CUWAM- Strong People Endure

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This week I started and finished watching Tim Winton‘s ‘ Cloudstreet‘ on DVD….and while I could not wait to start watching…I knew as credits rolled on firstly, disc one, then disc two…I was getting ever so close to the end of the series…So I started rationing my intake of disc three…watching it over a period of 4 days….I had been greedy with Disc one and two, devouring them in one sitting each….

And when it finally ended….I felt a sense of loss….no longer daily run ins with the Pickles and Lamb family…such wonderful, sturdy, stubborn, flawed and humourous characters..They provided much enjoyment and escapism in an otherwise drab, rather dull week.

To quote Oriel Lamb…’ Strong people endure’… Strong people endure life, they do not give up no matter how hard the task ahead, no matter how over whelming the challenge or how mind numbing a situation….My week was all of that and more and Mrs Lamb provided me with the strength to go about my daily business with my head held high and a smile ( which disapered sometimes!) on my face.

There was work, the 9am-5 pm drudgery of that is office administration….with small pockets of joy, a lunch of sushi in Victoria Park with cousin Liz on Monday….followed by the only other work highlight of the week some 5 days later…the Friday morning tea in the office, a smorgasboard of mini quiche, pies, sausage rolls, gluten-free delights, fresh fruit, cakes, cheeses….Our office does not do things in halves…the Full Monty approach to eating…so much so that most office members forgo lunch on Friday, the 10.30am feeding session providing enough fuel till Saturday breakfast…

Two work highlights, and a few of the after work variety…two gym workouts ( or torture sessions)…necessary to let off office aggression and personal let downs….Dinner at the Carlisle Castle Pub, Newtown, with my former neighbour, Ms Mel….The Sydney Crave Food festival having teamed up with the Carlisle, and a pie of pork bellie, fennel and black-current, served with peas and mash, and a schooner of Coopers Pale Ale, was the perfect way to end a working Wednesday…

A Friday morning pre-work shopping session at Paddy’s Markets, Haymarket, was both exhausting and inspiring….An amazing array of fresh fruit and vegetables, colourful characters and sweet aromas welcome the bargain hunters…and I left with three bags full of goodies…7 punnets of strawberries, 4 mangos and all the ingredients required to make chill corn bread…yummo!

A mid-week conversation with my parents from Marseille, France…jelously is a curse…For Mum and Dad were calling from a small, cobble stoned, rural village…peace and tranquillity could be heard down the phone line…’ So have you applied for any jobs in NYC?’ asked my Father….’ No Dad’ I responded’ I am trying to focus my attention on falling back in love with Australia’….

A free coffee from MacDonalds…not something I would normally included in the blog, but my friend Jess had intrusted me with a few coffee voucher from McCafe…and ever so curious, I just had to try it out….Not bad….and free….Thanks Jess…

Joining in the online writing forum ‘ InkpaperPen’…or Write on Wednesday for the first time…What fun! The topic ‘ What I thought I saw’….viewed oh so breifly on Monday afternoon, and my writers brain kicked into over drive…So caught up in the possibility of the suggested topic…I quickly rephrased the title to my own liking ‘ What I saw’..and ran with it….Oopps…The rules stated you must write under the heading ‘ What I thought I saw’….when trully I believed the topic to be ‘ What I saw’….Confused? I was……

And to the weekend, Friday afternoon cider with work colleagues, Saturday morning baking session, 6 trays of corn bread prepared for a friends engagement party….A long car journey to Normanhurst for the festivities….Summer sun, Happy Goblin beer on tap and much fun with friends, toasting the happy couple, Colin and Elena..complete with baby on the way…A great Saturday afternoon…xxx

And to Sunday, early morning cooking session, adults only fruit salad prepared for my friend, J.K’s Mum 70th b’day celebrations…Adults only as the ingredients consist of strawberries, mango and dessert wine…yummo…Coffee and time for morning cuddles with Flora in my hammock, a sun shower and then a retreat inside….to where I now find myself…typing away about the week that was….

