Saturday, November 19, 2011

Breaking Dawn, Tweenies, Heists, Booboo Stewart and a Simple Dude

I have a reputation to keep up.  It's the cool aunt rep.  It's a hard life, keeping up, being on the ball of all things cool.  So what does this cool aunt do?  Why, of course, takes her tweenie nieces to see Breaking Dawn... such a struggle! 

I'm not sure what is more exciting / amusing, going to Breaking Dawn or being enveloped in the pure tweenie excitement of the Twilight franchise frenzy.  The excited chatter all the way to the cinema with what is in store for us... to the pre-pubescent awkwardness of:

"I hope there's no kissing", from the youngest.

"Ummm.... well .... there is a wedding, there is a honeymoon and a baby on the way... I think that there might be some kissing". 

Which then leads to the discussion of the difficulty of being an actress if you have to kiss someone you don't know and what if they are married? All part of being a professional actress... and I'm sure there are some actors that you would pay to be kissed by, she will understand one day!

The other cool thing to do, is to break the rules...

"Oh look!  Posters, great you can take them home!". 

"Don't we have to pay for them?". 

"No, they are just laying here begging to be taken home".

I don't explain to them the marketing aspect of having promotional material, there's no price sign, and really what is the worst that can happen, one of the counter staff, says "Oh excuse me you have to pay for them?" Live dangerously I say.

Well maybe not that dangerously... especially when it comes to the naked, in bed scene (yes I still live in fear of my younger sister's wrath... shhh... cool aunts don't admit to that)... so hands come up to cover young eyes... fortunately to the sound of giggles... and the explanation when hands come down and the bed has near-collapsed and feathers are floating from a torn pillow... oh a giant chicken flew in, landed on the railing and it collapsed... fate helped seal this explanation... when in a later scene Bella is cooking chicken, the obvious fate of the chicken... wow such a cool aunt... how they believed me... when we get home and still gushing about the movie... one of them says... "Wish I had seen that chicken part!"

Talking of all things Twilight... some exciting news.  Booboo Stewart, who plays the young, cheeky wolf Seth Clearwater, is in discussions to play Aaron Stevens in the forthcoming The Pineville Heist movie, by award-winning screenplay writers Lee Chambers (Director) and Todd Gordon. 

And the The Simple Dude has joined The Pineville Heist frenzy, with an awesome giveaway happening... there is $100 to win and some paperbacks up for grabs... check out the details here just by reading Lee Chambers' action-packed, adrenaline filled, novel The Pineville Heist.  Who doesn't want to win a little bit of cold hard cash?

Oh and did you know.... you don't need a dedicated e-book reader... you can download the software and read it straight off your laptop/computer/smart phone/iPad/tablet... awesome! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

This little piggy....

This little piggy went to the Rundle Mall.
This little piggy the rubbish bin trawled.
This little piggy snuffled for truffles.
As this little piggy gazed at the Mall shuffle.

Ok, so I never admitted to being a poet laureate and poetry really isn't a favourite... but what better way to introduce you to the next postcard I received in the The Great Postcard Campaign

From a great friend, that most of you will know...Mynx . The postcard has a special significance to me... a visit to the pigs, dancing in fountains, the discovery of chips on a stick, ice cream, wine, chocolates, gourmet food, all in the company of Mynx, when I visited her home town last Easter... fun times.

So if you want to find out a little more about the Great Postcard Campaign, click on the button to the right.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Postcard from Abroad

Life (insert work) has been totally crazy ... so much so that the weeks have merged into one and I honestly can't tell you what day it is.  Roll on this weekend (how many days to go?) when I have some definite me time, a girls' sleep over and some much needed time off.

Finishing late yesterday evening, I stopped off at the post office.  It was time to stop avoiding the bills that may have arrived, and to my surprise instead I had this waiting for me....
Wahoo all the way from Canada.   What a fantastic way to finish a long day to find a postcard waiting for me from fellow blogger Average Girl at It's an An Average Life . So a very big thank you for the gorgeous postcard.

Now if you want to know how this came about, pop over to The Ramblings of Charlie Brown.  It is all part of the great Postcard Campaign, and what can I say, it is awesomely cool to find a postcard from abroad when you least expect it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Another perfect day, warm enough for a walk along the beach, but still a bit too cool for swimming...

