In the last 3 years since going freelance I’ve had at the most 2 weeks off a year, which just isn’t healthy. So having been on holiday since Christmas Eve, this was the longest I’ve ever taken off, and boy what a difference it made. To have been off work long enough to stop thinking about it was a strange but refreshing feeling. After having Leigh’s folks down for Christmas, we left the bitter of England’s winter for the summer of Sydney, Avalon in the Northern Beaches to be precise.
This was also the first time we’d been abroad since having children (Isle of Man not withstanding) and it was interesting how much it changed the whole dynamic of the holiday. Samantha and Daniel amazed us with how well they dealt with the 24 hour flight (and all the traveling and checking in at either end of that). Once there we really had to be careful of not pushing them too far, which would be easy with there being so much that we wanted to see, and doing it in heat that they weren’t used to.
Samantha on Palm Beach
Consequently, we spent a lot of time sampling the various Northern beaches of Sydney. Whale Beach won for its child friendly shady trees and play park, but it was all good. We did ‘do’ the Opera House of course, but as you get closer to it, you notice the all the white tiles, and it suddenly starts to look like a urinal!
In some ways Australia felt like a hotter, more colourful version of Britain, except for the activity in our host’s back garden. The first thing I noticed was the cacophony made by the Cicadas. I didn’t believe them when they said that you just get used it and block it out after a while, but sure enough you do. Then there were the various tame Cockatoos, Lorikeets, Parrots and Possums that would come begging for food. Now I know what Bill Connolly was on about when he said of his first time in Oz, “You would lie awake at night, listening to things eating the house”.
I was hoping to bump into one of the many celebrities that have chosen Whale Beach as their hideout (such as Billy), but the best we could manage was being at the restaurant table next to Warren Mitchell (although we did see Jonathan Price when we checked in at Heathrow).
Unfortunately, we ran out of time to meet John and Russ, but I did get a chance to meet Ol’ Creative Bastard and his lady Renae. The SegPub arcade machine was not finished as we’d been promised, so instead we went to Sydney Aquarium to appease the offspring. Samantha was in Finding Nemo heaven.
(Left to Right: The harbour, Jeremy Bogan, Jon Hicks, Daniel Hicks and ‘doggy’)
So now we’re back, and the work enquiries, requests for Firefox logos/logos that look like Firefox and unread RSS feeds are all waiting to be dealt with. One last thing - who can be the first to spot what the relevance is of this post’s title?