Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday 17 November – Rain, rain, go away

Current location: Ettalong Beach
11.11am, Reading my book, sitting on the sofa at Andy's parents' house. The plan was to come up here with my mum and dad because I wanted to show off the beautiful coast to them but, unfortunately, it hasn't stopped raining yet! Boo. 

In the afternoon, we went out to the markets, to have a shop and get out of the rain! Silly weather. I feel bad because it's been such beautiful, sunny weather in Australia for so long now, and I don't want Mum and Dad to experience it at it's rainy worst. Saying that, there have been so many bushfires etc recently, that most people are glad it's raining, so it's good in that way. 

We headed back to the house for a long, wine-fuelled dinner, then sat down to play Trivial Pursuit while the storm ravaged outside. Andy and I slept in the caravan that night, and it was amazing (and slightly scary!) to hear the thunder and the wind and rain, but be cosied up inside. 

Saturday 16 November – Brekkie, bunting... and running in the rain!

Current location: Erskineville
11.11am, Making breakfast. We had a late start, after a late night last night, and so needed a yummy brunch of French toast and coffee to get us going. We lounged around all morning, then headed to Glebe Markets, which were awesome, and saw my friend Chrystal aka Queen of Bunting. It was her first stall at Glebe Markets today, and I was so proud to see her there, selling her homemade wares!

As the afternoon wore on, I caught the train to Sydney Olympic Park to meet my parents, as we were all doing the Electric Run. It's a 5km run done in the dark, with lots of neon props so the whole racetrack resembles some sort of rave. It was tipping it down but that didn't stop our enthusiasm – we ran the whole way (a lot of it holding hands!) and finished dripping, clutching glowsticks and feeling euphoric. I love my parents, for being up for a ridiculous run in the rain!

Friday 15 November – Breezer's birthday!

Current location: Paddington, Sydney
11.11pm, At the Local Taphouse, drinking beer and catching up with friends. Tonight was Bree's 30th birthday party, and heaps of people turned out to help her celebrate, including some gorgeous people I hadn't seen in years. One of those was my beautiful friend Karyn (above), who I first met in Berlin the summer I started this blog, and have since seen in London and the Gold Coast. It was such a lovely night with gorgeous people, and the heavens opened while we were celebrating, so all conversations were had to the background sound of thunder.

In the day, Mum, Dad and I had chilled out in the morning and then went to meet David and Val (Andy's parents) for lunch at a really yummy Thai restaurant in the city. We went back to ours to get ready for Bree's birthday, and our amazing friend Sus (who currently lives in Melbourne) came to ours, to stay for the weekend. So many good people!

Thursday 14 November – My first trip to Manly

Current location: Town Hall, Sydney

11.11am, Playing with Vinny, Zac and Bea. The Pyrahs had a taxi booked to take them to the airport at 11.30pm, so I was hanging out being Auntie Lucy while Pip and Jo packed up their stuff. It all felt so normal, it was hard to be sad they were leaving, I was just happy they'd come at all! What a feat for a big family with three kids including a six-month-old baby!

As they left, I had a little weep, but was feel good, especially as I immediately went to see my mum and dad, who are still visiting. Nothing like a cuddle from your parents to make you feel ace, however old you are! We decided to take advantage of the sunny weather (as more rain is predicted) and took a boat ride to Manly. I've been wanting to go ever since we moved to Sydney, but just hadn't really got around to it. Luckily, having visitors makes you act like you're on holiday, so off we went!

It's a beautiful place, half an hour's boat ride across the water from Sydney. The sun was shining so we headed straight to the beach, read our books, ate some lunch and had a beachy nap. Pretty different to going to the beach with kids, I'll be honest, but really lovely. And it's so nice to spend some time with Mum and Dad; it's just like we're at home in Cornwall! When we'd had enough sunshine (read: got a bit sunburnt, like true Brits!), we had a look around the town, bought a fluffy bear (Mum loves fluffy things, it's catching!) and had a coffee, before heading back across the harbour into Circular Quay. It was a beautiful evening, and we decided to carry it on with fish and chips (and a cheeky wine) by the Opera House. I really am blessed!

