22/12 - The only things to note from today were that I awoke with horrific shin splints and really achey legs (that's what not exercising for 8 weeks does to you! ) and that we went for dinner at Ripples in Chowder Bay as a Morton Christmas dinner sort of thing. It was a lovely setting but sadly it was raining, and the food I had (parpadelle with duck, red capsicum, peas and carrots) was far too salty and quite cold. Hmm.
23/12 - I browsed the internet this morning as I really fancied another hike, and found a mounstrous 26km one south of the city in Royal National Park. Best save that for another day! I found another one in Lane Cove so I headed there from the station. Managed to not find the national park as there were no signs from the station and the internet was being spectacularly unhelpful. I ended up trying to find my way out of a cemetry for 40 minutes before heading back to the station to making my way to Manly as I had seen an expanse of green on the map there.
I got the ferry to Manly (which I hadn't done since 2009, so was feeling quite nostalgic) and took some amazing panoramic pictures of the bridge, opera house and city skyline. Off the ferry at Manly and it really had starting peeing down by this point. Feeling pretty disappointed with the lack of success today I went and had a coffee and decided I would try and get a week's free membership at the gym. Induction at the gym at 2pm and then had an awesome back session, so a day not completely devoid of success!
24/12 - Gym session then went to BWS for a bottle of wine and got chatting to the manager, Belle, who invited me to her friend's house in McMahon's Point for NYE... We shall see! Was lovely of her to invite me though. Went to the Longueville Hotel for dinner (salmon, pea and asparagus risotto - delicious), then to the church (Catholic!) for 8pm mass. Service was quite different to the one at home.
25/12 - Merry Christmas! Jess and I braved the gym this morning, and felt very self righteous upon our return. A hearty breakfast of croissants, a failed attempt at me eating grapefruit (even doused in a spoonful of sugar) and a shower later we cracked open the Bollinger and started the festive celebrations. We opened some presents (Jess and I both received a stocking from Santa, so glad he did get confused as to where I was this year) and some presents from each other. I got a parasailing voucher from Miriam and Ken (!) and a multifunctional tool thing from Jess as well as a new journal.
Christine (the neighbour I am house sitting for) and family came over for a few drinks, they left and then Anthony (Ken's son) and Jo (Jess' best friend and my newfound friend) came over and we had a sumptuous Christmas dinner. Jo gave me a Christmas present of lunch at the Scarborough Hotel in Woollongong.
Jess, Jo and I then tried our hand at cricket at the nets in the school next door. Needless to say we were all completely useless, definitely due to the amount of alcohol consumed and certainly not for any other reason... After cricket we went and dangled our legs in the spa and had tea and biscuits, I skyped home then went to bed as I had a bad cough and a banging headache!
26/12 - Didn't sleep well last night as I now have a raging cold. Boo. Had a TV day today and watched the beginning of the Sydney to Hobart sail race. Jess off to Sri Lanka today!
27/12 - Morton tour today! We set of about midday and started off at West Head in Ku-Ring Gai national park. Saw Lion's Head, a rock formation in between the two main heads, and Palm Beach on the other side of the bay where we were to have lunch. After a sumptous fish and chips I was then shown all the Northern Beaches (one of which was where Ken used to surf as a youngster!). The scenery was absolutely stunning, and the weather was perfect so made it look even more beautiful. Very impressive tour.
28/12 - I know no-one wants to read about my gym sessions which is why I have not mentioned them, but this one had a knock on effect for the next week: legs. Anyway, went and had a Tinder date with a Scottish guy. We went to Blackbird in Darling Harbour for dinner (salmon) and i was introduced to tequila... LOVE IT! Then went to meet my Adelaide friends in Kings Cross (which is reminiscent of Watford, yuck) to dance the night away at Kit and Kaboodle.
29/12 - Yep, definitely overdid it at the gym yesterday. Struggled massively to walk today. Not cool. Or fun. Went and had breakfast at a local cafe which turned out to be a disaster. Asked for no olives or mushrooms, got both and about an hour later. Went for dinner at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills which was nice then for ice cream after.
30/12 - Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Idiot. Had to lumber myself around Greenwich today trying to find the parcel that had been sent from home. It was painful. And very slow. And I didn't even find it. Catastrophic.