Oh and if you are wondering, the closest thing that I came across that looked like a snake? Yep this caterpillar....

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spring has sprung....

..... well nearly, only 6 more days!  However, spring has already made an appearance at a local wildlife park.  I was fortunate to have been given access to the koala nursery.  Check out these cuties:

And this little joey...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Intrigue... murder... and a bit of Twilight: The Pineville Heist

Intrigue... murder... an adrenaline rush for survival... with a bit of Twilight mixed in... just one of the adventures I have recently been caught up in, which has drawn me away from the blogging world.

Now that I have you hooked into a deep fascination as to where this is going, I have to confess it is the new debut novel, The Pineville Heist by award winning director and writer, Lee Chambers.

An exciting young adult novel that kept me guessing until the final page.

Already receiving rave reviews:

"An electrifying debut! The Pineville Heist is the very definition of thrill, energized with edge-of-your seat action and suspense", US Review of Books

"Lee Chambers' debut novel delivers hairpin turns with every page. I loved it. It's impossible to put down", Dana Micheli, Writers in the Sky

"A good actioner for young adults. Chambers has talent and a fine visual sense and he does a good killing. When the bodies drop, this writer rises to the occasion", Hubert O'Hearn, Chronical Journal

"An enthusiastic five stars!", Amy Jones, Walleye Magazine

"An amazing read for all. An adrenaline pumping, page turning thriller", Amanda's Chicklit

The novel centres around Aaron Stevens, the son of wealthy businessman and Pineville mill owner, Derek Stevens, who share a tenuous relationship at the best of times. Overhearing the Sheriff and Deputy discuss a recent bank robbery that occurred in the small town of Pineville, Aaron realises he may have seen the robbers and their van earlier in the day, following an argument with his father. He divulges the information to two of his closest friends and they decide to skip class to search for the stolen money.

As luck would have it they come across the robbers' hiding place in the woods, however are soon disturbed by the robbers return. The boys flee. Aaron finds safety under an upturned canoe, where he is witness to a murder and discovers the satchel of money. Managing to escape the scene, Aaron frantically heads for the safety of his school where he confides in his young drama teacher, Amanda Becker. The safe sanctity of school doesn't last long as one of the psychotic robbers hunts him down.... Will Aaron and Amanda survive the night of the Pineville Heist????

Also exciting news for Twilight fans, is the novel is soon to be a major motion picture!!!! And wait for it..... with Booboo Stewart (yes Seth Clearwater from the Twilight series) expressing keen interest in playing the lead role of Aaron.

And wouldn't Booboo be perfect to play the part! Wahooo!!!!!

If I haven't tempted you to read the novel yet, check out the official teaser for The Pineville Heist.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Great Postcard Campaign

JD over at The Ramblings of Charlie Brown has come up with a fantastic and fun idea... the Great Postcard Campaign.

Rather than just receiving junk mail and bills it's the opportunity to receive real mail... in the form of a postcard.

This fits right down my alley as when friends and family go on holiday, the expectation is that they send me a postcard... because I just love receiving real mail.

So if you are interested in the Campaign and receiving a bit of happiness just pop over and add yourself to the list!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Week's perfect ending...

It's been a wet winter. Not as cold as some, but wet. Torrential rain. I'm not complaining by any means, as by the time October arrives the rains will soon disappear not to reappear in any decent form for another 5 or 6 months.

So when the weather forecast for the last day of the week is a sunny 24C (75F), it is time to pack a change of clothes, wish the work day away and escape to the harbour for fish and chips on the wharf, watching the sunset.

Could there be any other better way to end the week?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


She approached the entrance. Stopping momentarily, her gaze lingering over the gathering. Familiarty mixed with the unknown.

With a deep breath, inhaling the warmth, she joins the mingling crowd, unobtrusively. Eyes sparkling, inwardly smiling of tales to be told and discovered.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Handbags and manbags and things I wouldn't leave home without

Maybe I mentioned enjoying being challenged too soon, as I have been tagged both by Mynx and iwasntbloggedyesterday and it is now my turn to confess as to what I couldn't leave home without.

The one thing that is by my side night and day is my iPhone. It has all my contacts, my photos, my music, games, apps, maps, enables me to chat to people all over the world, and keep in touch with my family, oh and I can even blog with it!

