23 August 2008

Bits 'n Pieces

I can't believe it! We're moving again.....

  • 15 August 2007: Moved from flat in Pinelands to new house in Parow
  • 10 December 2007: Pack stuff destined for Australia into container
  • 31 December 2007: Pack up everything else & move in with folks while waiting for visas
  • 15 February 2008: Pack up remaining stuff for container ready for shipping
  • 24 February 2008: Pack suitcases & fly to Australia
  • 25 February 2008: Arrive in St Leonards in Sydney - unpack suitcases
  • 9 March 2008: Move into Wahroonga apartment
  • 19 June 2008: Container finally arrives - unpack
  • 16 August 2008: Start packing for move to Mona Vale apartment
Gosh! I can't believe I'm doing this again - happily. I think one of the main reasons must be that when we moved to Aus, we lightened our load considerably. We've still got a fair amount of stuff - but we're not carting around nearly as much unnecessary junk as before.

So yes, I'm actually looking forward to this move. I'm sure this is helped along by the fact that we're moving from such a dark, cold apartment to such a bright, sunny, warm apartment just a few meters from the beach. :-)

And the packing begins....!

A little news from our side.... Scott finally got the increase that goes with his promotion - 2 months overdue but it's a pretty good increase so he's not complaining!

I started my new job at the Monash Country Club last Tuesday. I haven't really got into it yet because there has been no-one to hand over to me. Long story, but I'll start my training next week. But so far I love it. The setting is exquisite! And the people I'm working with seem really nice. Oh, and I get lunch made for me everyday - I'm being very good & have told the kitchen to make me salad only - yesterday was smoked salmon. :-) I could get used to this! Until I actually take some pics at work, you can check out the website here.

And now for a bit of a catch-up.... I've missed out a few excursions we've taken here and there so I'll add them in now - the one where we took photos anyway.

New Experiences

We've decided to start trying some of the many boutique beers that are available here. Both of these are extremely good - very tasty with a nice after taste.


This is us having a picnic & coffee on the rocks at Whale Beach

Us at Whale Beach

Sydney International Boat Show '08

Scott and I went to the boat show for a general looky-loo. But also to get an idea of prices and what type of boats are realistically livable. We've been toying with the idea of, when we're ready to start looking at buying a house, to also consider the possibility of a live-aboard boat. To begin with, I thought this would just be something to dream about. But it's not as unrealistic as it seems. Although it's not a very good investment (compared to a house), it would be a wonderful experience for a few years. Anyway, it's something to mull over for the next few years until we can afford to even think about either a house or a boat!

This is just an apartment building in the city with a beautiful water feature at the entrance.

This is one powerful puppy! It's a 1015 mhp (747kW) @ 2300 rpm, 18.1 litre onboard boat engine. The boat I'm buying with my Lotto winnings has 2 of these onboard! LOL!

The marina at Darling Harbour was completely filled with boats.

Luckily we got there early and there was hardly anyone about - within 2 hours the whole area was packed.

About that winning Lotto ticket..... Yip, I could do with one of these babies! Isn't she beautiful? Unfortunately we didn't get to board her as it was viewing by invitation only. *sigh*

The Bridge Walk

Okay, so we didn't go and climb the bridge just yet - we're saving that one for a beautiful summer's evening. Instead we took the train to Milson's Point and took a walk across the bridge to The Rocks Market.

Scott The Explorer wearing his Adventuring Hat getting ready to find his way to the other side!

Yip, and me too! :-)

You get a wonderful new perspective of the harbour from the bridge.

Yip, the journey was documented & Scott The Explorer was there

Fort Denison in the harbour

Circular Quay with the Park Hyatt in the foreground & the Rocks to the right

An arty shot with the sun shining through the bridge. Oh! And there's Scott The Explorer again!

Oh boy! I tried to tell him the Opera House wasn't edible but he just wouldn't listen....!

Looking down at the Rocks Market in the background. On the way down, there are all these old cottages which have giant metal furniture in them.

