27 March 2008

Scott's 3rd Week

And he trundled forward, a survival pack strapped to his back and case full of all the goodies that he would need for the task ahead. This brave young sole moved through the somewhat dense undergrowth, dodging the pesky Golden orb spiders, that were sitting in wait for their next meal. As he travelled, Indiana Jones style with a touch of Croc Dundee, he caught glimpses of what the locals know as the Coat-hanger Bridge. This was not to be his destination today, for she was a prize for another day.

Near Darling Harbour on the way to an installation

Well, thats how Monday started, relatively early. With tool case in hand, I hopped on the train and travelled to Waverton. A very pretty suburb just to the north of the Sydney Bridge. My trusty steed was not quite ready for departure, so the iron horse had to do. It was a bit of a stiff walk form the station, but worth it. I was asked to join a team that was running behind on schedule, to assist in getting back on track. A pretty straight forward installation of smart board and projector, with a small twist of a new piece of equipment to try out. Hmmm, fun . Work has proven to be great fun, with a mix of interesting people. By Mid morning I received a call saying that I must collect my vehicle at 3.30pm, Wooohooo!!!!. We finished the install and one of the other techies gave me a lift to the warehouse in Chatswood. My Van is a Mercedes, built by Sangyong, Its not new, but I really don’t care, as long as it goes. For the mileage of 80 000 km, I do not believe that it was looked after well, but then it has been a company vehicle, and they are generally not well looked after. However, I will take good care of her, and get the necessary repairs done, like the ignition, which does not switch off..You have to stall it, LOL. It was repaired 6 weeks ago, but clearly not properly. It came with some stock items, like Dewalt battery power drills and cutters. As well rolls of cable and stuff that I would need. I have already placed an order for the rest of the equipment with I should get later in the week.

The ground floor of where we installed

So, at the end of the day, he cranked the old girl into life, unfolded a well used chart of the area ( my new TOM TOM 720 ) and slowly, with a large puff of misty grey smoke, moved off into wilderness. Tomorrow would be a new set of challenges, and maybe a whole new story.

An are close to where we were installing

Tuesday arrived, and another beautiful day it promised to be. With Gps in hand, I mozied on down to Roseville, a short distance down the pacific highway from where I live in Wahroonga. I was to meet up with my team mate Chris , a local to both the area and the city. We started at the same time. Our task had been specked as an easy one of hanging 2 smartboards, ( the projectors had already been done). This should take us ½ a day, after which I would sort my van out. NOT!!!! In the first room we had to remove a huge chunk of ceiling panel, and swop it with another, these where heavy wooden boards of around 3m x 2m, as they were expensive, the client did not want more holes in them, because the projector was in the wrong place by 1m. GRRRR.. No worries, Not my business, I must just do my job. So, room 1 took a whole day, this meant that the jobs for Tuesday and Wednesday would have to be allocated to another team, or moved, and guess what, we have a co-ordinator who does just that. Cool hey!

One of the buildings we installed in

Wednesday we were back at the same premises to do room 2, fortunately, this went real quick, as we new what we were in for. We finished in record time, which then allowed me to sort Big Bessy out with some much needed equipment. I also had to report to head office for a meeting and planning session, Hmmm, looks like some interesting things to come. A story for another day.

Crossing the Anzac bridge

Thursday was going to be a blast. With the long weekend at hand, and my installs having been shifted, Chris and I were asked to report the work shop to be on Stand by, for other teams suspected of not being able to finish the days work. At 9.30 we were sent to Pyrmont wharf to hang a white board. These are offices near to Darling harbour that were old sheds on the wharf that have been converted to offices.. WOW, what a place to work, or at least try.! My wonderful GPS has proved to Worth its weight in Gold. When the locals cant find a place, and the trusty gps does, then its work is done. Mandy and I were strongly advised to get these items, so we both did. They are cheaper than in SA, and if you visit this country, or any other, and plan on driving, this is a brilliant investment.. It has saved time and hassles. We use them walking, driving, on the train, and on the bicycles..( when they arrive) Awesome.

