Archive for the month “December, 2014”

More Australian Vocabulary


Everywhere you go in Sydney at the moment, you can see the preparations for NYE.  In the parks around the harbor flower beds are being cordoned off to prevent damage, road closures are being advertised and there are notices everywhere saying that no-one is allowed to bring alcohol into the area around the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

They are expecting a million and a half people to converge on the harbor, so when the Sydney fireworks are shown on the TV keep an eye out for us.  We’ll be there somewhere.



A very hard-working old man.

Just to give you an idea of the kinds of distances that Father Christmas has to cover in Australia.  He must have to travel at a helluva speed.


Australians Celebrating Christmas on the Beach … Tick!

P1140939 P1140948 P1140953 P1140959

All of these pictures were taken early on Christmas morning on Manly Beach in Sydney.  From mid-morning onwards a ferry arrived every thirty minutes disgorging hundreds more sun-worshippers each time onto the golden sands.

We didn’t wait around to witness it, but my guess is that there was not much sand visible by lunch-time.

Sydney Opera House … Tick!

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Original estimate $7.000.000 and three years to build.

Actual cost $102,000,000 and seventeen years to build.

Worth every cent!




Where’s Joey? No Idea. Haven’t Seen Him.


He must be around here somewhere.

Not a Pretty Sight!

When I was young and beautiful I had a slender, 32-inch waist and an inside-leg measurement of 29 inches.

When I was in my forties I had a respectable, 34-inch waist and an inside-leg measurement of 29 inches.

Now that I have achieved the status of ‘portly gentleman’, with a certain ‘avoirdupois’, I have a 36-inch waist and an inside-leg measurement of 29 inches.

You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to buy a pair of trousers, then, would you?

It is in Australia!

My analysis of the problem is that Australians just live in a climate that is too favourable, they eat food that is too good and they spend far too much time, out of doors, jogging, swimming and surfing, enjoying the fresh air, and being healthy

As a result, they just grow too tall! The minimum inside-leg measurement that I could find in any shop in Sydney or elsewhere was 32 inches.

Take it from me, wearing trousers that are three inches too long is not a good look!

Road Train, tick. Kangaroos, tick.

So what was the list again? Oh yes, kangaroos, road- trains, Sydney Opera House and Christmas Day on the Beach. Yep, got them all. I can leave now.

Sometimes, in England, when you are staying in the country, you get up and see rabbits on the lawn. You think, “Look! How lovely! Rabbits on the lawn.” The next day you get up and say “Look, the rabbits are still there.” By the third day you just shrug and say “Huh. Rabbits again.” It’s a bit like that with kangaroos in Australia.

We spent a couple of days hiking around a place called Carnarvon Gorge in deepest Queensland.   We were staying on a campsite, (No, we weren’t camping. I’ve done that and got the T-shirt. We were staying in the comfortable accommodation in the posh bit of the site.) There were kangaroos and so-called pretty-faced wallabies everywhere, quietly grazing and completely unconcerned by a strange bearded man trying to take photos of them.

When we left Carnarvon Gorge we traveled for hundreds of miles on Queensland’s long, straight, unfenced roads where we saw dozens more kangaroos in the middle of the road, all dead. I have never seen so much road-kill in one day in my life.

It was almost as if the kangaroos had got up especially early to go and play ‘chicken’ with the road-trains, a game which, it would seem, they invariably lost. Australian friends have told me that kangaroos are particularly careless, not to say stupid, animals that think nothing of bounding from the side of the road into the path of on-coming traffic. I have my Hertz hire-car for three more days. I am earnestly hoping that I do not see any more kangaroos!

Cute as ….


These two pretty-faced wallabies came and watched us having breakfast.

Mother and Joey.


Home is….

… being able to scratch where it really itches.


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