Monday, 31 October 2011


Today Zappa and I spent all day at Shelly Beach. We barbequed us some roo steaks and some banana bread (there is some really special banana bread from Cole's the supermarket - really really good). We had a little snorkel and although the water turned out to be freezing and I wasn't keen, by the time I was in to my hips Zappa had jumped straight in so I had to man up and go in too. I had to try out my new wetsuit and besides, I knew food always tastes better after you've been swimming. Visibility was pretty crap as the wind had churned up the water a bit, but I managed to see a couple of fish:

Red-spot Wrasse

Fan-belly Leather Jacket (Look it has a unicorn horn! This was my favourite)

We got home and realised it was Halloween. I really find the upside down seasons thing confusing. The temperature and the weather and the leaves falling off the trees in England lead me to feeling excited about things like Halloween and give me an urge to make appropriately festive things and cook certain foods. Here I'm permanantly on holiday with lovely weather - Halloween seems irrelevant.

It wasn't irrelevant to Lili-Rose however, who got quite excited about the opportunity to dress up and get lots of lollies (=sweeties in Australian). Her friend Jack came along too, check out the outfits!

I don't know if this makes me a granny but I did actually find them pretty scary!

I was on trick or treating duty by the front door. Many many kids. I find myself thinking 'Really?' when the trick or treaters' voices have broken...

Lili and Jack have come back in protesting about how few lollies they got. We are currently sitting round the kitchen table examining the booty and eating the rest of the lollies we are sposed to give other visitors. So many E numbers! So much excitement!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Invented Heron

Today we went to the dam for a barbeque and I saw this lovely bird:

But I don't know what it is, it isn't anywhere to be found on multiple Australian water bird websites or google images, so I think I must have invented it. I shall name it the Wright Heron. Or the Black and Wright Heron. The Wright Bastard Heron. Hahaha. My name is so funny.

UPDATE: It's an Australasian Darter. Too bad.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Bargainous Bargains and Walkies

Last night it was Kate's 18th birthday party, we went out for a meal and met her folks and some more of her and Jake's friends, and then came back home and had a few drinks and fishcakes, and eventually someone remembered we had planned to go to a highly anticipated jumble sale early the next morning. We all said we'd still try and go but judging by the empty Jack Daniels bottle I didn't have any high expectations. When we eventually turned in, Zappa went to sleep still half sitting up, and was so still I wondered if he was still alive.

Somehow though he woke up at 6.45 and said 'Are you coming then?' My response was 'Unngggyyerrrghh.' Then lo and behold, Ruth pops her head though the door and sings a loud jumble sale excitedness song. How is everyone doing this? I must be the least alive one in the house!

Slowly though of course everyone started to droop and the hangovers kicked in. Nevertheless, we picked ourselves up some bargainous bargains! Look at the treasure!

We're going to need our own kitchen stuff when we go up to Bellingen and for when we go camping, so we got all this at the jumble ($21.50 total), then went to Vinnie's on the way back, where we got pots and pans ($7.50):

And a wetsuit for me! $10.

And while I was trying the wetsuit on I accidentally tried this dress on and had to get it:

$8. It looks way nicer in real life, it's this lovely turquoise colour with sort of light greeny yellow leafy twiddly patterns on it. It's really light and floaty.

Ooo I want to show you my favourite other Vinnie's bargains from before today too:

$8 - wore it last night

Quite a bit more than $8 but I LOVE it and it's my birthday present and it's from some posh designer, and was probably originally more like $700. Ok it was $55 but it's so NICE and I definitely would have paid more for it in England,

We have worked out that although if you converted the numbers of dollars to pound by the exchange rate you'd be timesing by 2/3, the sort of living equivalent is actually more like 1/2. So that dress is actually more like £27 which it's totally worth.

Can you recognise the spending guilt?!

Anyway I digress. We came back from Vinnie's and Zappa's hangover was in full swing.

Oh yes we got those funky sunnies at the jumble sale too. Zappa has worn them inside all afternoon, including when we watched a film.