Crossing the Anzac bridge

From there we darted off to Cheltingham, this bit of travelling took us over Anzac bridge and up towards west Sydney, A fair drive from the city centre, where we needed to start and finish an installation. We arrived around 2 pm, and had to work really quickly to meet the days deadline, nothing like a bit of pressure. We packed up at around 5.30 and headed for the workshop to allow my trusty side kick to saddle up and head for the hills. At around 6.30 we arrived, and parted ways.

Crossing some other bridge

And as he mounted his steed “ bettsy” , he turned and looked back to see his companion slide off through the shadows. The adventure had been easy but a long one, with many obstacles. Mupersan settled in for the long journey home, enjoying the tranquillity of the area. He smiled to himself, glanced at the faded symbols on the map and moved off into the night. He had survived the ordeals to challenge the days ahead, A new adventure was just a few days away and he needed to rest.


Mandy's note: I'm quickly posting this while at work and don't know if there are any specific captions that should go with the photos. Hope I've got these ones right though.

22 March 2008

My last week of freedom!

AAAAAAargggghhhhhhhh!!!!!! Sitting without an internet connection is driving me nuts!!! I feel so out of touch with everyone!!!

Happy Easter everyone!!!!!! I hope you all eat yourselves silly on chocolate!!!

The Sun Catcher I bought at the aquarium last weekend

Well, it’s been a relatively quiet week after the last fun-filled weekend. Scott went off to work far too early for my liking for most of the week – actually last week as well. And not just 6:30am.... we’re talking between 5 and 5:30am!!! That’s practically the middle of the friggin’ night!!! And because I’m not working and because I want to start my day early, I’ve been getting up with him. While he’s showering I make his lunch (either sarmies or salad) and then we have coffee and toast together before he leaves for work. We’re still trying to get used to not working together – it’s something both of us really miss.

One of the colourful (& noisy) parots in the trees in front of the apartment

Then it’s usually a bit of housework for me, drag myself through the shower and then onto whatever I’ve got planned for the day.... shopping for furniture in Crow’s Nest, spending the day in Hornsby at La Roma Cafe writing and publishing the blog or waiting for delivery of said furniture (in which case I do more thorough housework & hopefully squeeze in some reading).

Oooooh!!! Talking of reading, I got the new Stephen King book – Duma Key!!!! I just finished it today (Easter Friday) and it’s brilliant! I’m SO glad that he hasn’t stopped writing yet.

Okay, so Monday I went off to Crow’s Nest and found us a little dining table, a TV unit, coffee table and lamp table – all for delivery on Thursday – yippee!!! All of this is stuff we still needed to get. So now we just wait for the container to arrive with all our personal bits ‘n pieces. Actually, it’s still sitting in Cape Town at the moment! Oh wait – I think I mentioned that before. *sigh* I must be losing my marbles – too much happening all at once and I start to lose track of everything. I think I may have also posted Scott’s work blog that same afternoon...... this memory of mine..... tut... tut...

Tuesday was our second wedding anniversary. It was so bizarre – just 2 months ago we were wondering where we would be spending our wedding anniversary. I remember the conversation vividly. It went something like: “Gosh! Imagine if we’re actually in Sydney, Australia for our anniversary! Wouldn’t that be SO cool!” It seems like only yesterday. And now here we are, in Wahroonga - Sy$dney Australia.

Me preparing the trivet on the Weber so that the fillet will turn out perfectly

Out on the balcony of our apartment, lighting the Weber to roast a specially prepared fillet and drinking a bubbly to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. I wonder if this surreal feeling will ever disappear...? I suppose when they talk about the honeymoon phase, this is it. With regards to immigration that is – not marriage (our whole relationship has been one new adventure after another! LOL!!!).

The moon from our balcony - viewed while waiting for our fillet to roast

Wednesday I went off to Hornsby again to post my last blog. Scott called just as I was finishing up and met me at Westfield so we could do a bit of a grocery shop which was great. Up to this point, I’d been doing little bits with my trolley. But we needed to get things like mops, detergents, washing powder and fabric softener, tins of tomato, tuna, baked beans – alot of stuff that I just couldn’t do in one go with my trolley. Scott made dinner too – yummy mince and mushroom pasta thingy.