Sunnies...if I'm not wearing them outside, they are popped on my head, pulling my hair back ready for duty when heading back outside again.

Gym bag. This goes with me most nearly everywhere, you never know when the opportunity to go to a class or a walk after work pops up.

The ringing in my ears of my mother's warning, when younger and going out,"have you put your deodorant on and have you clean underwear on, because if you have an accident I'm not coming to collect you from the ED (ER) department" (I would like it known, I have absolutely no idea where this came from, because I only wear clean knickers and have always used deodorant), but yes it does cause fear, that if I ever, ever forget to do one or the other, would be the day I was fated to have an accident (and what would the cute ED doctor think!).

Now this brings me to the last thing on my list, and where I might twist things up a bit :).

Ok, going with the flow of the other stylish fashionistas of blog world that have been challenged, of course it would have to be my handbag... which is below .... (and am I drooling over some of the handbags out there!)... and the contents in it (ok more than five items, but they all belong as part of my handbag, so I consider as one, and aren't you impressed with what I can fit in such a small bag?).

Now, the twisted bit to this blog? Well rather than tagging 5 other bloggers to reveal what they couldn't leave home without... and as there seems to be a "ratpack" (hope you guys don't mind, but I say that with affection and in the sense of fun) that has formed in the community I flitter around, I would like to challenge these gentlemen to their thoughts of utilising a manbag, what they would put in it, or if they already do own one, let us into how it has changed their life (I ask all the hard hitting questions :)).

I am curious to know this as I am a firm believer that many men are missing out on the functionality (as well as fashion possibilities) of using a manbag. And just think, no more sitting on wallets or phones, having your keys scrunched up against your thigh when sitting down, it's somewhere to store all of these including sunnies/glasses, pens, iPads, the possibilities are endless .... and revenge time, when you are out shopping, you can say to the significant female(s), oh just hold this while I try on that top (be careful she may decided to keep it for herself though!).

I ask this from finally having success, in persuading a friend of mine, to invest in a manbag. What do you think of it?

Ok, I admit he did get a bit of a stirring (with no encouragement from me whatsoever, and I did promise him I wouldn't put it on Facebook for friends to share) by the wonderful sales ladies, who thoroughly enjoyed showing him the possibilities (he can give as good as he takes). And the winning of the deal was the fact that he would be able to carry an iPad safely in it!

So fellas out there in blogworld let's know your thoughts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Balmy summer nights

Please be warned, some of the subject matter may be uncomfortable

Blissful balmy, summer nights… ahhh.

What better way than to spend one then enjoying the Perth Film Festival as part of Perth’s 2011 Art’s Festival.

After work, picnics are packed and a group of us gals head off to the Somerville Auditorium, located in the stunning grounds of the University of Western Australia.

Making our way to the auditorium, we stop a young Asian couple, who look like university students, and ask if we are heading in the correct direction. We chat to them as we make our way. They let us know they are from Osaka, Japan and ask where we are from. My friend flippantly says we are from the United Nations, and then explains the different countries we each are from.

We arrive at the auditorium and line up for our tickets. A small enclave situated amongst the grand university arts buildings. Surrounded by tall pine trees and tree ferns, that as night falls allows the stars to shine through. Deck chairs lined in straight rows in front of a large screen.

There is the threat of a storm approaching, but the sky is still clear and the weather warm and balmy. The pine trees shield us from the wind that is blowing up, so only a slight, comfortable breeze drifts around us.

We mark out our seats and then choose a spot on the lawn to enjoy the delicacies we had packed earlier, a variety of dips, raw vegetables, smoked salmon tartlets, quiches, cheese, cold meat, fresh fruit and Bakewell tarts to finish off with, washed down with some pink bubbly.

Jerry Hall arrives with her latest beau Warwick Hemsley, Perth Property Millionaire and deputy director of the State Opera company. They mingle freely in with the crowd, enjoying their own picnic and group of friends, no-one annoying them, so they can autonomously enjoy the evening.

Our Japanese friends turn up and ask if they can take our photograph, yes we had more attention than Jerry. They join us and excitedly have their photograph taken with us (as one of the girl’s husband mentioned to her later on, “they probably did think you were from the United Nations”).

As night falls, we make our way back to our seats.