Strong people endure…they keep on trucking….So soon I will set off in my hyundai getz for another celebration, a family coming together to wish their beloved Mum, Grandmother, neighbour and friend a happy 70th Birthday…I can’t wait to get amoungst it….

CUWAM: What thought I Saw

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 20 Write the words ” I thought I saw” at the top of your page. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Don’t take you pen off the page (or fingers off the keyboard). Stop only when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish. Write beyond 5 minutes if you like, you can link it up as an extra post.

I have to admit I thought about this….and it did take me longer than 5 minutes….but I vow to get better with deadlines, time limits, and commit to writing free style….

Entering the realm of online dating in later 2009 was confronting, exciting  nerve-wracking and down right weird….Having got to the end of a very challenging year, and finding myself still single, I had begun to repeat this mantra over and over in my head ‘ I am single and looking to mingle’…How very wrong I was….

Registering myself with an online agency, writing a classified advertisement in an attempt to sell, well, myself, was daunting…I initially tried to palm the task of to a close friend…’ Just write a short blurb about me’ I begged, ‘ Put me in a good light…it is all I ask’

But deep down I knew that the words had to be my own, that if I truly wanted my personality to shine through the harsh fluorescent glow of the computer screen, I had to commit to writing the ad myself.

Battling the torrent of endless negative self talk, hesitation and self-doubt, my profile was launched and so began my online search for love, for friendship, for companionship…..

Sifting through online profiles sent to my inbox,  all of which were deemed to meet ‘Key Dimensions of compatibility’, which had been pre-determined by the lengthy questionnaire I had completed on joining the site, questions about personal preferences, life and love goals….which then reduced all that I was to a personality type and a love formula…and hey presto….those in your inbox are just what the doctor ordered…

To be part on the online dating world you have to be open to new experiences, leave all pre-conceived ideas at the door, and step into unchartered territory with a sure sense of who you are and where you want to go…..And at the end of 2009 I was none the clearer on any of the above…

And what I saw as I logged onto the dating site time after time, what I thought I saw differed greatly from what I wanted to see… confirmed that I did not know what I was looking for,  nothing ever measured up to my lofty ideals of love, fairytale happy endings , the kiss that woke the princess from her deep sleep.

I was not going to find my Prince charming when what I saw was never going to measure up to what I thought I wanted…and my online dating experiences ended before they even really started….What did I want from the online world of love?

Two years later I am not sure I want what the online world has to offer me….But this dalliance provided great personal insight… What I saw out of all of this was a young women who needed to work on herself before she could re-introduce herself to the big bad world, and on her reintroduction her love could be professed in many forms, online, day-to-day, over the phone, the sending of a letter….

And I can now say with a bit more conviction’ I am single and looking to mingle’

CUWAM- Time stands still

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Since returning from overseas two weeks ago, I have spent a large portion of my weekends down South…for baby showers, birthdays, well wishing the newly engaged, catching up with friends and family…but the weekends mercy dash to Figtree Private Hospital was by far the most special…for I got to meet my new friend, baby D.P.A….and from the moment I took this little bundle of fluff, with his soft skin, lanky limbs and spiked black hair into my arms for a  cuddle….time stood still….the world stopped spinning around, the chatter in my head was silenced….the weekend schedule was put on the backburner…..all was calm… all that seemed to matter was safe and sound asleep in my arms….It was so lovely to met you D.P.A… I look forward to our future cuddles…..

To D.P.A’s parents….enjoy this truly wonderous time, and when the going gets tough, you know where I am…..and although I would have loved to stay suspended in time with your little angel, I had to get back to the real world, take on the Sunday afternoon traffic and head back to the big smoke… I left the hospital room with a heavy heart….D.P.A, you are so lovely and sweet…..and I can’t wait to see you again….

The week that was jammed packed…it has left me feeling a bit flat…and I long for some quiet time…prehaps I am over doing it?? Only last week I was whingeing about the lack of vitality in Sydney, yet the last week has left me crying out for some rest and relaxation….This is not the adjustment process I envisaged for myself…. What I realise I need is balance….balance that the last two weeks has not provided.