Thursday was quite a busy one for me. I did some serious housework – washed the floors (on hands ‘n knees nogal!), vacuumed (what a pleasure with my new Miele!) and thoroughly cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen. Then it was onto clearing all the paper and debris off the kitchen counter and trying to get some semblance of order going before the furniture arrived that afternoon. It was the push I needed – I’d really been meaning to sort out all the paperwork since we moved into the apartment. But you know how things go – you put off the crappy jobs until you absolutely have to do it. That’s me and paperwork. I wonder why I always seem to find myself in jobs where I do what I hate most......??? Secretary... admin assistant... running our own office.... *sigh* Maybe in my next life I’ll be a brain surgeon, a dolphin expert, a photographer, an artist, a writer.... One dream at a time though! Coming to Australia was such a huge dream for Scott & I. Now we’re living that dream. Yip! We’re actually here!!! I still find it hard to believe!!! So we’ll get ourselves established here and then I’ll take the time that I need to find my passion in life. (Other than Scott that is! LOL!)

So the paperwork done, it was time to head off to the village with my trolley to get some supplies for the long weekend. First stop with the bottle-o for a few bottles of something mildly alcoholic – some Vodka something or other – similar to Archers Aqua but with Vodka. They call them alcopop here – alcoholic soda pop! There’s no Brutal Fruit here which I miss. So the important stuff sorted out, it was off to the butcher to stock up on some meat to put into the freezer. Then off to the greengrocers for the healthy stuff. I’ve discovered these really awesome potatoes! I’m not sure what they’re called but they’re very light in colour but are sold still full of dirt – almost a reddish sand. They’re the best for baking – we did some in tinfoil the other night and you didn’t need any butter or salt cos they’re so creamy and tasty! WOW!!!

By this time my trolley was overloaded! I trundled it home – only huffing a little up the hill. I must say that all this walking has done me the world of good! I’m feeling great!!! I still sweat like mad everywhere I go ‘cos I’m just not used to the humidity yet. I also don’t stroll – I try and walk at a good pace so that I know I’m working off those kilojoules. But as a result, my circulation is brilliant, my skin is looking great and I’m feeling healthy. Fresh air, sunshine, exercise, plenty of water and healthy eating do seem to be working wonders. And a safe environment in which to practice this all naturally! I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to “get some exercise” and “follow a healthy eating plan”. I’m walking everywhere because it’s a great way to get around and because I can. I look around and, yes, there are overweight people here - but not to the extent that there are in ZA. The youngsters (teenagers to mid twenties) here are walking around in the shortest shorts (and skirts when in school uniform) and they all have these marvellous legs with very little or no cellulite. I put this down simply to fresh air and a healthy outdoor lifestyle where they get natural exercise. The kids aren’t forced by circumstances to spend all their time indoors watching TV, playing Playstation and eating junk food out of boredom.

Back to the apartment and now I had to sit and wait for the furniture to be delivered. Great! A chance to sit and read my Stephen King! Not for long though – as soon as the furniture arrived it had to be arranged, drawers and cupboards packed so that everything looked great for when Scott arrived home. Alas, the screws for the table legs didn’t arrived with the table so when Scott got home, the table was lying upside down on the lounge floor with it’s loose legs sticking up in the air! Thank goodness Scott’s van is stocked with all sorts of interesting goodies for installations and he managed to find some screws to fit. Now we’ve got somewhere to eat dinner and dump handbags, keys, post, cellphones and any other debris we bring home with us! LOL!!!

What the lounge looks like now with some furniture!

We woke up on Easter Friday to blissful cool rain. We decided to head out to Westfield in Chatswood (bigger than Hornsby) and find a couple of lamps for the lounge along with some coasters and placemats and a cleaning kit for the Weber. Only to find that NOTHING was open today – retail people also take a break on Easter instead of cashing in on all the other people who aren’t working! So instead we went for a drive to St Ives. This is where (reportedly) all the Saffers move to. Well, we didn’t hear one Saffer accent! The shopping mall here was also all closed up. I still haven’t given up on finding that elusive beast.... a bottle of Bovril.

