonderful to just hang out with Doug & his fandamily. Doug is an artist – actually an illustrator by profession (check out www.wellscreative.com.au – he’s really good!) . He’s done some illustrative prints onto canvas which he was taking to the Coolangatta market the next day (Sunday) and he wanted Scott to help him with a trial run of erecting the new gazebo he’d bought. So we spent a couple of hours helping him with the dry-run. We even set out all the artwork and then took pics of the finished product so that it would be quick and easy to set up at the market. While we were busy with the stand, Mons took Jazzie to the doc to check out her ears – they seemed to be irritating her & she also had a cold – but it wasn’t anything serious – just the cold (IMHO1, probably just another tooth coming out).

Mons with Jazzie just before going off to the doctor

Scott & Doug working on the gazebo stand for the market

The finished product!

And then we were off to the beach! Yippee!!! We first went to Doug’s office to download the pics of the stand so he could print them out. WOW, he has one serrrriously cool Apple Mac computer – the whole brains of the computer are in the screen itself – I think it’s about a 24” screen. But, then a serrrrrrriously good illustrator needs some serrrrrrriously good equipment! By this stage we were all pretty peckish so it was off to the Sushi Train for some lunch. Wonderful! Even Chris likes sushi!! *grin* So with full tummies, we took a 15 minute walk along the beach front to the best section of beach – according to Doug that is – I suspect it has something to do with the surf…..? We spent AGES in the water throwing the tennis ball around and Chris had a blast being thrown around the waves by Scott. Up he’d come, coughing and spluttering, asking for more! I can’t tell you how awesome it was just to spend time with my family like that. I hadn’t quite realized just how much I’d been missing out on with them living so far away. *sigh*

Surfer's Paradise across the bay from where we were

Me, Doug & Jazzie - isn't she just too gorgeous???

The Gold Coast Wells's - Doug, Monica, Chris & Jasmyne

Me with Jazzie after her bath wearing her little Cape Town outfit we bought her

Scott with Jazzie - he was making clicking noises and she was copying him - it was too cute for words. She's a complete flirt when she's around Scott!

So with this warm fuzzy feeling, let’s move on to the next activity for the day – heading out to Geoff & Pearl’s in Robina for dinner & to watch the rugby match between the Reds and the Stormers. When we got back to the house, I bathed Jazzie. Yikes! I’m 35 years old and I’ve never bathed a baby before – I was terrified of hurting or drowning her!!! I think I did an okay job – I just left her head and face – I was too scared to do that bit. So we eventually all managed to get into the car and on our way to Robina which is in Queensland – which mean crossing the time zone again – which means confusion again!!! We were supposed to be there at 6pm – was that our time or theirs? Whichever it was, we were late! No worries – Scott, Chris & I hopped into the pool to wash the sea salt off and then got into the whole business of socializing with Geoff & Pearl and their wonderful neighbours, Margaret & Brian. Oh, and while Chris was still swimming, Mons found a Red Back Spider (THE poisonous one!) at the edge of the pool & bravely squished it!!!! Go Mons – I would’ve screamed like a girl & run a mile!!!

We had a delicious dinner2 outside at the pool and then it was inside to watch the game. Geoff took me on a tour of their really stunning house and his “memory wall”. He’s got a whole passage lined with collages of photographs going back to when he was a kid. There are even some Wellses up there!

After the Stormers had beaten the Reds, we started gathering up the troops and heading for home. Jazzy wasn’t a happy camper and Mons was exhausted from being awake so early – she was also the designated driver for the evening (Mons, not Jazzy!). I don’t know how Mons does it!!! She really is superwoman!!! And we also had to be up at sparrow’s fart to catch our flight back home – it’s the first time we’d thought of Sydney as home.

Note: I've just realised that we took no photos at Geoff & Pearl's place. Geoff was taking quite a few so I'll grab them off him & post them later.

I think that I was in a bit of a daze for most of the weekend to be honest – I couldn’t quite believe that I was where I was, with the people that I was with! Does that make ANY sense? I had to pinch myself several times – I know it sounds like a clichĂ© but it was the only way I could make myself believe I was awake, alive & hanging out with family who had previously been on the other side of the world!