The catch ups continued at a rapid rate….Dinner in Surry Hills at El Loco…Justin Hemmes, the Sydney Nightclub mogul, who can’t seem to put a foot wrong…his latest venture, a no-frill Mexican Cantina, with sublime cocktails and mouth-watering taco selection, combinations such as pork with pineapple salsa, lemon grass beef with salsa verde….Though I tried not to like the place…I could not help it…I am a fan….

After work drinks on the lawn with Kenny and Kate, sipping cider in the early evening….summer I can almost taste you in the air….you are almost here….

Weekend mayhem…..but mayhem that could be handled!! Saturday brunch with Astrid Cattsitter at Bills, Darlinghurst …parking the car in Womerah Avenue to walk to the breakfast date, I strolled along the tree line avenue, and under my breath I whispered to myself….’ When I grow up I want to live here’….No body heard me but a stray black cat….who looked suspiciously like my own feline companion, Flora….a photo shoot took place….And my love of Sydney went up a notch as Astrid and I ate breakfast at the communal table in the cafe, corn fritter, coffee and boiled eggs…..

Coogee Beach and a momentous first beach day out for Ms Mae….adored by all who set eyes on this little lady, enjoying the seaside for the first time….Apparently a tsunami sized wave threatened Dad and Mae as they frolicked on the shore line…but I don’t think the story made the weekend news?? Fun times continued back at my place with drinks, hammock action and territorial behaviour from Flora, who was complemented for her ‘ intense eyes’…

And while this entry does not do justice to the sense of exhaustion I feel at the completion of my second week home in OZ, if I was to say that I have completed three car journies down South, over-hauled a vegetable garden for Strawberries and Mulberries in the summer sun twice, got stuck in numerous traffic jams, committed to life in an office block from 9am-5pm- 5 days a week, rejoined the gym…and although my reintroduction to the treadmill only lasted 16 minutes, I am back at it non the less….and I will stop there…for it is beginning to sound a bit ‘ woe is me’….

….and the thing that will restore me this week is the tv series Cloudsteet…which hit the stores on the 20th of October…and I secured my purchase same day….I cannot wait to loose myself in the tale of two families, the Lambs and the Pickles, and the trials and tribulations that befall them over a 20 year period.

Tim Winton has said ‘ It’s the pointless things that give your life meaning. Friendship, compassion, art, love. All of them pointless. But they’re what keeps life from being meaningless’…..could not have said it better…This blog, Winton’s story,….all of it meaningless….but it helps me to make sense of the day-to-day, it helps to sustain me….and for that I am thankful…..

CUWAM- Joins Write on Wednesday

Exciting times ahead….I have joined an online writing group….dedicated to writing each and every Wednesday….First WoW post will be next week ( I have 48 hours to post my writing I gather, so I suspect my post will go VIRAL!! between the 26th-28th of October!!)

CUWAM’s focus will forever be friendship, and observations on life, the good, the bad, the ugly and the ordinary…but writing on a random topic set each week ensures that my blog remains vibrant, you just never now what will appear from one post to the next….and by joining the ‘ Write on Wednesday’ forum…neither do I….

And a big shout out to my fellow blogger, Mixed Gems, for the continued support, encouragement and suggestions….you are a true jem..xx

CUWAM- Why write?

Why write? …the answer sprang out at me as I read the Nicole Krauss’s novel ”The History of Love’ …a book I purchased in an independant bookstore in Little Italy, NYC…a book I have yet to immerse myself in fully….For I found that whilst travelling, and since the return to OZ, my brain is not interested in other people’s stories…I am still trying to make sense of my own!!

But the day will come when I erect my hammock in the front garden, lay down with this book, and it is a good book, prehaps even a marvelous book, with mojito in hand, and Flora snuggled next to me…and loose myself in page after page…

The History of Love, and its main character Leo Gursky, a man ‘trying to survive a little bit longer, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive’ is my type of person….a man compelled to document his day to day existence in order to make sense of this crazy, mixed up. alienating, beautiful and ordinary thing called life.