The movie, Desert Flower

The incredible, heart-warming story of Waris Dirie. How she runs away from her nomadic life in the desert at the age of 13, after she learns of her arranged marriage. How she ends up in the United Kingdom, homeless and her break into the modelling world and eventual appointment as UN Special Ambassador for the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.

Yes the brutality of female circumcision (on young women and what Waris went through) and the lasting effects, was portrayed in the film. However the film was produced in such a way, that although you could feel the anguish, brutality, anger of what she went through at the time, the disbelief of how a mother could subject her daughter to this (although she herself would have been through the same brutality) this certainly didn’t detract from the overall beauty and feel good mood of the movie.

A movie I certainly would see again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goodbye but wahoo

Goodbye to all the Nigerian Scammers.

Goodbye to the offers of $800 / month, plus my rent paid, in exchange for two years of marriage.

Goodbye to all the females who can't read "interested in males".

Goodbye to all the creeps who can't keep their hands to themselves.

Goodbye to all the young males who, really, statistically, I could slightly, ever so possibly be your mother.

Goodbye to the requests for photo’s (yes those type) without even knowing your name.

Goodbye to all that can’t be bothered to put the slight bit of effort into your profile and expect me to be interested.

Goodbye to the Cub (well maybe… then again I might keep your number).

Goodbye to the concerns that friends / family have about my dating (or lack of), it doesn’t worry me, I have a social life, so should be no worry to you.

Goodbye to the few sincere, great guys, I hope you do find that someone special, without too may dramas along the way (oh yes they happen to guys too).

Wahoo to my wonderful, varied circles of friends and the fun times we share.

Wahoo to the wonderful gay guys I know, who I can freely hug, tease and flirt with, without it meaning anything other.

Wahoo to those I care about and are home (virtually) waiting for me when things go a bit pear shape.

Wahoo to life lessons learned (and yes the mistakes I am still likely to make).

Wahoo to all of the adventures still to be had and good times ahead.

Wahoo for having the freedom to be me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The LOL Award

While I was on holiday, one of the most awesome things to happen was logging on to find I had been award the LOL Award by On my Soapbox ... so a big thank you to On my Soapbox for this surprise.

There are some rules to the Award, which are:

** Link to the person who gave you this award.

** Pass the award along to seven other people who post about at least the slightly amusing things and tell them.

Say seven things about yourself that no one knows (or at least you think no one knows).

Pass the rules on.

So let's do it...

Rule 1.

Achieved (oh and I forgot to mention, go check out On my Soapbox, she writes from the heart, says it how she sees it and is a pretty awesome person).

Rule 2.

I know you guys have received this Award before, but I just love your blogs and I'm sure there are heaps more things to find out about you both (and rules can be broken too, isn't that what they are there for :)).

** iwasntbloggedyesterday a fellow Aussie... Not only does she have posts that have me giggling, joining in games, but there is some pretty interesting family history there too.

** Marsy from Giddy Fingers a totally funny post with awesome pics, if only I could be slightly that talented, sigh.

** Josh from The Weed, a seriously funny guy, who doesn't mind laughing at himself (gotta love that) and what a gorgeous family he has too.

**Lyndylou from The Giggle Fest no matter what happens in the day Lyndylou always sees the funny / positive side of things and you always leave giggling and feeling good.

** And the coolest college guy on the block, Jared from What would Jared do? and the fun adventures he gets up to!

Rule 3

I would like to blame being on holiday for being so tardy in accepting this Award straight away, but the real reason, I found this rule the hardest to comply with. But here we go ....

** Seven would have to be my favourite number, followed closely by 5.

** I love wearing pretty and sexy underwear.

** My greatest fear would have to be heights, as I have this compulsion that I might actually jump.

** I love nothing more than dares and challenges (disclaimer, except for parachuting or bungy jumpy, it's the height thing, so therefore a safety issue).

** I enjoy creating a little bit of mischief, mayhem and fun in the day.

** I rarely get cross, or stay cross long when I do (ummm but it might be safer to disappear if I do).

** I can be quite impulsive at times and do things without thinking, and I can't see there being anything wrong with fountain dancing when it's hot and you need to cool off :).

Thinking of which, might be time to find a fountain!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black Sunday

Life has a cruel way of changing in a moment. I had planned to blog today about my Sunday luncheon with my family... for a change we decided to meet up at a location in the hills, rather than the beach. The last couple of days have been heaven, a perfect temperature, no humidity, sunshine, a top in the high 30's (80F's), although some gusty easterly winds. Yes we had a wonderful time, but ....