Wednesday 13 November – What a finale!

Current location: Bondi Beach
11.11am, On the beach with (deep breath): Andy, Mum, Dad, Pippa, Jo, Vinny, Zac and Bea. It's the Pyrahs last day in Australia today (sob!) so we all went to the beach for fun in the sun! We had such a lovely day, in the sea, playing on the beach (Andy not so much as he fell in the skate bowl and hit his head/shoulder/elbow/ankle and spent the day trying not to pass out!). Pip and I went for a swim at Icebergs, which I've been wanting to do for a while, and we all just felt so lucky and lovely!

After a good few hours and probably too much sunshine, we decided that a good way to spend the last evening would be at Circular Quay, seeing the Opera House and Harbour Bridge at night. The boys were up past their bedtime, so it all felt pretty exciting, and we ended up at Opera Bar drinking champagne and eating pizza.

As if the evening couldn't get any better, as we were just starting to yawn and planning to wrap it up and go home, an amazing fireworks display started above the Opera House. We were all pretty dazed, amazed and in awe – it has just been so amazing having the Pyrahs here and, even though we were getting a bit emotional at the thought it had come to an end, it was all just tooooo amazing to be anything other than positive about it. I love my family so much, and feel so privileged that they have come to visit and that I have been able to share SO many experiences with them here. Thanks Sydney, for providing an beautifully surreal ending to an unreal holiday!

Tuesday 12 November – Girls v Boys

Current location: Darlinghurst, Sydney
11.11am, Eating breakfast. We were at Una's, an amazing little Austrian place that we sometimes go to for brunch, watching the rain come down outside and tucking into sausages and rostis (me) and pancakes (Mum and the boys). I love Una's!

When our appetites were sated, the girls went off shopping (Pippa, Mum, Bea and I), while the boys went off to play in the park (Jo, Dad, Andy, Vinny and Zac) – the sun was out by now! We met up with them later and sat together eating watermelon and veggie burgers. I love Australia – the vendors in the park, instead of selling chips and/or burgers, sell fresh fruit and zucchini burgers?!

Next we went to the Barracks Museum, which was built in 1819 to house convicts coming from overseas (mostly from Britain and Ireland). It was a fascinating place, with loads of the original aspects, such as beds and chains, still in the building.

At about 5pm, I left to go and play netball with Hoops, our mixed netball team. We always lose, but we're keen and enthusiastic (which makes it fun!) so off we went for another match. Predictably, we lost. But we enjoyed it! And this week, my friend Rianne, who I know from my amazing team in London, joined us. She has just moved over here, and it was so nice to be playing together again!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Monday 11 November - Watching fish and eating fish

Current location: Darling Harbour, Sydney
11.11am, On our way to the aquarium. I love aquariums and the last one I went to was for Zac's 4th birthday, almost a year ago! It's been so cool seeing Sydney from a kid's point of view, and I'm glad I get to go and visit the aquarium with some enthusiastic and excitable children. 
It was really awesome, with loads to look at, including so many sharks! The dugongs were amazing, and the rays were ginormous. The rest were pretty cool too, but those three were the best! 
After the aquarium, we went for a Mexican late lunch (arrrriiiiba!) then chilled out back at Pip's apartment.
In the evening, Mum and Dad babysat while Pip, Jo, Andy and I got dressed up and went to Chef's Gallery, an incredible Japanese restaurant near Town Hall. We drank lychee martinis and ate amazing food: scallops, prawns, dumplings, chicken, chillis, so much yummy stuff. Seriously, anyone in Sydney should go, it's soooo good. The four of us just had the loveliest time, we love each other's company so much, and we just had a good giggle and chat. Love them!