1 IMHO = in my humble opinion

2 Dinner = evening meal. Supper is a snack that you have after dinner but before bed as Mons explained to me.

Catch Up – Part Two

(written at 03h30 in the morning 'cos we went to bed too early last night... no couch to sit on so went to be to read & fell asleep)

So there we were at 5:30am Banora Point time – Doug & Scott were moving the car seat back to Mons’ car from the Jeep. I still couldn’t figure out if we were going to make the flight or be really early – remember that the airport is across a time zone! But the boys seemed to be pretty confident & we caught our flight without a hitch.

Doug & Scott sorting out the car seat

We decided to head for the train again – we had plenty to do & decided to go with the route we knew. Well, didn’t that turn out well!!! (Add in a heavy dose of sarcasm right about now!) It turns out that there was a whole lotta maintenance work happening on the train tracks so we had to take buses instead. Now you must understand, these were not the usual route buses that we had to catch. They were especially laid on by City Rail as a substitute for the trains – stopping at each train station using your train ticket. Where there was a junction station (where you could change trains for different destinations), they had City Rail officials directing people into different lines for the different destinations. I can’t tell you how organised it was! Sure, it took longer than the train – but it was well organised and you were still able to get to your destination.

A last look out from the apartment in St Leonards...

So back to the St Leonards apartment to pack up our suitcases, make sure it was all spick ‘n span and then head off to Wahroonga to our first home in Sydney. Because we had all our luggage with us, we opted for a cab which dropped us at the entrance. Scott signed the lease and then managed to get the keys so we could dump our stuff. I had actually booked us into a boutique hotel for 2 nights until our bed arrived on Tuesday but we just wanted to be in our own place – even if it was empty.

The entrance to our apartment complex

The corner of our street

The garden...

The walkway going up to the entrance from our apartment

I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but we sent a whole lot of stuff, including Scott’s tools, with a company called U-Bag. Their counterparts in Oz are Jetta Express. Jetta had called me on Friday to confirm that they would be delivering our 7 boxes on Monday. So we’d have a couple of pots and our picnic pack with the essential crockery & cutlery. And our little hi-fi – I can live without a lot of things but music ain’t one of ‘em!!!

The barbecue area with the gym in the background

So we’re in an empty flat at around lunchtime on Sunday. Now we need a fridge, microwave and a kettle. Off we go to Warrawee station to catch the bus only to find that the pick-up point isn’t at the actual station ‘cos the bus can’t get in there so it’s back to the Pacific Highway. But this stage we were both exhausted – physically & emotionally – and we started getting ratty with each other (okay, me more than Scott! I hate being wrong, hot & sweaty all at the same time!). Anyway, we made it to Chatswood without killing each other and headed straight for the Westfield mall.

Just a quick aside about this mall... There are Westfield malls all over the place. Yip, strange but true. Instead of having the mall named after the place like Tygervalley, Canal Walk or Cavendish, you have a chain of malls in different places. So there’s Westfield Chatswood, Westfield Hornsby, etc. Each of these malls has a concierge – not just a mere information desk. And the people working at the concierge desk are wonderfully helpful.

The concierge directed us to a store called Bing Lee for our large appliances as he said that Myers would be more expensive. Myers is a really large department store taking up 4 floors of Westfield (serious anchor tenant!). A very helpful Asian chap helped us find what we wanted and gave us some great discounts – he actually asked us what prices we’d found elsewhere and marked them below these. The fridge is a Fisher & Paykel – I think it’s the best fridge ever!!! It’s plenty big enough and looks really cool too (no pun intended!). He arranged for it to be delivered the following day – Monday. So we grabbed a trolley(!!!) and took our LG microwave and our glass kettle with us.

The trolleys!!!! Oh my word – what a brilliant invention!!!! The trolley looks normal but it’s four wheel drive!!! Pick ‘n Pay’s trolleys have two static back wheels and two swivel wheels at the front. The trolleys here have all four wheels that swivel. We had some forewarning about this thru the SA Australia forum but that feedback had all been pretty negative. It took a little getting used to but once you have the hang of it, it’s far more maneuverable and easy to steer. Maybe I’m just a good driver….. *whistle*

Rebel Sports was next on the list for an inflatable mattress. Nothing fancy, just something to sleep on for a couple of nights. After that we thought we could use it for the kids to sleep on when Doug & Mons bring them to visit.

