Books read between boarding flight in London and boarding flight in Sydney 2 weeks later: lots…
- Flawed by Jo Bannister
- 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury St by Helene Hanff
- The Silent Sea by Clive Cussler
- A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
- Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci
- Room by Emma Donoghue
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
- It Takes A Village by Christine Stinson
Books bought (with my own money): 2 – but both read/abandoned before leaving Sydney and given away – achievement!
Books bought for me (present): 1 – The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Books disposed of: 5 – gave A Red Herring without Mustard to Sister; gave away 84 Charing Cross Road and its sequel The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street and Jo Bannister’s Flawed to friends; and gave away a book I couldn’t bring myself to persevere with beyond 50 pages (hence it will not be reviewed here) to my grandmother, in the hope she would enjoy it more than me!
Net result: excellent holiday!
I’m sad, of course, to be leaving family and friends in Sydney, and to be leaving Sydney itself, which truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There is so much water and so many trees everywhere, it is an extraordinary symbiosis of nature and metropolis. Sydney, in particular Manly Beach, will feature soon in a “Places I read” post.
My lovely Grandpa had a wonderful birthday party and we spoilt him rotten. I fixed Grandma’s computer so that she can send me emails again, and I went to the grave of my other grandparents, who passed away in March and June 2010. I walked on Manly Beach and ate too much ice cream, I bought jeans at Jeans West and clothes at Warringah Mall, I had dinner at Golden Century Seafood and yum cha at the Piccadilly Centre. I didn’t get to see any of my cousins but I did see 3 uncles and 3 aunts (not all matching though). I walked around the foreshore underneath the Harbour Bridge (on the north side) and drove through the rain and rush hour on Military Road to get to dinner with a friend and her parents. All in all, I had a great two weeks in Sydney but it wasn’t anywhere near enough.
But soon I will be back in London, with The Physicist, whom I have missed terribly, and The Resident Cousin and Cecily and my crazy accountancy life. I will be back in my normal routine and in my normal flat with all my normal cooking bits and pieces and at my normal desk. My clothes will smell of my normal washing detergent. I will listen to Heart FM instead of Mix 106.5 and I will ride on the Tube rather than CityRail. I will cycle down Oxford St and eat my lunch on the roof terrace at my client and listen and laugh when my colleagues tell me funny stories. I will be an Australian in London rather than a Brit in Sydney.
Full-time residents of Australia truly are the lucky ones. Maybe I’m luckier – I get the Old World and the New, just with a side dose of heartache every time I leave one or the other.
Thanks to everyone who was in Sydney and gave me a fabulous holiday. Thanks to blog readers who noticed I was away and sent me cheery messages. Thanks to my work colleagues in the UK who dealt with me being at the other end of the world. Thanks to my grandparents and extended family for understanding that it’s not easy to come out to Sydney, or to leave it. Thanks to my parents and sister for funding and accommodating my travel wishes, and for having fun with me while we were all together again. Thanks to The Resident Cousin for keeping the flat tidy (in advance…), and thanks most of all to The Physicist, for understanding that I have two nationalities and sometimes I have to go remember how to be the other one.