Summer's here, but I've been to Australia

You can tell it's summer, the blog posts are fewer, I'm outside, I get behind with everything, just enjoying the sun and the outdoors, I wish I could share more about the great stuff we get up too. So here I am, I've been to Australia, OK, back in October, and the middle of October at that, it was a epic moment, those days of waiting to get our passports back. All sorted, done and dusted, free to travel again.
So I though lots about the blog while in Oz, the wine, the vineyards, the wildlife. I had great ideas, interesting information and facts about places I saw, historic mining communities, wildlife parks, Kangaroo island, facts about animals, beaches and early exploration of Australia. I kept notes. The whole time I was this is Australia, what was I expecting. It felt like a mystery, how I love going to new places.
In the lead up to leaving and on the journey itself, I did find myself having to explain why I was going to Adelaide for my first visit to Australia. Not the usual, nor the place people would expect (how I love to be just a little different). Well there was actually no choice for me, nor did I want to go anywhere else until I had been to Adelaide. It was imperative you could say.
You know those people who aren't, but really are family, they hold such a special place in you, they've been there since you were born. They've been there through the heart surgery and boat sinking. They've taken you on countless visits to Dover Castle and Howletts. They cheer and cry and then they cut jam sandwich's into your name.
My mother's dear friend, Julie is this woman. She and her family moved to oz 16 years ago, and it turns out I haven't seen them for 10 years (though it really doesn't feel like it). They live in Adelaide and we arrive a couple of days after my birthday to a rapturous welcome of tears and hugs at the airport. It really was quite dramatic. She had sorted out birthday cake as a surprise for that night and this touched me it a really special way.

To feel so welcomed and at home in seconds is a wonderful gift - the photos placed in my honour helped but their home is a big reminder of friends, family and good times. To have that feeling of love and specialness bestowed upon me was comforting and reassuring and made me realise how much I miss that unconditional love you get from those you are very close too. It made me miss my family and friends but appreciate what I have and the great time Julie and Ben showed us. Great hosts, all perfect.
So it was a nurturing and comforting time, a time for lots of wine, lots of photos in rather dubious places, times for lots of laughing.
South Australia does has some rather lovely vineyards, we first visited the McClaren Vale area, got onto a large empty stage and gave our rendition of the Simply Red play list, still stuck to the stage floor from the weekend before concert. This was of course near the end of the day wine tasting. Did I mention we could take back 6 bottles of wine each (well we couldn't cos our bags were too heavy, but we tried).
Our weekend away to Burra, had the crucial elements of historic Cornish mining stuff, Ozzie bars in their prime and more vineyards. Clare Vally - home of the Riesling and the Barrosa valley, home to those big names and I was rather a bit excited at being at Jacobs Creek.

Did I mention we went to Kangaroo Island, a two day trip, to the 133rd largest island in the world (thank you Lonely Planet), and saw rather a lot of wildlife and great beaches. So yep, cuddled a Koala (rather special I thought) and fed Kangaroos (rather cute). Lots more photos on flickr, take a lookie if you fancy. I will take this chance though, to say a huge thank you to Julie and Ben for the unbelievable welcome, time and just great time we had with them.

40 Things

My birthday has been and gone, not one photo of me taken, but I did get one of all the great cards I had. It was a quite day with a musical ending, but I had been working on my list. Yes some are repeats of those not quite managed last year. So I roll towards 40 full of hope and good intentions and plans for a birthday trip. So here we go, 40 things for my 40th year on the planet.

  1. Crack this running lark (I really do want to be able to run)
  2. Go to Austrailia (more than once, given I had a trip planned for 2 days after my birthday)
  3. Poster of the Petra trip (or maybe Morocco one) - after the success and pleasure of the Rome poster
  4. Phohi river trip
  5. Scuba day
  6. Write a gratitude journal over the year
  7. Writer more letters (more than what for goodness sake, I seem to know the post office staff very well)
  8. Go horse riding along a beach (yet to decide which beach)
  9. Do some groovy artwork with some kids (I have a few to choose from and some visiting this year)
  10. Help Adam build his summer temple
  11. Have my Oscar Party this year (for sure this time!!)
  12. Finish the 365 mug shot project
  13. Get onto that weekend massage course
  14. Act as a wonderous host (2 planned visits this year - I'm up for more - anyone wanting to visit NZ)
  15. Ski again in the South Island (maybe take a lesson this time and hope to get into my trousers this time)
  16. Dentist thing really has to be done
  17. Take the train (vague and interesting)
  18. Walk the Tongariro Crossing
  19. Find good boots
  20. Make my own bath bomb
  21. Cuddle a Koala bear
  22. Get myself to a festival
  23. Make rainbow drawers
  24. Revamp the unit thingy in the garage
  25. Do the full on Rotorua experience
  26. Walk on an active volcano
  27. Have a voucher frenzy
  28. Embrace the World Cup
  29. Plant more wild flowers
  30. Spend lazy days at the beach this summer
  31. But while doing number 30 try this body boarding marlarcky
  32. Plan smashin 40th birthday trip
  33. Lay in a hammock
  34. Make a will
  35. Make eating at the table a habit
  36. Make Adams birthday a special event
  37. Meet up with those folk I went to school with that live really not that far from me
  38. Breathe well
  39. Bake the epic super rainbow cake
  40. Feed the birds


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