‘ When I got older I decided I wanted to be a real writer. I tried to write about real things. I wanted to describe the world, because to live in an undescribed world was too lonely’

And I can’t improve on that….but I felt compelled to share that beautiful quote…His words resonated with me when I read them a while back and I scribbled the quote down in my travel diary…

And today I enter them into my blog, as a type of hommage to the art of writing and as a way of committing to documenting future tales of life, love and friendship….

CUWAM- Earth Bound and Aware

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It is hard to come down to earth  when you have spent the last 4.5 weeks gallivanting in Paris, parts of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the U. S of A….but a trip to my home town, the Gong aka Wollongong, was the perfect way, the only way to return to ground level….to street level anyway (in all honestly it threatened to put me 6 feet under )

Reality you are no friend of mine….

I am on struggle street….struggling to embrace the life I left only one month ago, the lifestyle I loved and the city I called home…Travel has a funny way of doing…A way of turning everything on its head…a way of making you question your life choices, your perceived happiness…question the bus route you take to work and the job you do day in and day out….

The desire to lodge a green card application has never before entered my mind, but I have spent a good part of each day since returning to OZ fantasising about getting Flora the cat a passport and relocating to NYC, so I can be closer to Wholefood Supermarket, the High Line Park and the atrocious Starbucks Coffee houses….

Yet, for better or worse, I am a realist….I understand that the lifestyle I lead whilst overseas was above and beyond that of a normal everyday routine…If I was to relocate to London for example, I could not afford to live by the Thames River in Canary Wharf as do my friend Jo and Yo….My weekend would not be filled with movie screenings in private bars, charity function dinners in Mayfair…If I was to relocate to the Big Apple, I could not afford to swan about, eating cakes and sipping lattes in Soho…chances are I would be serving them!!

Reality you are no friend on mine…Fo my travels now seem but dream….and I am left questioning if it ever happened at all…But travel, you have made me realise how incredibly lucky I am to have had the month of September spent in far-flung places, global hotspots with great friends, fabulous weather and mouth-watering cuisine.

And the crash back to earth, back to work and to routine…..onlycements the belief …I am one lucky girl, for the month of September, the shared experiences, the laughter and the tall tales, will forever be in my memory ( till alzheimers strikes anyway!!)…and that is the beauty of travel…though the adventure may be over…the memories stay with you, become part of your day-to-day and help to shape the type of person you are, person you want to be…curious, inquisitive…a dreamer…

And with a huge thud, the crash landing occured…the return to work, and the ho-hum, high ho 9-5 daily grind…made only slightly more bearable by a morning coffee from my friendly local cafe…Parc cafe…the silent barista not so silent anymore…whilst away, I had sent a postcard, ‘Greeting from Brooklyn’…and it paid off….My Monday morning coffee was delivered with a huge grin ‘Welcome back to Australia…Have a nice day’….Damm the silent barista…Did he really have to talk??..

But by 9.02am..the effects of coffee had worn off, and I was faced with the horrific task of surviving another 7 hours and 58 minutes…desk bound, staring mindlessly at the computer screen, air of some condition being pumped into office cubicles,  surrounded by colleagues who looked as though they could all do with a holiday…there was nothing else I could do but pray….’Dear God…please end this nightmare!’

Not being religious, I did not expect a response and none was given…. dazed and confused, probably still jet lagged and always underwhelmed, minutes rolled into hours, hours into days.

Colleagues took me out to lunch for dumplings, a lunch date at the Opera House complete with beverages, picnics in the park….During the evening I went to the Cinema, and to the Hyde Park Night Noodle markets and outdoor art exhibition ‘Art and About’….and still I felt detached, uninterested even….from the city of Sydney, from myself….

And to the weekend….an early morning departure, with Flora in her travelling capsule…Gong bound for some birthday action of my dear friend Rebecca….A birthday party at the German Club in Port Kembla….celebrating Octoberfest…W0llongong style…..And my crash landing was complete…

Driving to a beer drinking festival is not normally a good idea, but at this particular event, I was happy with my descision…At this particular event the attitude appeared to be drink hard or not at all…Well, I went against the grain and drank in moderation….preferring to spend an entire 5 hours locked in conversation with one person…my friend Jess….It had been 5 weeks since we had talked…really talked……this converstaion was epic…and included almost every topic known to man….martial status…..salt content of food….ear lobes….and whilst the conversation went on and on and on….and a strange feeling came over me….contentment……I was glad to be back…..I finally felt grounded.