Scott's Ozzie Yobbo t-shirt

Scott driving the van

The sign on the bridge on Pacific Highway now says "Stop. Revive. Survive." It's the slogan for driving safe over holiday periods. They also issue double demerit points for all traffic offences between Thursday and Tuesday of the Easter Weekend

We stopped at Mickey D’s for breakfast – there’s a McCafe in St Ives which actually do a pretty good toasted sandwich – not the plastic food that usually comes out of McDonalds. Across the road was a really big park with a cricket oval and a baseball diamond. There were hundreds of parrots/parakeets/cockatoos just cruising around munching on whatever they munch on in the wet grass. Note to self – get bird book and then wait patiently for binoculars to arrive in container!!

Sulphur crested cockatoos on the side of the Pacific Highway

These are not seagulls on the field - they're parrots (or parakeets or whatever they're called!)

Some more in front on the Scout hall in St Ives

A closer pic of the ones in front of the Scout hall

This one (above 3 pics) was a real performer - and talk about LOUD!!! Also a Sulphur Crest

After hanging out with the birds for a while, we moazied on back to Wahroonga, dropped the car off and walked to the village for a newspaper. After driving around looking for open shops, Wahroonga seemed to be the liveliest little centre with cafes, restaurants, delis, the IGA and the news agents open. After a brisk walk back in some drizzle which annoyed Scott ‘cos his paper was getting soggy, we decided to spend the rest of the day just chillin’ out. Something we haven’t really done yet. Our apartment is starting to feel like a home now with some furniture and the weather was just conducive to spending the day at home. Reading the papers and our books while listening to some laid back Cafe del Mar tunes.

Scott proof reading this blog

Chillin' out with the newspapers, books, laid back music and our sleeping bags on the couch.

17 March 2008

Our Latest Adventures...!


Right, so this blog’s going to be a little different from the previous ones. We’ve done a fair amount since I last posted and we’ve taken heaps of photos. So this one’s going to be a photo blog – mainly photos with explanatory captions instead of my ramblings interspersed with photographs.

Just a quick note about the photos. If you click on the pics, you should be able to view a larger version. If you want to see any of the pics in higher resolution (bigger format), please send me a mail and I’ll send it via email. The original pics are about 1MB each in size so I had to make them smaller to put them on the website.


This one is especially for Marc & Janke… I’m not sure about the rest of the Pacific Highway, but this stretch is really well used by bikes and there are plenty of traffic signs warning motorists about motorbikes. The Think Bike campaign on steroids!! And the bikes on the roads……. *sigh* So many beautiful bikes on the roads…… I must remember to get some pics of some.

This is me on our new chocolate brown leather sofa proof-reading Scott’s last blog! It’s ÜBER comfy!!!


This is a sculpture by Victor Cusack called Man, Time & The Environment. It was unveiled in ’93 at an estimated cost of $790,000 – plus the annual expenses of up to $25,000 (I suppose for running the water & electricity to run the water pumps).

It incorporates three ancient water clock designs: a Greek Clepsydra clock, a Pendulum clock and a Chinese Water Wheel.

It was actually not working at all for quite some time and was fixed in consultation with the artist last year. From what I can understand this was quite a big operation where they brought in a crane to lift the whole mechanism out and cordoned off a huge chunk of the piazza to work on the thing. It’s been quite a controversial piece – the locals either love it or hate it (and think it’s a complete waste of space, time & money) – but not one of them wants it removed! Even if some people don’t think its very pretty, it belongs to the Hornsby Shire and they’re not about to let it go!

This is taken just to the right of the Water Clocks. Westfield mall is split in two sections in Hornsby – separated by glass walkway over the piazza which you can see to the left on the second level.

