About us

We are a family of four. Sarah, Andy, Finn & Isla and we are on the emigration path to Sydney, Australia from Somerset, England. We arrived on Tuesday 24th August 2010 and this is our story.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Comfort in the Blue Mountains

A certain little person turned 4 this weekend and we celebrated by heading up to the Blue Mountains for some family fun.  We were going to spend the night up there but I and then Andy searched fruitlessly for somewhere that would come up to my standards and failed miserably.  I resent having to spend $300-$400 to stay in somewhere that only just does the job (at a push - I have needs you know!).  

So we decided to make 2 day trips instead and save ourselves the bill.  This actually turned out fine and it was only around 1 1/2 hours to get there.  So we visited some classic attractions:
  • Leura  - a lovely little town that had a trendy ski resort feel to it.  Great main street peppered with boutique shops for gifts and kitchen stuff etc...Found a great little gourmet deli cafe for lunch and then headed off to the Zig Zag railway taking a stop on the way for a walk through the bush.
  • We came across a lovely little pizza bar and grill on the way home and as it was fully booked for the evening we booked for lunch the next day - turns out it's owned by a city chef who moved out to the mountains a few years ago - Apple Bar, Mount Tomah.
  • So lunch the next day was lovely but the service was absolutely shocking - probably one of the worst ever actually!  It took 1 hour and 30 minutes after entering the establishment to get our food - mine was just a pizza!  And it took a good 45 minutes to get our drinks!  OMG - awful!  Pizza was fine but no mozzarella on it and cheddar instead - what's that all about?
  • The Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens were stunning.  Finn & Isla scooted around the paths and explored around the trees - an amazing place to see in the Autumn when the leaves are all changing.  We will head back here again and soon I imagine.
We drove up to Mount Tomah on the Sunday morning and as we climbed up the mountain the cloud came down to meet us.  The rain misted periodically and the mist settled in for the day.  Before Andy & I had Finn & Isla we holidayed in Scotland during the winter.  We had our boxer dog then - Jazz and we would drive up and stay for a couple of weeks in the highlands.  Escaping to a cottage, with a fire, a good box set and our wet weather gear.  As we spent the day in the Blue Mountains we were reminded again and again of Scotland.  It was so familiar and therefore oh so comforting.  For both of us.  At times we could have been in an English garden.  There were snowdrops under the trees in the wood and daffodils about to bloom.  Lichen growing on the trees and the mountain peaks surrounded by cloud.  So very lovely.  It's quite surprising that only just a few hours from our house we can see and experience something so different.  There is even snow up there in the winter so our next mission will be to see that!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Birthday party and beach day - Norah Head

 A 4th birthday bowling party.  Finn is the one on the far right being kindly helped by the big boys.

 There is a card that Andy & I like with a little girl on the front with a huge birthday cake and candle.  The line says "5 seconds later all that was left was a burn mark in the middle of her forehead".  Ha ha ha.  Here we have Isla emulating that with her bit of birthday cake!

 Grandma, Daddy & Finn enjoying the beach at Norah Head.

 Lots of time can be spent in beautiful places like this.

Making tracks in the sand.
 Making sandcastles and crabs.

I love beaches that and have lots of things to beach comb.  Seaweed, driftwood, shells and cuttlefish.  It's very nearly Winter here and although we have cold days we are having day after day of blue skies and sunshine which is heavenly and has made for great times on the sand.

The accent gives it away.

I was in a conversation with a lovely, friendly guy in the Apple store nearby today and the inevitable question/statement was posed.  So, you're from the UK says Apple guy.  Yes I reply although some of my Britishness has already been knocked off me in these short 9 months.  I think I already sound a little Aussie in the way I talk, especially to other Australians.  I think you just get on better if you talk like them.  I don't mean that I suddenly sound like I am from the outback but I do use the words that they use.  For example:
  • I will greet people with "Hey, how you going?" 
  • I will often refer to something as 'Awesome'
  • "no worries" is a staple
  • That unmistakable questioning tone when finishing a sentence.
It's just something I do without much thought and I do find myself being more direct in my approach to life which is quite refreshing.

So, back to the Apple Guy.  Our conversation took it's usual course.  How long have I been in Oz, why did I come, where in the UK am I from, how do I like Australia and I predictably asked him had he been to the UK, which part (always London!) etc, etc.  It often comes out that I was born in Perth as that was quite a big factor in the ease of our path to Australia.  So he says, "oh, so you're Australian then".  It took me back a little.

It's true really.  I was born in Australia.  I live in Australia.  But I see myself as British.  I speak like them, grew up with them and it is the most familiar place in the world for me still.  I wonder if I will feel Australian at some point.  It was an interesting point from this Apple guy and has made me ponder a little really.  I have no answers but food for thought.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a guy in Perth in February.  When it came out in conversation that I was born in Perth he said that I had instantly gone up in his estimations and indicated with his hand raising from the floor to the ceiling.  I said "What's that all about?!?!" and we laughed etc but there is this deep rooted patriotism here.  No comment either way really, just an observation.

Friday, 6 May 2011

My own little Angelina Ballerina

Seriously.  Too cute.

Last photo shows that she was paying attention in class!

The language barrier

Finn:  "Mummy, I would like some chipstocks."
Me:  "Some what?"
Finn: "Some chipstocks....."
Me:  "Hmmmmmm....," (desperately thinking what he could mean...what have we spoken about during the day...any clues...?  anything....?)  "I'm not sure what you mean Finn."
Finn:  "CHIPSTOCKS Mummy..."(getting cross now at me for not understanding plain English as he would see it)
Me:  Andy and I exchange a worried glance as we have no clue what he is talking about.  "What would you do with chipstocks Finn?" I ask in a non inflammatory way.
Finn: "Eat noodles" he replies in a tone which infers what cretins he thinks we are.
Me & Andy in Unison: "Aaaaaahhhhhhh, chopsticks Finn."
Finn: "Yes chopsticks." Said in a manner that we know means, yes that is what I said.

Laugh and laugh.  For days as we remembered that little conversation.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Oh no..the big 4....0....!

 I couldn't not post this cute picture of Finn & Isla having a picnic under their tree house.

 So, the big day arrived - Andy's 40th and surprises were planned.

 Surprise tickets for us all to see Mary Poppins at the Capitol Theatre - one word in a true Aussie fashion....awsome!  We all really enjoyed it and the littlies were pretty good and sat still for most of it.

 A birthday tea at Garfish in Manly which did amazing seafood - Moreton Bay bugs for me and tuna for Andy.  More balloons - you can never have enough right?!

 The birthday boy!

And finally the Pièce de résistance a cake!  That's qwerty keys on the 4 spelling out Happy Birthday and motorbikes on the 0.  A super, amazing, great, awsome kind of day.