Then it was off to Myer to get a couple of coffee mugs & teaspoons so we could have coffee on Monday morning. We also got a sheet set (fitted sheet, flat sheet & 2 pillow cases). Luckily it’s still pretty warm weather so a sheet is all we need.

We got a couple of necessities at Coles like milk and hot cross buns (sticky buns) & some Indian curry takeout from the food hall for supper. It was only when we were sitting waiting for the taxi that we realised we didn’t have any forks to eat the curry with – only a couple of teaspoons – so I raced back into the mall to try and grab two plastic forks. Its amazing how many things we just take for granted in our lives – like that there will be forks in the cutlery drawer to eat supper with!

The Pacific Highway up the road from our place - the preceeding sign had read
"Wear a seatbelt"

We took a cab from Westfield back to our new home. They have a cool taxi phone at the mall – you pick up and dial 1 and get thru to this automated voice recognition taxi ordering service. It asks you where you want to go and you say the name of the suburb, the automated voice on the other side repeats & confirms your order and gives you a reference number. You go and sit on a bench outside the mall and wait for a taxi to pull up and call your reference number. Brilliant!!!

We barely had enough energy to unpack all our new stuff. We ate our curry sitting on the lounge floor using the microwave box as our table. We fell onto our inflatable mattress and passed right out – we were completely exhausted! But I swear Scott regressed in his sleep and thought he was on one of those jumping castles….

So that, in a rather large nutshell, was our weekend!

So now just a quick catch up of this past week and then we’re up to date….

Monday I spent at the apartment. Jetta delivered the boxes just before midday so I spent the rest of the day unpacking those and then the fridge arrived late in the afternoon. As soon as the fridge arrived, I was able to pop out and get some fresh supplies for dinner. There’s a fabulous little shopping village here in Wahroonga with an IGA supermarket, a couple of butchers, a fish monger, a bakery, a few dry cleaners, a greengrocer, a bookshop, florist and plenty of patisseries and coffee shops.

The bed was delivered quite early on Tuesday so I had a good chunk of the day to get some other supplies. Although the temptation was enormous, I resisted the urge to flop onto the new bed for a snooze and headed out shopping instead. Next on the list – bedside tables from a shop we’d seen in Crow’s Nest. I also needed to get bedside lamps, toilet brushes, a bread board, a broom and a whole host of other bits ‘n pieces. So I arranged delivery of the bedside tables for Tuesday evening and went back to Westfield Chatswood. This is when I discovered Target….. Target is an enormous clothing store – I’d say similar in price to Pick ‘n Pay clothing store but with the quality of a much more up-market store. And they’ve got really nice clothes that aren’t meant for stick insects!!! So I bought a couple of things – remember that I need to do the whole corporate thing for work in a few weeks time (that’s the one part of the job that I’m absolutely dreading!!!).

When last did you see a Mobil??? This is on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Redleaf Road which goes down to Wahroonga train station

Scott in his tradie (tradesman) outfit - just about any man who doesn't have an office job where's this kind of outfit (Sorry about the wide sweeping statement here!)

Just for Marc - a HUGE banner on the Pacific Highway saying "LOOK OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES" The digital traffic sign above also flashes this warning.

Tuesday’s shopping expedition wasn’t completely self-indulgent – I also found the vacuum cleaner I wanted. Thanks Lilly!!! After using your MielĂ©, I was completely hooked!!! I didn’t realise modern vacuum cleaners could be so quiet and still suck so darn hard!!!

Wednesday (yesterday) was another shopping expedition of note! Scott had to get up REALLY early for work so I got up at the same time, made him some toast & coffee and even packed some sarmies. Then I got back into bed with a cup of coffee and the laptop and that’s where I wrote most of “Catch Up Part One”. Showered, vacuumed the apartment and went off on my first trip.

I stopped in at a couple of shops in Wahroonga looking for a shopping trolley with wheels on it. Yip, I scoffed at my mom’s one in Cape Town. Now I own one!!! There’s another thing we just take for granted…. You own a car. But you’d like to get some exercise so you walk to the shops instead. But you definitely only buy the essentials because you’ll need to carry them home. When you need more stuff than you can carry, you don’t make two walking trips, you take your car. Not so easy when you don’t have a car at all! So now I have my new best friend – my shopping trolley!

