Sydney, February 2007
Once we'd settled back into Sydney life, and I’ll try not to brag but the weather is good here, we did the usual and set out in search of jobs and accommodation. Both came really easy to us which made a change. Nathan managed to get work straight away with our Aussie pal Andrew working on office fit outs, the problem was it was only a week’s work and odd days here and there. He's now working with our Welsh friend Wyn's company doing exhibition setups. I knew all these people would come in handy one day with the connections they had. Me on the other hand, I rang a contact I met in Melbourne, and had work by the Monday morning on one of the busiest streets in Sydney, George Street. What am I selling? You guessed it, perfumes. I look back now and think how glad I was to have that few weeks work in Surfers Paradise all those months ago; I seem to have worked in every state since selling the stuff. Still its cash in hand again, and not so bad hours this time around so I will make do.
On the accommodation side of it, after viewing some very backpacker style apartments, (Melbourne comes back to haunt me again) we were running out of ideas as Sydney seems to have a lack of car parking spaces, but we finally met Holly and Nathan (we'll call him Nat so we don't get confused a little later) who were looking for flat mates to share in their Paddington flat; he’s a struggling university student and she’s a part time care worker. The flat looked pretty Ok, and right at the back of us was the SCG. Nathan loved the fact that when England won the cricket we could hear all the cheers from our bedroom window, it was like surround sound. This bliss didn't last though.
Feeling pretty chuffed with ourselves we went for a night out at The Rocks with Wyn and the new boys, after a few too many Kilkeny's (I’ll never touch the stuff again Wyn), we managed to fall asleep on the bus back to Paddington awaking to find ourselves in Bondi, a further half hour away! Don't worry we had enough cash to get a taxi back and retired to bed not noticing the moving shadows on the wall. Next night though these shadows had become clear and seemed to be what looked like a fair few cockroaches, especially in the kitchen. Obviously looking mortified Nat quickly informed us of how Paddington has a cockroach problem and they try to keep them to a minimum. This line only worked for a couple more days when at boiling point now, Nathan came storming in to our bedroom before he left for work announcing in no uncertain terms that we are leaving? His only other departing comment to me was not to have any cereals? Certain I didn’t need to ask why I didn’t, and soon saw the answer up close and personal as I knew it would be, and you've probably all guessed that yes the cockroaches had found their way into my box of Kellogg's! So all that hard work Nathan has put in getting me to eat cereals has now been wasted; at least on that particular brand of cereals any way.
As Nathan relayed the story a little further (and sorry if any of you are eating) it seems the whole place is infested, Nathan being aware they could be anywhere tested the toaster before inserting his bread, as the toaster got hot, out came a flurry of cockroaches! Already packing by now it wasn’t a surprise to find them in our bedroom, so without further ado, and on Wyn’s recommendation, especially now really not wanting the hassle of viewing any other places we moved into Dulwich Hill Youth Hostel.
You all know by now that the story doesn't end here, and I’ll make it quick as I can feel my fingers tapping harder on the keys as I remember how mad I was, near breaking point would be a good way to describe it, it was probably a good thing there wasn't a Quanta’s shop next door as I fear I may well have been on the next flight home. So, Dulwich Hill is fairly quiet for a youth hostel, we felt settled straight away as we know a fair few people here. The room we are staying in is not much bigger than a prison cell; brick walls, a bed and a wardrobe, but on a whole it’s our own space. That is until the bed bugs decided to come out to play again. Seriously we didn't need that, and found ourselves back to the usual rigmarole of washing all our clothes and agreeing a move of rooms which we figured would be the problem solved, but oh no, and I haven't told you this one yet mum, we had to move again, yes it seems the bed bugs followed us! So from room 118, to 114 we are now in 112; so far so good. The staff realising how p****d off we were have given us a free TV and fan, and knocked a nights pay off the rent, these things are handy and helpful, I only hope that next week we aren't writing with more mini creature stories.
It’s been 4 nights in room 112 so far and no sign of the little bloodsuckers. Work is going well, we are saving on the countdown for the arrival of the Todd tribe, including the new addition, I can’t wait to vet you Andrew; Rachel says I have to be on my best behavior. Last night I kitted out in full feather boas, head boppers and my brightest gear for the annual Pride Mardi Gras here in Sydney. The atmosphere was absolutely amazing, a real festival of colour which followed by a few drinks back in our favorite backpacker haunt Scruffys joining in with a whole bunch of amazing people performing and dancing to music of YMCA!