And to herald such a feeling, the sun came out..finally…a day of warm weather….Sunshine where the hell have you been this past week?

The much awaited catch up with my brother and his beautiful bride to be….the ring…ah the ring…..Wow wee…A Sunday breakfast date at Fireworks Cafe , Moore Street, Austinmer, possibly my most favourite cafe in the WHOLE world…with travel nomad Brendan Lee, Michael and Tennelle….another special moment….Over coffee, fresh juice and big breakfasts I guess I started to feel at home, but at home more so with those with whose company I shared….location seemed to be irrelevant…xx

And as I brace myself for the drive back to the city….the thought of another working week creeps into my mind… I have come down to earth with a thud…but slowly but surely I will pick myself up….

Steering my mind toward the happy memories of the weekend down south…..the 6.30am garden session with Flora, picking strawberries and mulberries from my parents garden…Rebecca,the birthday girl, enjoying the sun, the beer and the company of her many friends, time with Jess, her partner Wade and the divine Ms Mae…conversation with the loved up Michael and Tennelle….

Enough to get me through another week? Who can say…but it is all that I have…That my current dream of winning the green card lottery, relocating to Manhattan Island, hand in hand with Johnny Depp and Flora….

CUWAM- Home…bittersweet home….

Last night I took myself to the Randwick Ritz Cinema to watch the Australian Box Office smash hit ‘ Red Dog’….for the second time…..Could’nt help myself…I left Flora the cat behind to go out into the world and watch a dog movie….

As I parked my car in the back streets of Randwick, my mind wondered back to my last week in London….for one week ago exactly, I was watching a movie with Jo and Yo in Canary Wharf, London…..Randwick in comparision felt like a country town, the evening sky pink and blue as the sun set, the occasional car on the road, a smattering of people….It certainly has been a change coming home….

I had seen the movie Red Dog in its first week of release back in early August…and it is still on at the Cinema….the Australian public cannot get enough of this film.

For me, it was the perfect film to herald my return to OZ, for the film incaptaulates all that is good aboutt life in OZ, its people, its natural beauty and its fundamental belief in mateship…between men and women…and in this films case….mateship between a dog and an entire town….Yes, the perfect film to help ease me back in life in Sydney…I love Red Dog…Josh Lucas is easy on the eye as well!!…..but I have to admit that I was ever so tempted to see the movie ‘ Crazy Stupid Love’ starring Steve Carrell….my heart strings being pulled in the direction of an American movie, hoping that the film’s location might be NYC, and I could be transported back to my holiday destination….

But no…I was committed to the movie set in the Pilbara region in Western Australian…I sat through a tale of mateship that made my eyes water and my throat tighten….and I left a little more sure of the reasons why I just had to come home to Sydney, Australia…….but I drove home listening to Alicia Keys and Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind‘……there is still a bit of adjusting to do I guess….

CUWAM- Words, Music and a roll call of thanks

The musical soundtrack swirls round and round in my head…I have been listening to these tunes on high rotation for the last 72 hours for they are capable of transporting me back to the fabulous locations of my Europe / UK and USA adventure…..and today, as I am desk bound….back at work…these tunes act as a life support!!

The effects of jet lag prehaps, coupled with obsessive compulsive tendencies ( and some would argue questionable taste in music!!) the tunes below will always be special to me…for they are powerful reminders of catch up with friends, old and new, is far from home places, the summer sun, indulgent meals, the wine, the cider , and for better or worse….long haul plane rides….

Leona Lewis : Collide

The songs of summer…..Listening to Leona Lewis whilst road tripping with Steve and Andrew along roads that hugged the Cornish coast line…a song that will always transport me back to this magical part of the world…the rolling green country side, the glistening aqua blue ocean…what a treat!!