On the way home, a stop off at an orchard to buy some fresh stone fruit was planned. Driving in a westerly direction, through national forests, the horizon came into view and smoke covered in the distance. Arriving at the orchard shed, the owner was on the phone frantically talking to a family member. From the shed door a helicopter water bomber descended a neighbouring dam, sucking replacement water.

A fire fanned by the gusty winds was taking control. Evacuations. 35 houses already destroyed. 1o people and a firefighter injured. A close friend one of those evacuated with her family, dog and chickens.

Additional water bombing helicopters utilised, sucking water from the nearby Olympic rowing lake.

Extra fire resources being called in from country areas of Northam and Geraldton (about 480km away) being organised.

Unfortunately, the wind gusts are expected to be increase. As nightfall descends, the helicopter can't be used to get to the inaccessible areas.

It will be a long night for our firefighters and those families affected by the fire.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I need a man....

"You're too independent."

"Ok, if you really say so?"

"So have you been out on any dates recently?"

"Been too busy recently, plus dating can be really hard work you know, mum."
"Maybe we should try and find you a toyboy instead, now that could be fun." I smile cheekily back at her.

My mother's conversation echos back to me. She might be right, I think I do need a man.

Especially in those moments.... you know the ones.... when the sun starts rising, shadows are drifting around the bedroom .... slowly coming to your senses.... that lethargic, not quite wanting to get up yet, could stay here for a while feeling... a stirring, next to you...ummm, a movement....I have company... a small, cute field mouse scurried from my wardrobe, behind my door, pausing for a moment, checking that the coast is clear before darting down the hallway.

It had probably found its way in, seeking shelter after the torrential rain on the weekend. At least I now know where my soap had disappeared too. Yes, I think I need a man.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Not sure where we are going or what we are doing...except it's home time

Sigh... as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Yes, it's the end of the tour.

Although as the flight leaves in the afternoon (no point staying a night to have to rush off in the morning... just as any good date should be).

So lets check out of our accommodation and head back to the Harbour as there is one last place to have a look see...the Australian Maritime Museum.

The Museum is oh so interesting.

Exhibitions on American-Australian relationships; the Royal Australian Navy; Wartime - interestingly I knew about Australian wartime brides, migrating to America after they met American service men, but not about the brave Japanese wartime brides who migrated to Australia after marrying their Australian service; a sad reminder of a time when we had the "white Australian policy" which was not that long ago; emigrations from around the world; our indigenous people; beach fashions (interesting how we have done the full circle - fully covered up at the beach, to skimpy bikinis to be being fully covered up again.

Today,let's check out some predator action:

Well I guess it's about time to catch a quick bite and a bit of a play in one of the water features before catching our plane home..... Maybe time to think of the next adventure!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 3 - Well not quite the not sure where we are going or what we are doing...

I have a little bit of a confession to make... today's adventure was planned, so it's not quite a let's see what happens day. However, I can promise, for a change, it is not going to be a hectic day, more of a sit back, relax and enjoy type day...

After booking flights on-line an option to book other activities was offered, so it was a good opportunity for us all to get out of the city and expand the horizons further ... guess what we are doing? Yep we are going to go off wine tasting in the Hunter Valley. Oh but I do have another surprise for you too, so stay with me!

The Hunter Valley is about two hours drive from the city along the Pacific Highway. It is Australia's first ever wine producing region. Having been picked up at 7.30am the tour bus heads off. The tour guide is informative and the group joining the tour fun and friendly.

What amazes me as we drive along is the greeness of Sydney and surrounding area, especially coming from a scorched, summer rain-deprived State. How the Hawesbury winds gracefully through national forest, how there are small communities on the river's edge that commute to Sydney via boat each day. Totally magic.

Visiting one boutique winery after another. Enjoying informative presentations and learning more about the techniques of wine making. Mmmmm.... did you know wooded wine, doesn't necessarily mean the wine has been maturing in oak barrels, however the technique of oak chips placed in mesh bags (as if a tea bag) dangling in a metal barrel is often used?