It's the middle of winter! But Scott The Explorer isn't only wearing his Adventuring Hat, but his Adventuring Shorts too!

We hit the market on the same day as the Aroma Coffee & Chocolate Festival so the place was just a sea of people.

The human tide

To get away from the crowds, we decided to take a walk across to Darling Harbour for a bit of Lindt iced chocolate

The building on Scott's right is the oldest hotel (read pub that can stay open late!) in Sydney - The Lord Nelson Hotel, established in 1842.

Looking back the way we'd come

Finding West Head

After Scott & I went to view the apartment a couple of weeks ago, we took a detour on the way home and this is what we found....... This is all part of the Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park

Lion Island through the trees

A wallabie hoppin' around wild

Scott in the shade at the lookout point

Reading about Lion Island

About to walk down to the lookout point

That's the Barranjoey Head across the bay. This is where the Hawksbury River system & the ocean meet - with the entrance to Pittwater between me & the Barrenjoey Head

Lion Island on the left and the open sea to the right. These pics really don't do this view justice - it really is breathtaking!

To our right are Palm Beach & Avalon overlooking Pittwater

Further down the road we get to a wonderful picnic/fishing spot - Illawong Point. This is also part of the Hawksbury River system & the Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park (as is Bobbin Head where we've been several times before).

Illawong Point - a boat in the distance pulling a skier

Our Birds

These are some of the birds who feed on our balcony. This is really a huge treat!

Pied Currawong - not a very frequent visitor but quite a curious bird.

Noisy Miner - these are a real menace! They chase the other birds & generally make a huge noise as their name would imply. They're actually not related to the Indian or Common Myner at all.

An Australian Magpie. I was a little nervous of these guys to begin with but they've really grown on me - they have a beautiful song and seem to be pretty intelligent. However, around this time of year there's quite a problem with them swooping on people from behind - they do this to protect their nests in breeding season. Alot of public parks put up "Beware of Swooping" signs.

The Australian King Parrot - this was our first "exotic bird who visited. I've got to the point now with the bachelor boy where he actually eats out of my hand.

And then last week one of Scott's work mates suggested we soak some bread in a honey/water mix in order to attract the many Rainbow Lorikeets which are always in the trees around us. Scott took it out in his hand and just started calling to them. The next thing these two dropped in!

And started eating from his hand!

Here's a close up

They came back a little later to the feeding tray. They are absolutely adorable when they're actually eating together. When they fly around they make loud squawking noises but when they're feeding, they make these gorgeous soft chirping noises.

And then they called their mates.....

I managed to get some video footage so you can actually hear the noise these little guys make.

And today we had our first visit from this stunning Crimson Rosella

Isn't he absolutely beautiful?
I've never been a fan of caged birds, but when I see these magnificent birds in the wild, I have this uncontrollable need to free ALL caged birds. I don't understand how anyone could want to put a bird in a cage - it's just pure cruelty - they're meant to fly free!

So that's it from me for a little while - I'll probably only update again after we've moved into our new apartment.

So cheers for now!



Carol Markusse said...

Good luck with your move you 2. I am sure you are going to love living so close to the beach.
Those birds are amazing, so beautiful, wow!! It's like you're living in a bird park LOL!!!
mmmmm... Are you? ;o)

Ness said...

Oh I am SO glad I stumbled across your blog!

We're also making the big move to Aus, hopefully within the next few months. Am really enjoying your photos and posts. My heart leapt when I saw west head - we visited it a year ago when we went on our 'LSD' trip :) (of course you know that means "look see and decide")

Grant said...

Hi Guys

Thanks for all the updates. Nice to see the hat has made a return. Please keep them comming. Goodluck Mandy for the new job. Way to go brother on your promotion. Pictures are awesome, must be an amazing place to see.

Finally have a super "aussie" birthday Mandy for the 29 August 2008.

Love to all


Raúl y Pablo said...

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Caroline said...

That's a lot of moving in a very short space of time!!

Once again - love the photos - especially the one with the birds!