Later on we walked to the dam from the house (it's that close - so cool). All of us except Jake.

Woody made a friend, Nelly.


For me, anyway - I hadn't assaulted my liver.

Haha last night we were at the eating out place and the others were talking about what they were drinking, and Lili turned to me and said 'Do you know, Emma, soon we're going to be the only normal ones here.' I mused upon this for a second and then she suddenly cried 'Belly buttons unite!' undoing a button on her dress and displaying said anatomy. I mused further.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Noobie just did a poo in the bath.

Jake had to clean it up and it was funny. I think he was a bit sick.

Now everyone's arguing who DOESN'T get the first shower before we go out tonight (it's Kate's birthday, Jake's girlfriend).

Noobie looks extremely happy.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


It has been all rainy and not warm today so to make up for it I just made a Special chocolate cake! Yayyyy. Special = gluten free in my exciting world. The cake actually sunk right down in the middle so there's actually a lake of chocolate goo in it! Cannot wait. We're waiting for Ruth and Lili to get back from dropping a friend off at Palm Beach (someone they know rents there - must make friends) til we can eat dinner which means we can then eat the cake.

Yesterday when we got on the bus back from the city, I realised the trio in front were from the UK (woman with streaky dyed blonde hair, 50s, son with ginger hair, 20s, overweight girl, also 20s). And I thought wow more Poms, we're everywhere. Don't blame us. And I settled down to watch Sydney go by, but you know when you're trying to read or whatever and there's someone talking or spiky music with stupid words in, and you try not to but the words just hook your ear? I couldn't concentrate because the woman and the son were having this loud English argument about how long it takes to get from Bristol to Cardiff. On and on, and on, like, if it's actually important to you today in Australia, couldn't you just agree to disagree and it could all just take 10 seconds? Then they moved onto, I'm not sure what the point of it was, they just started listing roads, I don't know, that were good or something.
'Yeah there's the M4. And the M32.
'A3. M25.'
'The M5.'
What the hell?! We're about to go over the Harbour Bridge! Isn't that kind of interesting? British road names?! Really?!
FINALLY they got off the fun game of naming fascinating strips of tarmac and moved onto whether of not the mum had given him a playstation for his birthday one year in the past, or whether he had payed for it himself. Or maybe it was his dad that bought it for him. 'Oh my godd Murm, oi toatlee peed for it moiself!! Nooo! Ohh my godd Murm seerislee, you know nothing!' To help them get to the truth they went through what he got for his birthday every other year of his blessed existence, then explaining how an Xbox is different from a playstation (plee-stashuuun)....OHMYGOD SHUT UP!!! We are in SYDNEY LOOK LOOK! Stop ruining my journey with your boring lives!

I have asked a few people but somehow the Aussie's don't seem to mind the Poms, which I'm surprised about, as we do seem to be constantly invading the country and then sticking together in groups.

Very surprised. I didn't like us much on the bus.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Today Zappa and I went to the aquarium in Darling Harbour. It was good, if full of many many different groups of primary school children in their uniforms and hats. I had no idea children were so loud! Why are they so loud?

Here are some pictures of underwater critters, which aren't very good but they're of THINGS.

Massive Japanese spider crab!

Dugong! The Australian name for manatee. It was a bit scratched, don't know whether that's normal.

White tip shark

The rest of the Sydney Common Octopus

The weather has been miserable today, so weird after yesterday's heat. This is the view from the window at the moment:

It's quite nice being curled up indoors with a cup of tea.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Jebediah & Nearly Wet and Famous

Today it was rather warm. I asked the BBC how warm and it said 34C, which I thought was an overestimation but other sources say 34, 32 and 32. So yeah. Warm. And I LOVED it. Zap and I bought provisions and went over to the dam to have a barbeque, swims and chilling out reading time. It were greet! Only the bit we usually go to, section 4, was full of glossy white caravanny lorry things, making us think the gypos in this country are pretty damn good at whatever they do, until I spotted one of them was labelled WARDROBE, and section 4 had a sign on it saying LOCATION, and we realised they were filming something! We went to section 3 instead, but I kept wondering what if it was Home and Away and I could infiltrate it if I just went and investigated?