The day was fun and our guide fabulous. We had intended to be back at our accommodation by 6pm, but goodness it was such a fun day, the wineries enjoyed our visit, not rushing and taking the time for us, our tour guide was fabulous and didn't shepherd us like a border collie to the bus at any time, so we didn't get back until after 7pm. This still giving us plenty of time for us to freshen up before my special treat for you....

I'm sure you may be aware when Oprah was visiting, she had a special surprise waiting for her.... wooohoo fireworks... well guess what I have for you... oh yesseee fireworks, so sit back, relax and enjoy (oh and just because Australia Day falls on the same day, purely coincidence, these were organised specially for you!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 2 of the not sure where we are going or what we are doing...

Hope you are all refreshed from Day 1's adventure, because I think that we may have a slightly busy day ahead of us :).

So to get off on the right foot, a visit to the Chinese Friendship Garden is warranted. Located at the end of Darling Harbour, walking along a water featured concourse, through a palm grove, past the Moscow Circus, we arrive at our destination. The Chinese Friendship Garden was established by the Chinese community to celebrate our Bicentenary in 1988.
A small oasis in the middle of a bustling city. The perfectly sculptured trees, imitating nature, a rushing waterfall, Chinese temples, Buddha sculptures, friendly dragons and quiet lotus filled water ponds brimming with giant Koi, provides tranquility and welcome relief in the sultry heat.

Following our sojourn around the garden it is time to make way to King Wharf, where lunch has been arranged and what better place, or way to do it, than cruising the Harbours on the catamaran the Majestic.

After being shown to the reserved place, the crew busily filling the buffet, the Majestic reverses easily out of her dock as we make our way out of Darling Harbour and to Port Jackson Harbour (or as more commonly referred Sydney Harbour).

Once underway, we are invited to help ourselves to the luscious cold and warm food from the buffet. The prawns are sweet and juicy, the salads plentiful as are the different varieties of vegetables and spicy noodles. Fish marinated in coconut sauce is divine and for the carnivores, juicy chicken pieces. Followed by mini deserts, fresh fruit and cheeses.

Stopping at Circular Quay for more passengers the catamaran makes it way around the Opera House and the small islands doting the harbour. Commentary being provided pointing out various places of interest and an overview of the Harbour from its establishment, during the wartime era and to recent port developments that have changed the docks to trendy (expensive) apartments and offices.

As the evening plan is for a Ghost Tour, the easiest method of transport to get there is via the Catamaran when it docks again at Circular Quay.

Now remember I warned you I don't regimentally plan my holidays... well this is one such time :). Getting off at Circular Quay, with time to fill in, makes it is the perfect opportunity to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. An interesting option, there were pieces I really enjoyed and pieces... well you know the saying Art is in the eye of the beholder... just give me some paint and materials and I will see what I can come up with! But really I guess that is the beauty of art, it holds something different for all of us.

However, what I hadn't planned on, was a special exhibition of Annie Leibovitz works, "A photographers life, 1990-2005". It was fabulous, I have never been so awestruck. But it wasn't just her work of the rich and famous, or the power of politicians, but the essence she captures in photographs of her family and loved ones, from birth to death. (I think I'm babbling!)

Having a bit more spare time, I find the Argyle, it was suggested by a cousin as on the must do list. A hip-happening bar, just perfect for sitting in sunshine in the cobbled courtyard under the shade of a umbrella while drinking a refreshing lemonade (yes bubbles, but just of a different kind this time :)). But really as a shake was calling from down the road, it was time to get another quick bite to eat and another praline shake (just couldn't help myself).

Before long it is time to meet up at Cadman Cottage for the Ghost tour. As evening draws in, our black-caped, lantern holding tour guide meets us and provides each of us with some props for the tour, that we are to hang around our necks. Well at least with mine I get to hold a hand if I get too scared! And off we go, with two words, "follow me".

The evening is fun, exploring lane ways, through locked gates with tales of murder and self mutilations at the site where they occurred, with us having to part take in the tales as to what prop we had been given.

Ok, I will admit only now, I did have tingles up my arm and around my back (this was before we were told that tingles in females occurred in this particular place and one young girl in the tour had to leave the lane with her mother, visibly upset). This was in a certain lane, a hospital lane, where patients were kept in the laneway in the overcrowded conditions and the only anaesthetic to amputations was rum and yes there were plenty of deaths.