Moves like Jagger : Maroon 5 feat Christina Aguilera

Another  song synonymous with our Cornish road trip…thanks for the memories….using an i-phone for backing vocals, a better rendition of this song there will never be than that performed by Steve in beer garden of the Gurnard’s Head Pub, St Ives.

All for One : I swear

Whilst eating at a Chinese restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark…I was lucky enough to hear an instrumental version only of the classis love song…I Swear…by All 4 One

Rhianna : Whats my name

Boyzone: No Matter What

Angry Anderson : Suddenly

Brooke Fraser : Something in the Water

And the four songs listed where my inflight entertainment….I listened to these tunes over and over again…I offer no excuses…I love boy band music for one thing, the other tunes….I am lost for words…the songs have left me speechless!!

P.S I really like the Brooke Fraser song

It can be said that this holiday was somewhat sweeter than most…I had indeed had a truly wonderful time abroad…..the trip has helping to strengthen a newly formed opinion on the benefits of travel….

For me travel is no longer escapism, I am no longer a traveller who leaves home, with the desire to leave my old life behind, a former believer happiness could only be found in places far removed from the every day.

Today, travel now confirms a new-found happiness I feel with life in general and that feeling seems to be coming a little more constant with the passing of each day….and the joy of travelling is now not confined to just places like the Eiffel Tower or Brick Lane, it can be to my local supermarket in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs…god forbid….even the workplace!!

So to Paris, Odense, Copenhagen, NYC, Bristol, Cornwell and London.. Thank you for being the wonderful, life infusing, confronting, alarming, inspiring and magical places that you are….Cities I hold close to me, like a good friend….Cities that as I write, I am already fantasize about our next catch up

To the people I caught up with during my travels, without these catch ups my holiday landscape would not have been so colourful and bright…I have such great memories of the times spent with friends, old and new, couple that with the kindness shown by complete strangers…and I have enough fond memories till last me till 2013 ( when I next hope to jet set!!)

To people in OZ who loaned me there friends in Paris and NYC….thank you Caz and Elena…I love partaking in a bit of friend stealing now and then!!

And to the cats and dogs, parklands, restaurants, shopping centres, flea markets, coffee carts and tourist attractions…for providing my holiday with the all important stocking fillers…

CUWAM : London…the last hurruh…

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Jet lag, you are no friend of mine…but it seems you are a friend of this blog…and so a late night entry begins.

There is no denying that I am home….to the city of Sydney, the city that I love, to my humble home, back with Flora the cat, who is a little unsure of my return…her constant nudging, licking and need for affection, nothing out of the ordinary, but the welcome home courtship is a bit much….I am tired, not interested…yet happy to be reunited just the same.

Jet lag, and feeling of not knowing exactly with body clock to inhabit….London time, which would mean I would be eating breakfast right now, or to embrace the city of Sydney’s invitation to sleep…it is pushing midnight and it does seem like a good option….But I am interested in neither….so to blogging I turn my attention.

Hampstead Heath….October 4th…and the pilgrimage to the great romantic poet, John Keats’s house…..With the line to his poem, Bright Star’ whirling around in my head, I strolled up Keats Grove, eager to part with the 5 pound entry fee to spend time to the poets former home….only to be greeted at the gates to the home by the following message ‘ Due to an invasion of wasps, Keats House is closed today’

Wow wee….was not expecting that….Disappointed, amused, unsure of which direction to take….ironically I stumbled upon a library next door…a literary feast awaited me, and picking up a book of poetry by Keats, I walked over to a window over looking his garden, took a seat bathed in afternoon sun and started reciting aloud the poem ‘ Ode to a Nightingale’….and soon the libraries window sill was awash with spirited birds, chirping in unison with the melodic words of one of the greatest love poems ever written….

The above unfortunately did not happen…rather I imagined it or am presently swaying in an out of a jet lag lethargy that my writing style is more lucid!! Love it…But after my library dalliance…I headed to Hampstead Heath on foot, for an afternoon of good old fashioned British rambling, through forest woods, over hills, under bridges, via swimming ponds and historic homes….A beautiful way to spend any afternoon.