After school was over Lili and Ruth came to meet us, and the film crew started making lots of noise, a ridiculous-sounding motorbike kept on being revved up, and a 'we're all having crazy fun which demands lots of whooping!' scene kept on being suddenly started and suddenly stopped. They can't have been very good at it judging by the number of takes. Eventually our curiousity got the better of us and we decided to swim over to section 4 to have a look.

None of us quite forsaw what a marathon swim it would be. I was very lucky because I'd picked the rubber ring to swim in, making it effortless, but the others took the blowup boat whose bottom was kicked out by some other children the other Sunday, and they had a harder time. It was so funny seeing this bright blue blowup thing slowly going alone, Ruth and Lili's legs creating a furious bit of water behind it and Ruth's curly hair just visible, bobbing up and down. It took ages but eventually we got to see some people and their grey furry things on poles. You could tell the actors from the film crew because only the film crew wore hats. Hats are clearly not glamourous.

I couldn't recognise any of the actors from that distance - there was a tanned blonde girl but then there's always going to be at least one isn't there. Ruth waved madly and someone waved back. The people sort of milled around a bit, then one of them got a big blue screen out, and we reckoned they probably weren't going to do anything interesting with us there, so we started off back. Halfway back the motorbike started up again (they really were finding the whole shooting a scene thing difficult).

So, alas. I had this image of them filming an important scene with the lake in the background, then over the shoulder of the character you see two people in a bright blue blowup boat slowly swim into view, another person in a candy striped blowup rubber ring, and a swimmer with rope for hair, and the one with the springy hair waves like a loony, and they all just grin vacantly at the camera. And we could say 'LOOK! THAT'S US!' and we'd be famous. And wet. Wet and famous.

But alas.

I have no pictures of this as I was a main character in this exciting watery story, so to console you I will introduce you to Jebediah:

He is Jake's fish, a cichlid (sick lid), and he always seems very grumpy, but I like him.

I feed him tasty multicoloured flakes and the other day as I said, I cleaned him out with Jake, and now he can see me better, which I'm sure is what he wanted. When you go up to the glass and say hello to him he comes up and squares up to you and tries to intimidate you. If you manage to intimidate him back he goes and hides in his fake tree stump, which he has shuttled all of the stones out of himself.

Oh dear and I have bad news of the chicks. The chicks ran away.
But er, here's a nice picture of Woody instead. Such a sweet little dog.

Ah dear.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Map, Whales, North Head and my first trip to the city

Firstly I am a visual aid kind of a person and I would be frustrated not knowing where things were in relation to each other. So here is a map with currently important landmarks on it.

North Head

Yesterday Zappa went off to help a friend called Rob with the doing-up of his boat (apparently he's been doing it 7 years but the launch date should be in about 6 weeks). On the way (to Rose Bay, see ye mappe), on the ferry, he saw a whale!!! I am so jealous. I looked up Whales at Manly Beach and there was a little site about them, ( to credit the pictures to them, what a responsible blogger I am), and the picture sequence of this seemingly attention-seeking whale made me laugh. Like so:

Alex shows his tail

Alex shows off to a ferry

Alex just gets bloody obnoxious about it

 I might have changed the last one. But that's how I read them and it made me laugh.