In the ruins of a cottage, that were discovered whilst a car park was being built under a building, after we descended into the warm, musty smelling, dark conditions, standing by the fireplace, I felt extremely uncomfortable (yes you guessed it, we were told people often felt uncomfortable in that spot) and what or who touched another one of the ladies on the back? Was it really a skull another one of the younger ladies saw while peering under the scaffolding stairs?

Whether it was overactive imaginations, from the atmosphere of the tour / or an actual presence or not the tour was super fun and interesting, going to places where I wouldn't have thought or found without a guide.

So that ending the day's adventure, I hope you manage to sleep well!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not sure where we are going or what we are doing...

Well if Oprah can do it, there is nothing stopping me!

And you, dear friends, are one of my specially chosen audience members... a bit of hysteria about now please (oh and don't expect pink diamonds and pearls, vegemite not a problem).

Sydney - not sure where we are going or what we are doing but come along for the ride: Day 1.

On a side note, be prepared I don't tend to plan in great detail, so each day is an adventure for me too, just the unknowing of what is to come!)

To make the most of the day when we reach Sydney and due to a three hour time difference (yes each Australian State has a different time), we are flying the first available morning flight (no grumbling now, just because it means we have a 3am start, it is worth it, no point arriving when the day is almost done) on our chosen carrier, Qantas (if anyone out there is from Qantas, I am more than happy to do sponsored Adventures and blog favourably about my experience).

Unfortunately, Captain John Travolta had an urgent family commitment, so whilst he had every intention of being our own personalised Captain on this journey, family comes first. However, he did pre-record a personal welcome message, which was waiting for us once we embarked (and of course being a safety conscious airline, emphasised the importance of watching the safety demonstration).

Our chosen accommodation for the next few nights is a 1800's wool storage / warehouse building that has been converted into funky self-contained apartments, a stone's throw from Darling Harbour.

You did remember comfortable shoes, didn't you? As the only way to really explore a city is on foot!

Maps to my brain are, well to me, just a squiggle of lines and concentrating on lines, you may miss out on so much. So as long as I have a vague idea of where we should be heading, my best method of getting to a destination is to pick someone and follow them. Not only does this get us to where we are going, but provides an interesting journey into unknown side streets, with hidden staircases, the real vibe of a city.

Our destination, this afternoon, those famous landmarks that have become known as Australia: the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Having chosen my target, an American tourist who has just left her hotel (and looks like she knows where we are going), we head off. Our first stop is Pyrmont Bridge, the perfect place to over-look the hustle and bustle of Darling Harbour. Darling Harbour is a happening place. Full of waterside restaurants and bars, shopping, departure points for various harbour tours and home to the Australian Maritime Museum, Aquarium and Wildlife Centre.

Pyrmont Bridge connects the western suburbs to the city, and how cool is this, when a marine vessel needs to get to the end of the dock, the middle section of the bridge rotates to allow the vessel through.

Next target I choose are two young Italian guys. We head towards the City centre, following the signs to the Harbour Bridge, however at one stage my inbuilt beacon, determining we are going slightly off the beaten path, into Oxford Street, so glancing at Maps on my phone I detour back on track. Sydney is a combination of the old and the new. Limestone convict built buildings, converted into trendy businesses, terrace inner-city houses with the Cosmopolitan giants of the CBD providing a glass backdrop.

I arrive at The Rocks area (my favourite place....where the first colony was established, becoming home to sailors, whalers and traders) and head towards our destination point.

Ladies and gentlemen may I present the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, dah dah.

It's not all work on my tours, we do have time, for a refreshing break, time to sit and take the scene in, watching the ferries come and go through the harbour.

Mmmm, I'm thinking you are hungry by this stage as it is hitting evening, well I know just the place. Back into the Rocks, what better place than for a little bit of indulgence, than... the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe... chocolate heaven. I have to say I have never had a shake like a Guylian Praline Shake, smooth as velvet and full of calories, but hey we're on holiday and are allowed some self-indulgence, plus I did top it off with a healthy quiche and salad, even though the various chocolate desserts looked as if they were to die for (including chocolate brownies - lightly dusted with what looks like gold dust).

Time to head back, sauntering through the streets full of boutiques, shops, restaurants, bars and laned history. Until tomorrow.... lets hope we don't get to detoured on the way back!
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