Sydney Living (blog by Paul)

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June 26th 2011
Published: June 26th 2011
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The exchange rate between the Rand and the mighty Aussie dollar is now around 7 to 1. Which if memory serves me well, is around the same rate for dad at home looking after the kids vs mom doing the same. Which means that in the past month, with Alexa gallivanting all over the known world, chiefly via Hunter Valley (retreat), Perth (home) and Thailand (surprise Schoofess visitation for Hans’ 70th) I have built up a healthy 161 day credit. I have been warned, though, that such credits have a half life of only a few days, and are known to disappear rapidly in a puff of unwashed dishes or forgotten anniversaries, and have therefore cunningly decided to cash them in in one go by booking my fare to New Zealand to attend the greatest male bonding session of them all, a pilgrimage to the rugby World Cup. (Tickets courtesy of Jonathan Kritzinger, an old schoolmate whose job it is to actually organise the event).

Here in Sydney, the lads, as the four of us are collectively known, have, in between bursts of academia in the local library, been visiting the city’s museums and pacing its cliff tops and beaches in quest of whales, whose spouting exhalations have been spotted pretty much every time we have ventured down. Dolphins too, swimming in the shallows near Bronte Beach.

Much of the time here has been spent catching up with the enormous number of people we know in Sydney. The long-suffering Sandhams have now put up with the testosterone-quadruplication of their home for going on two months, and it has been wonderful to spend this much time with Mark, whom I have known since he was two. We also met up with my cousin Anna and her family; Louwis, Mupota and Ansel from work back in Joburg; and friends Derek and Rachel, Hugh Giddy and Kirsty McKenzie.

The Vivid light show at circular quay was a definite highlight for the boys - and the adults.

Sydney, with its beautiful beaches, abundant parks and nature reserves, and  temperate climate, is a very liveable city – provided, of course, some generous benefactor donates to you a $2m (R14m) house. Or at least a bunch of bananas (a snip at R105/kg). Ok, then, a mango (R49 ea).

It’s been a little bit wet, but mostly quite balmy here (about 50 degrees warmer than Joburg from what I understand) and while Sydney has been great, and has given Alexa time to visit her family, it will be good to be on the road again, in the caravan previously known as Cazza. (Amusingly, our friend Vicky thought Alexa, in conjuring up such a bogan name, had misspelt the Spanish casa!)

If you are ever bored, and near some Australians, may I suggest the following humorous diversion. Ask them to say “The man in the maroon jersey was marooned.” Quite bizarrely, it comes out as “The man in the marone jersey was marooned.” How odd is that?!

Very few photos I'm afraid as our cameraman has been awol; but I think I have managed to upload a couple of videos (along with a few of old ones I wasn't able to upload then).

Additional photos below
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27th June 2011

Sydney Living
Hi Paul, Thanks you for the blog, Gladstone is still you first name! The Sandham girls are so beautiful, and I must say your friendship was a special one to survive 2 months - 'just feel for poor Anna Sandham!'.Love to see photos of Anna Pop and family. A wonderful time for you and the boys to do things together, maybe you can Gladstone a job and house in Sydney. No wonder everyone moves to Australia. I would miss you but life seems pretty good in Oz. Missing you all as always. Lots of love. Mom
27th June 2011

I just love your writing Paul!
Rod and I are really enjoying reading about your travels. We are most jealous, but I AM looking forward to your book at the end of all of it!! I am sure it is going to be as entertaining as your first!! M

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