So. I was on my own for a day, and after lazing around reading a book and cleaning out Jebediah the fish, I thought I should probably do something interesting, so Woody and I went to North Head, a nature reserve type thing with nice views. A guy gave me his parking ticket as he left saving me a sweet $8, and we set off, Woody catching the scent of all sorts of sporting-smelling creatures and getting very excited. Including this bizarrely black rabbit:

 Woody chomping at the bit after seeing said rabbit

The views were indeed rather gorgeous:


We had a look at different views for a while, then decided we'd had enough and started back. Except I couldn't remember the way back and got sort of lost in the bush. I mean it wasn't proper jungle but I think it definitely counted as bush. I walked through an unmanned spider's web and Woody very nearly ate a huge black specimen of Sydney's fiercely protected water dragons - this picture I took the first time at the Bower but just to illustrate:

That would have been slightly bad... Eventually we made our way back to Dingo and managed to give the all-day ticket to another nice bloke. Yayy. I'm a little concerned cos the ticket inspector guy saw me do it, wrote it down and then went and called someone...hope it's not illegal...

My First Trip to the CITY

Today we went into Sydney Proper on the ferry!

 We took the train to Hyde Park (I think over half the road and place names in Sydney are borrowed from London) to see a bit of Art and About, an annual event in Sydney where art is taken outdoors:
"The idea was to transform our city into a canvas, to create a living gallery on our streets, with work that would make Sydneysiders stop, think, laugh or smile…." (

Then we had a brief wander about before settling down to read in the shade of a tree in the park.

After that we started off to find a vegetarian cafe where we'd read there was some live music, couldn't find it, walked for miles, I started collapsing, so we dragged me into a nice bistro type thing and I had the BEST burger and 2 whole cokes and I felt explodingly happy and decided it was the best day EVER. God knows how I'm going to feel tomorrow but I survived and was full of glee.

 We've got a week's ticket for everything - ferries, trains and buses. So we'll hopefully venture in a few more times this week. Now it's time for the RUGBY FINAL! (I've gotten into it). Can't wait - I really like watching the French play cos they're all zip-zip-zip WOO (can't believe Tonga beat them - I wouldn't have thought sheer size would matter that much at a world cup level but hush ma mouth!). And the All-Blacks are just legendary. Should be a good game.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


The other day at the dam Ruth spotted THIS critter in a tree:

That was the best my camera could do but we saw all of it. I looked it up later and it was a Diamond Python (below), which is nicely non-venemous. But we didn't know that at the time and it was rather exciting.

Then Jake caught Noobie the cat with its new toy, a baby possum! I've always wanted to see a possum and LOOK, it didn't disappoint.

We put it in a beer box and ferried it down to the bottom of the garden and shut Noobie in.

Noobs got out and the next day the possum was found again looking shellshocked. Ruth gave it a mango and it liked that.

It ate the mango like...the cutest thing EVER eating a mango.

Possum Facts:
This is a common ringtail possum. Everyone seems to hate them but they are a protected species, being indigenous and all.
'Thumping across the roof, living in the chimney or raiding our compost bins - possums are at home with people and in the urban environment.' says an urban possum article.
They are marsupials and caecotrophic (they eat their poo like rabbits).
I like them.

Jake phoned up the local wildlife trust people and a possum dropoff was arranged at the local vets.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Good things

Ruth made this glorious pie:

Woody is cute:

And can do tricks:

I got me some supergood snorkelling gear:

Snazzy non?

Today we went to the Bower again and this time I got to go in and see things. I wore Zappa's shorty wetsuit, padded out with boardshorts and tshirt underneath, and I actually stayed warm, which I liked.
Here are the fish I saw (not taken by me):

Red Morwong
White streaked Grubfish
I want to get a fish book as I'm such a fish geek at heart.

It felt really good to be back in the water, diving about with fishies, drying out afterwards in the sun. I didn't really feel that tired afterwards, and I don't feel that ill. M.E. seems to be the most wonderful excuse to do what you really want. This beach lifestyle clearly feeds my soul, better keep doing it. Maybe I can snorkel and rollerblade and sun myself better. Have yet to dust off the rollerblades actually. I saw a girl today who was pushing herelf wimpily along on a pink skateboard, with massive sunnies, an immaculate blonde ponytail and matching pink wristbands and pink hitop trainers. I'm going to look so much cooler in my blades that I painted the wheels of multicoloured and all my protective pads on. I should probably be drinking something from Starbucks to up my cool factor. Or maybe juice from a juice bar.