Heading down Redleaf Road into Wahroonga Shopping Village

So my advice gathering lead me two stops further up the North Shore train line to Hornsby where there’s another Westfield – this one with a Kmart! Woooohoooo!!!! I got just about everything I was looking for at Kmart including my trolley! I don’t think you would have recognised me – I stood outside the checkout at Kmart assembling my little trolley and then packing everything else into it. But then, hey, whatever’s going to make my life easier….!

Me and my little shopping trolley!

Wahroonga train station

I think this may be called Station Road - runs parallel to the train line in Wahroonga

The Book Shop in Wahroonga

Freedom Furnishers and Freedom Home Stores are very much like Mr Price Home but with better quality stuff. I got things like toilet brushes, bathroom bins, etc here.

End of shopping trip number one. So I wheeled my little trolley to the station, hopped on a train to Wahroonga & walked home. Unpacked everything and then took my little trolley back to Wahroonga to do some grocery shopping. Janette at the greengrocers explained to me that what I know as a spring onion is called a shallot here. And what I know as a shallot is called a French shallot. Spring onions here have HUGE bulbs. Oh wow! The fruit and veg were all so fresh and beautifully laid out – the apples were even polished – when last did you see that in a supermarket!? Next stop was the butcher. Aaaahhh, the butcher…. Mom had told us about the butcher shops here… They are absolutely to die for (Doll!)!!! Everything is laid out beautifully and they really do use their imaginations here. They have cuts of meat here that you read about in fancy cook books. LOL! That just reminded me of the time I went to Pick ‘n Pay and asked the woman behind the counter to butterfly cut a piece of beef fillet for me…. She really butchered a lovely piece of meat! (stupid pun intended!) Needless to say, it never made it to the checkout.

The greengrocer...

The butcher... Sorry, it's a terrible picture but I promise I'll send more

Next stop, IGA for some other groceries and then home again to unpack.

Our bedroom....

Our walk-in closet (woooohooooo!!!!!)

Our en-suite bathroom

The current mess that is our spare room!

The second bathroom. Notice the drain in the centre of the bathroom floor - all bathrooms & laundries I've seen have got this.

Me in the second bathroom mirror

The laundry with it's drain in the floor & my new vacuum cleaner!

Our furniture-less lounge

The messy kitchen! Gas hob, electric conventional & convection oven, colour-coded dishwasher.... Wonderful!

Right – my kitchen is starting to resemble a kitchen and can sort of function like one too – at a push. I’m really looking forward to our container arriving!

Our balcony...

Trip number 3 was back to Wahroonga to try and get onto the internet. I took the laptop and the wireless modem with me to a coffee shop where I plugged in. Alas! I still couldn’t get a signal! So I had a chocolate milkshake and waited for Scott to join me on his way home from work.

I know I haven’t said much about Scott and his work. He’ll be doing an update of his own so I won’t steal his thunder.

Our First Aussie Barbie

Getting set up....

Our tucker for the evening - marinaded lamb fillet & award-winning snags
Also note the citronella candle to keep the mozzies & midges away

So as you saw in the pic above, our complex has a little communal barbie with a table and benches. We have no lounge furniture. Have you ANY idea how much of a beating your feet take when you’ve been running around all day and you’ve got to continue standing when you get home (or sit on the hard floor!)? So we decided to go down to the barbie so we could sit down and eat for a change. This is an electric barbie – there is a button you push which switches the element on, which in turn heats the metal plate. One temperature fits all!!! I’d bought a lovely lamb fillet and a couple of snags (these ones looked like oversized pork sausages) at the butcher for occasion. I’d made a salad in the apartment which we brought down, we opened a great bottle of Taylor Chardonnay and sat down to relax at the barbie.

After a hard day's work, there's nothing better...

Luckily we didn’t start cooking straight away or else it all would’ve been over in minutes! Put it this way, I have a lot to learn about how to cook on this strange, very hot, metal plate!!! No slow cooking of the snags – more like a frantic continuous turning so as not to burn them! Still didn’t help though – they were pretty well blackened on the outside and a little too “tender” on the inside. The lamb steak went better because it had a marinade on it. It didn’t blacken on the outside, although there was a layer of blackened, marinade stuck to the metal plate… but it was a little rarer than I’d anticipated. LOL!