It’s a fabulous mall with a fabulous fresh food market underground. There are butchers, greengrocers, a fish market and a chicken butcher. Yip! That’s correct – a chicken butcher! It’s the size of a normal butcher’s store front but with every different type of chicken cut you can think of. There are kievs, chicken balls, kebabs, etc and they’re all beautifully presented.

This is part of the parking lot for the Hornsby train station. Notice how all the cars are reverse parked?

This is the reason – these signs are all over the parking lot. I’m not sure why – I haven’t found anyone to ask about this. I will though & then I’ll pass on the info.


On the way to meet Graham & Percy for dinner last Thursday night, I took this pic of the inside of the double-decker train. You’ve seen the outside, now you can see the inside. I must seem like SUCH a tourist everywhere I go with my camera! LOL!

Percy, Scott & Graham (Scott’s uncle) at Kelly’s in Bondi Junction. This restaurant is on the 6th floor of the Bondi Junction Westfield. It has the most magnificent view of the Sydney harbour. If I remember correctly, the restaurant is owned by Percy’s niece and actually has boerewors on the menu! The food was outstanding and the setting was quite incredible. Scott & I couldn’t quite believe where we were….. Sitting in a restaurant in Sydney, Australia owned by a South Africa – with Graham and Percy who we’d only seen a few weeks previously at our farewell party in Cape Town. The surreal feeling came creeping back in that night!


After a rather hectic week (Scott’s second at work & mine running around getting supplies to make our apartment feel like home), we decided a little fun was in order on Friday night. So we took the train down to Milson’s Point station and walked through Kiribilli & Milson’s point down to Luna Park.

Click here for the history of Luna Park - it's really interesting!

Scott at the top of the stairs leading down to the wharf. The entrance towers of Lunar Park are behind him.

The entrance to Luna Park – Scott’s under the blacked out tooth!

Our first ride was the Ferris wheel. That’s the Ferris wheel in the background. The funny arch thingy above it is actually the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

A great pic of Scott taken on the Ferris wheel with the bridge in the background.

And one of me in a similar spot. Just to prove that we’re actually here and not hiding out in Pofadder pretending to be in Australia! LOL!

Taken from the Ferris wheel… The entrance to Luna Park (bottom left), Milson’s Point ferry pick up (bottom centre), a beautifully lit up Sydney Opera House and everything being dwarfed by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The colours and lights of the main drag at Luna Park. The castle-like building on the left is the Crystal Palace which has various function venues. That night it was being used by the Chartered Accountants association for their annual awards evening – so plenty of accountants walking around in black tie. Apparently this is a fabulous venue – our boss’s daughter had her wedding reception here.

There’s a massive warehouse-sized hall which has all these really old “rides” and amusements. It's called Coney Island (see history of Luna Park above). It’s wonderful how beautifully some of the old equipment has been maintained. I didn’t take a photo of it, but do any of you remember seeing the spinning top? It was a round cone shape made of wood polished to a satin sheen. Everyone would take their shoes off and hop into the middle. When it started spinning, the aim was to try and stay in the middle. The one here is in perfect working order and still a functioning “ride”.

As you walk down into the hall, there is a wall of photographs depicting the history of Luna Park in Sydney. There actually used to be a Big Dipper roller coaster but it’s long gone.

This is two barrels rolling in opposite directions. I made it through okay and then turned to take this pic of Scott going through. The lady behind Scott’s arm clutching her bag didn’t do so well – she ended up falling over and tumbling around until they switched the rollers off – it was rather funny to watch! She must’ve felt like a right ‘nana though.

As far as rides go, this one was terrifying!!! It looks to pretty in this picture taken from the Ferris wheel, doesn’t it….. I think it was called the Flying Saucer or something equally arb. Basically it’s a wheel which sits flat. People are strapped in standing up to the inner rim of the wheel. See the solid white light around the rim? The tops of our heads were just inside that rim. So it starts spinning and you’re kinda squashed against the cushion at your back….. and then the damn thing starts lifting on one side on this massive arm….. until the whole wheel is at 90 DEGREES TO THE GROUND!!! AT HIGH SPEED!!!!!!! AND IT WENT ON FOREVER!!!!!!!! I got of this one and EVERYTHING was shaking!!! I’m getting too old for this extreme adrenalin stuff!!! Needless to say, we hit the bar for an ice cold beer to sooth our throats after all the screaming. Sorry, did I say “our”? No, Scott didn’t scream like a little girl at allmuch okay, maybe a little. LOL!

