Wow! It's been a hectic last month in Sydney. The past four weeks have seen a visit from my parents, the Harbour Bridge climb, tonsillitis (again), travels in NSW and interstate, stresses, awful weather, tears, a wedding, a mardi gras parade and fab friends!
It was so good to see mum and dad. We hired a car and I showed them all of the places I love, the great views and beaches. Unfortunately they brought the British weather over with them and it rained the entire time they were here (and still hasn't stopped!) We flew to Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday islands and boarded a boat for a three day and night trip. It was fantastic. We snorkelled among the reefs and saw and stroked fish the size of small people, hundreds of squid being chased around the boat by sharks at night, many stingrays and sharks off Whitehaven beach (very nearly stood on a stingray!) and chilled out. Dad and I went sea kayaking and I attempted to rope swing from the boat (unsuccessfully!). The sights from the boat were unforgettable and the sunsets amazing. Such a beautiful part of Queensland. The people we shared the boat with were lovely and some good times were had. I tried to learn how to play poker late at night and toe wrestled with an Irish guy from the army. I won of course. Unbeatable! After that victory no one else would take me on.
Mum, dad and I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge when we returned to Sydney. It was great even though it poured with rain and had been thunder and lightning prior to our climb! The weather was at large again on our visit to the Blue Mountains. We could see fog, and I've seen plenty of that before! Such a shame as I've heard such good things about the views and rocks!
After my parents left to fly to Adelaide, I had the stressful task of clearing the flat ready to leave. How I managed to accumulate so much stuff in a short time I don't know. Anyway, that's done now and I've been staying on friend's sofas for the past few weeks. I've been back to both jobs to do some shifts. Northside couldn't live without me and called me back into work a couple of times and I did my last shift for Centacare on Friday. I worked with some great people in both jobs so it was sad to go.
I have managed to squeeze in a visit to my friend Holly's parents house in Narooma further down the NSW coast. It was such a beautiful spot and their house and land was fabulous. It was really beautiful and relaxing. Holly and I went sea kayaking (a new hobby for me perhaps!) which was Holly's first time and quite amusing! A friendly duck keeps going to their house and woke me up in the morning by tapping on my bedroom window. He is now called Dave. We like Dave even though he poops on the balcony! Dave likes bread!
This weekend has been wild. THE reason that I've stayed in Sydney so long! It was Dan and Niamh's wedding and the massive mardi gras parade. I worked with Dan at Northside and he's a great guy. Such a lovely ceremony and a beautiful location at Atholl Hall down near Taronga Zoo over looking the Harbour. The celebrations continued with a water taxi ride over to the city and to the Shangri La hotel. The bar was at the top of the building with spectacular night views over the harbour. It was a late night! Yesterday was the amazing Sydney mardi gras parade. I managed to get myself on a float, so not only got to see the parade but was marching in it!! It was amazing! I got Holly onto the float too, so we had a great time! Our float was the Maquarie Grammar School float and it was 'Education not Discrimination'! We had a dance routine and marched to 'Go West' by the Pet Shop Boys. The atmosphere was amazing. I was so tired and hanging over but got myself through it admirably!!! We had to wear red cowboy hats and colours to make up the rainbow flag. I was green. Some of our friends came down to see us! Such a good experience. Once in a lifetime. I'm so glad I was part of the parade and not one of the spectators crammed along the route craining for a view. I got to see some sights, for sure!
Tomorrow, weather permitting will see me do a parasail in Manly cove area. This was a gift from Northside when I left. There was wine too, but that's long gone! Then I will head towards Campbelltown to visit Paul and his parents. Some fellow Kidderminsterians! Then...Melbourne, and who knows! xxxxx