Taken just before I realised that the underside of the sausage was very quickly going black!

Yum! Yum!

But all in all, it was a rather pleasant experience, one which our feet, bums & tums greatly appreciated! We’ve decided to find a Bunnings (like a Builders’ Warehouse) this weekend and buy ourselves a Weber gas barbecue – one where we can regulate the heat!

So now that I've discovered somewhere to connect to the internet, I'll be in contact a little more often. Tonight we're off for dinner with Scott's uncle. Graham & Percy arrived in Sydney late Monday night and we're heading to unknown territory to meet them - Bondi Junction.

I'll let you know all about it.....

Cheers for now!

Edit: I've been slapped over the wrists repeatedly for putting the ages of my niece & nephew down here incorrectly. I'm SO sorry!!! I think I wrote these at some ungodly hour of the morning and hope I'll be forgiven! I've made the corrections now.


bikeless said...

Hi Mandy and Scott
I love reading each episode of your new life Down Under. Seeing you all together, with Monica, Doug and the children, brought back so many memories from way back when I first met the Wells family in Pinelands and what a good day that was!
The excitement here is mounting, what with June and Chris planning their trip to Oz. I, of course, am turning a decidedly unpleasant shade of green - wanna go with!!
Go well and take care.
All my love, Heima

Nubud said...

At Last! Couldn't wait to see all the pics. I think Jazzie has two new fans?
We are off to lodge our Visa Applications now. Keep your fingers crossed that they'll go through quickly and that I've filled them in correctly.
Luvya, Mom
P.S. impressed with the trolley and the hat. Of course, my cane trolley is a little more upmarket

Laura said...

I have been waiting for the update and I am not dissappointed with the detailed description of your new life. You are settling in well to Aussie life.

It all bring back so many memories off when we moved to Dublin.

Before Stefi was born we too had a shopping trolley on wheels - it was the greatest thing. Once Stefi was born we used the pram for shopping and the trolley on wheels went into retirement. Ours was great as it all folded up into a bag so if we did not need it then we did not need to pull it around town.

The shopping trolleys we also '4 wheeled driven' IYKWIM. Problem is if you get one that does not work properly you land up with a trolley that has a mind of its own or it just wants to go left or right.

Keep the news flowing. Thanks

Melanie said...

Hi Mandy

Nice to see you guys are settling in to the new life. Everything sounds wonderful, must be very exciting.
Stunning apartment, lovely kitchen.

I like your trolley, think I must also get on once we're in Brissie.

I kept my eyes glued on the forum these last couple of days for news on the two of you. Please keep us posted :) It's weird to think that in a little over 2 months John and I will go thru a similar experience.

Keep well and regards to Scott.


Carol Markusse said...

Cool update!!! Glad you are in your new apartment. It looks beautiful. Enjoy all the excitment of buying new stuff. It is wonderful :o)Can't wait for the update on Scott's work too. I loved reading about your niece and must say that I am blowing so much broody dust your way you must be feeling nauseous LOL!!!

Dad said...

I see you bought my new jeep. Don't let it get rusty standing outside the apartment.
Enjoy the blog and especially all the detail like the drains in the floor.
How do you buy train tickets - monthly? Daily?

Dad And Cavell said...

Hi guys,
Here's my 2nd attempt (as you know the computer and I are not friends)
We enjoy your interesting, informative and humerous blog - keep it up. By all accounts you guys are having a ball. The 18 plus hour plane trip doesn't seem to bad anymore.
Am a little confused about the hat.
Doesn't a pukka Aussie hat have corks hanging from the brim? If so what a great excuse to open a few more bottles of wine!!! (as per usual father has to put his 5cents comment in - something to do with hanging bars of soap on the hat to keep the pommies away - I don't get it maybe you do!!!!) I say (DAD)" She can't help it if she was born mentally a woman". -- Just received the dreaded single finger, wonder where it's been.
Lotsa luv, hugs & meows
Dad, Cavell, Spikie. Bikkie & Chippi (Fugs gone to Jesus)

Es said...

Best wishes for your new life! We will be lodging our application on Tuesday... Now the waiting begins.

Air Jordan said...

The content of your blog is exactly what I needed, I like your blog, I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in traffic density, which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog is being updated and placed can always be richer and more colorful.