Rejoining civilisation ( ?) I caught the tube late afternoon, back to Covent Garden, for a coffee at Monmouth Coffee, followed by a 30 minute stint in the National Portrait Gallery. A quick glance at Trafalgar Square and then the tube ride home….

No sooner had I touched base at Canary Wharf, a phone call from Jo confirming that Yo and myself would partake in an evening movie and dinner date…. So to the cinema I went, watching a Ryan Gosling film called ”Drive’…a movie paced slower than an episode of Bold and the Beautiful, with such violence, I covered my eyes and ears for 74% of the movie….I guess you can say I did not like it….Dinner on the other hand was a lovely curry meal in a nearby Indian Restaurant.

And the morning of the my last day in London…I was sad, the London weather was too…the heatwave a distant memory now, replaced by a cool breeze, a brisk 15 degree temperature….Goodbyes to Jo and Yo before the clock had chimed 8am….an honest goodbye at an appropriate time… I will be seeing Jo and Yo over Christmas in OZ…when I have promised to make the mojito’s at a beach of their choice…my way of thanking them for the fun times they provided during my London stay….So Jo and Yo, thank you….the Bacardi is on ice till you arrive in town!!

Determined to go out in style, I headed out early….taking the train to Putney Green, bound for the Fulham Palace Drawing Room for a mid morning breakfast…The place reminded me of the Centennial Park Café in Sydney, on a grander scale….the diners predominately yummy mummies and their offspring…Feeling somewhat out of place, I was not deterred, I was just hungry and a bacon sandwich, coffee and jam shortbread cookie hit the spot.

Next stop, Kings Road Chelsea….to hit the shopping strip of the rich, very rich and very, very, very rich…Armed with a budget of 50 pounds I really should have thought twice, but I could not help myself…Kings Road was the place I first found employment when I arrived as a 22 year old backpacker to the UK…in an up market furniture shop…Heals….I can’t help but go back on each visit to the UK…for old times sake….

Shopping on Kings Road was a nice precursor to my afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington…a short 15 minute walk from the shopping strip…I arrived with a good hour up my sleeve in order to see the Postmodernism Exhibition, detailing the design and fashion movement from the late 1970’s to early 1990’s.

What was interesting about this exhibition was the fact that I was a young child, early teen during the late 80’s- early 90’s….I had lived through this era…But I had little awareness of the issues, ideas, fashion movements, design themes that had influenced this part of history…Did the Post-modern movement ever make it to South Coast of NSW, Australia….I should have asked someone at the V& A Museum….for I am left wondering….puzzled even….That time in history looked like fun….

Feeling a bit cheated when I left exhibition and even less keen to return home than I was prior to a thought processes crystallising that my home town was always going to be a step or two behind the movements that spread like wildfire through Europe and the United States…it took some coaxing for me to board the London Underground…nothing a chocolate bar can’t fix though

And the beginning of the end, the pre flight shower, the bag packing, struggling to fit in the new purchases, the item culling ( Jo and Yo, I hope you put the Colgate Toothpaste to use!!), the tube ride, boarder security, duty free browsing and then plane boarding.

There is little joy in long haul flights….especially if you have done them before, the discomfort experienced as you are sandwiched into a seat, squashed either side by strangers…soon to be nameless friends, who, like you, flick through the in-flight entertainment system, looking for something to offset the boredom, eat plane food so bland you at the end of each feeding session you are left wondering if you ate the beef option, or was it chicken?….

And then with a great thud you land right back where you started…and question if the holiday happened at all…..And jut like that I am back on home soil….Sydney, it is time to show me some love……

CUWAM- London photo essay

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A photo essay which details the last few hours in Bristol, my arrival in London and the beginning of what was to be wonderful 5 days in the city capable of igniting my’ homing instinct’

Due to an extreme case of jet lag ( yep, I am home…enough said) I am yet to detail the last 48 hours of my holiday….but I am eager relay the story to you….So as I sip my 5th coffee for the day, in the vain attempt to jolt my system into accepting my new time zone, I urge you to be patient….though my holiday may be over,  like all good Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, my story does have the happiest of endings….which will be told in good time (ie a minimum of 15 hours sleep!!)

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