After the beers, we walked around a bit and did some fun stuff like winning a little Bob The Builder plush toy for hitting balloons with darts. Scott then managed to persuade me that The Ranger would be fun to go on. You know the Pirate Ship at Ratanga and all the other shows/theme parks you’ve ever been to? Well take the Pirate Ship, add steroids and a centre pin which must’ve been faulty BECAUSE THE BLOODY THING WENT ALL THE WAY AROUND!!!!!!! How stupid am I????? Why do I do this to myself???? I think I’ll blame it on Scott’s ability to make me take up childish dares….. Me, a competitive nature… NEVER! LOL!!!

Scott sitting on the jetty outside the park with the lights of the city behind him – bit blurred but my idea of an arty photo!

Another one to remind us that we’re ACTUALLY here!!!


On Saturday morning we went off to Barbeques Galore in Hornsby where we bought our Weber Q200 gas barbie. We haven’t cooked on the stove since we got it!!!! It’s brilliant!!! Sure, you can’t beat a real braai with a fire ‘n all….. but this is the way things are done here, so when in Rome….

Scott cooking up a storm on the Weber – T-bone steaks and a couple of chicken & pepperdew snags (snags = sausage).

Doing the usual thing at a barbie…. Suckin’ on a cold one! Oh, and the bright pink plate on the side of the Weber? Those, 2 bowls & two coffee mugs are the sum total of our crockery! Everything else is in transit – actually, not in transit but still sitting in Cape Town. I just hope like hell that we get our stuff before my folks arrive at the end of May!!! It’s starting to look like it may be a tight race…


The Sydney Fish Market. You can see part of the warehouse behind Scott – that is the main fish market. It’s noisy, crowded and packed with wonderfully fresh seafood. We started off with a dozen fresh oysters – we actually watched the guy shuck them! Yum! Yum! But it was really busy and crowded so we headed outside to find somewhere to get lunch – most of the fish markets (shops) inside and outside have take-away sections as well as being able to buy fresh, raw fish. Oh boy, the variety!!! Crabs with a body the size of a rugby ball, every different size of prawn, octopus, scallops, squid (whole, calamari steaks & rings), special sashimi cuts of tuna & salmon, so many varieties of fish - some I’ve never heard of. I even found greenlipped abalone (pronounced abalone) which is REALLY small – about the size of a cake of Dove soap only half as thick. There was also a swordfish in one of the shops – it was MASSIVE and there was only a piece of it on display. Think of the difference between an old Nissen bakkie and one of those open cast mining trucks and you may come close to how it dwarfed the other fish on display.

The platter we ordered included calamari rings, deep fried white fish, deep fried prawns, scallops in the half-shell, oyster mornay, oyster grilled with bacon and some chips too. It was delicious and could’ve fed a family of four!!!

Yum! Yum! We made a damn huge dent in that platter – a few things left over buy we just couldn’t anymore!!!

Now it was time to walk off all that (deep fried, greasy) seafood so we headed for Darling Harbour via the Pyrmont Bridge.

This is a beautiful little drinking fountain on a street corner on the way to Darling Harbour.

Coming up to the Pyrmont Bridge which crosses Darling Harbour. The Metro MonoRail runs over the bridge and does a circle into the city via Chinatown and Paddy’s Markets amongst others.

Me on the Pyrmont Bridge – see the Sydney Tower in the background. Also known as the AMP tower but that’s for another days’ outing.

Over the bridge on the right is this old ferry – the South Steyne. The old girl’s been retired and is now a floating bar and restaurant.

Over the left side of the bridge is the Australian National Maritime Museum which has a massive indoor section as well as these outdoor exhibits – the lighthouse, the HMAS Onslow (submarine), HMAS Vampire (the big navy ship) as well as the Australian-built replica of Captain Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour – you can see the masts in the background. Also another thing to explore on another day…..