Wow, this is it, pretty short but I think we’ve got you up to date; basically working, saving, still having fun and making plans for the Todd’s and where we’ll go afterwards, which we still hope will be a road trip to see Ayres Rock. Who knows where after this; Perth, Thailand, the world is our oyster, at least it is until June when the flights say we have to come back to England to see you all. Love always, Lindsay and Nathan xx
October 16th 2020
When I read this blog nothing really jumped out as missing, with most of my other blogs there are instant vivid memories that flood back and create a topic for discussion, wondering why they were less important to share as my twenty something self as they are to my now nearly forty-year-old self. I guess with this blog, back then in Sydney, we were ‘treading water,’ while we waited for the next big adventure with the arrival of my Mum, Dad, sister and brother in-law (although he was only the boyfriend back then), there was little to report, we were on the ‘hamster wheel’ working to facilitate the future plans. Life was still fun though, we spent evenings cooking and eating together with new and old friends we’d made on the journey so far, I found myself deep in thought of these times and of stories we have repeated to friends over the years, stories that I actually hadn’t written about, and sure enough I’m reminded yet again of the power of writing – the warmth it can bring to a cold October day in 2020 as I sit indoors alone unable to invite friends and family in due to the new Tier system with rising Covid-19 numbers now into in a second wave. Whenever I hear Lady Gaga’s song - ‘Poker Face,’ I instantly think of dancing in the shared kitchen at Dulwich Hill with my lifelong friend Damion. Countless times over the years that have passed we’ve called each other just because its playing on the radio, or sang it in person to each other with the most memorable being each other’s weddings. This memory leads me on to meeting a young carefree Welsh Girl with the biggest laugh and amazing heart – Katy. Katy is by far one of the cleverest women I know, she’ll hate that I’ve written this, because she’s so modest if you ever have the luxury of sharing company with her. When we met back up in person I learned that she was (training towards) and is now a Doctor of Philosophy and works as a Lecturer in law – I did have to check that I’d heard this right because if photos could talk, the ones I have from our backpacking days would not showcase how we might perceive to find someone preparing to study and be as highlighted in her career as she is and deserves to be. Katy is one of the best ‘never friends’ I’m lucky to have; never judging always encouraging and supportive. Those days staying in Dulwich Hill were never dull, one particular working day in the open fronted Perfume Shop on George Street, about a week before my parents are due to arrive, I see Nathan pull up outside with a huge dent in the passenger door and front wing of Stanley (our car). He’d had some kind of disagreement with a lorry, and seeing that he was perfectly fine, he’d cleverly brought along back up in the name of Wyn so he could use his legendary Welsh charm to stop me from blowing my stack and both were full of reassurances that it would be fixed with little costs to our savings budget. Sure enough, the next day as I arrived home, in the car park of Dulwich Hill the two of them had sourced and were fixing on new car parts found in a scrap yard. In their words it was as good as new, and if you discounted that the door they’d replaced it with was cream and not white like the rest of Stanley then it sure enough was. I’m confident I’ve admired Wyn since this day, no matter what situations life has thrown at him, and this guy has some incredible stories, he’s always been determined to find the positives, and because of this I believe lands on his feet; his story continues now with a wife to be and two beautiful children to follow in his footsteps. And here it hits me; three totally different characters, despite the fact they are all Welsh, walked into my life between 2006-2007, and we formed a friendship bond based loosely on a shared travel experience, but one that still remains because I believe with travel comes an open mindedness to the world around us, and each of us have a well-rounded appreciation for life and acceptance for the ever changing world and people we are. I didn’t write about those memories then because they were insignificant, general life; but today it feels fair to say that those were the moments that helped me to reinvent myself, to have a greater appreciation of the extrovert I am, but also recognition of the introvert who always preferred a private room, and that sitting here alone today doesn’t make me sad, it gives me time to reflect on just how wholesome my life is.
Dear Isabel and Zack – If you ever find yourself ‘treading water,’ just keep looking forward and call your friends (or me) for a kitchen disco – it’s always good for the soul. Thinking of dancing and festivals, be sure to join in with Pride and Mardi Gras celebrations, inequalities in life will always bother me, standing side by side supporting each other is something to be proud of, love is love, we are who we are.
Dear Mum – Happy Birthday Mum, what I wouldn’t give to have a cuppa and a scone with you right now, instead I’ve settled on rediscovering this email you sent me just as you are getting ready to fly out to see us. I don’t think any other human in the world could get away with calling me ‘babes’ but somehow ‘mumsy’ you were the master of gentle nicknames, something without realising I do with Isabel and Zack. When they pull me up on it, I’ll be sure to say; ‘I get it from your Nana.’
22 February 2007
Hi babes, another good read, really love reading your journal, don’t be long with the other half so I can print off before we come. Got the tickets the other day and changed some money over to start us off so now all there is to do is pack. Two weeks to go, whupee, just hope it doesn’t fly by when we’re there. Well here are the dates and times of arrival leave Manchester on the 10th march at 18:40 and arrive into London 19:40, leave London 21:45 and arrive into Sydney at 06:50 at terminal 1 on the 12th March flight Qantas QF320. Depart Sydney on the 30th at 17:00 arrive Manchester 31st march at 12:00. So there you have it, just make sure your there to greet us, can’t wait want a nice big hug love mumsy xxxxxxx see you sooooooooooooooon babes and Nath of course want a hug from you too big boy hahah
*Photos - Top, night out on The Rocks with Wyn and the new boys, Middle, Sydney getting ready for the Mardi Gras, Botton, with Katy and Damion at the Mardi Gras celebrations.
I am a 'wannabe' Nomad who currently lives in Sheffield with my husband and two children. I genuinely love exploring new places but finding time to fit this in is tricky so more often than not I'm found in the closest independent coffee shop because nothing cheers me up better than a decent coffee.