Scott looking over the water..

This flag is enormous!!!! A very majestic sight from the bridge.

This must be the control tower for Darling Harbour.

Some of the cats moored outside the Aquarium and Wildlife World – ours is the one on the left……!

A great shot of Scott on the Pyrmont Bridge.

Looking back the way we’d come with the monorail passing us.

Standing near the Aquarium looking back at the bridge.


A Lion Fish

A Loggerhead Turtle

These little guys were cute – Pineapple Fish

The elusive Platypus…

A Saltwater Croc peeping out of the water

The same croc from below – just hanging out…

There were a whole stack of White Tipped Reef Sharks all hanging out together at the bottom on this tank – looked like a White Tip parking lot!

These Sting Rays were HUGE – look at the size of the shark behind it and then also the tunnel and a person’s head and shoulders.

Going down to see the seals…

This little critter is a Weedy Sea Dragon – I really battled to photograph him & this is the only one that came out.

This little fellow had such an expressive face with those big eyes.

Personally I think this little critter would’ve been more at home at Wildlife World next door!

A cool pic of Scott in the floored tank – that’s a strange looking shark under him (see next pic)

Strange looking shark this – but I can’t for the life of me remember it’s name!

The main viewing are of the big tank. I must say here that I think the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront in Cape Town is far more impressive than this one.


The Monorail coming into the station at Darling Harbour. The monorail isn’t all that impressive. It’s got four cars with seating for only 8 people (2 seats facing each other) per car. There is advertising signage on the outside which makes photography from the cars impossible (you can see through the signage but a photo wouldn’t come out). The ride is quite fun once you get a seat. Most of it is through buildings so you don’t really get much in the line of panoramic views of the Sydney harbour.

Scott (with Pyrmont bridge in the background) waiting for the next car to come along as the first one was completely full.


WOW!!! We came across this stunning building by accident. We were across the road looking for the Australian Opal Cutters when we happened upon this. This shopping mall was described by Pierre Cardin as "the most beautiful shopping centre in the world".

The stone was set on July 29 1896 by the Mayor of Sydney, I.E. Ives.

The statue over the entrance.

Standing in the entrance looking up at the dome with its stained glass ceiling.

The inside of the mall – a lot of very exclusive shops here.

The stained glass windows seen above the entrance in the first pic

The staircase and the stained glass windows at the entrance.

Scott on the staircase

Me on the staircase

Looking down at the mosaic floor

This clock is spectacular! It’s suspended from the ceiling and has so many intricate details that would take me all day to describe. I found the following in Wikipedia: "Two large mechanical clocks, each one featuring dioramas and moving figures from moments in Australian history, can be seen from the adjacent railed walkways. The Royal Clock, designed by Neil Glasser and made by Thwaites & Reed of Hastings in England, shows scenes of English royalty from King John signing the Magna Carta to the execution of King Charles I. The Great Australian Clock, designed and made by Chris Cook, weighs four tonnes and stands ten metres tall. It includes 33 scenes from Australian history, seen from both Aboriginal and European perspectives. An Aboriginal hunter circles the exterior of the clock continuously, representing the never-ending passage of time."

Well, that's it for now. Once again I'm sitting in La Roma Cafe putting all this together. Scott's just SMSed to say that he's going to meet me here so we can get a floor mop and some groceries. This is great 'cos this laptop is damn heavy and to carry everything home - even with my trolley - is a mission.

Last night we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a fillet roasted in the Weber and a bottle of bubbly! What a wonderful evening! And a very eventful two years of marriage!!!! LOL!!! I wonder what the next two hold in store - let alone the next 50!!!???!!!

I start work next week Tuesday after the Easter weekend which is quite exciting and a little daunting too. I'll try to post before I start next week but if not, then the next time will only be at the beginning of April when we get our ADSL line installed.

Now how about sending us some news of what's going on in your lives!!!
We really what to hear your news!

All our love, hugs 'n kisses,

Mands & Scott