What a start to 2023! Two road trips, many brunches, lunches, dinners and other get-togethers, a night of music to celebrate a birthday, and lots of beautiful moments enjoying the Australian bush on our son and daughter-in-law’s (Ben and Sarah) glorious property!
There have been so many precious times during our last few weeks in the Southern Hemisphere. Some of these include catching sight of animals we don’t see in Turkey or anywhere else we have travelled recently – green tree frogs, scary-looking spiders, kangaroos and wallabies and amazing goannas and other large lizards.
We’ve taken our grand duckies in the 4WD to swim in the creek and watched wild ducklings grow up, helped paint a fence at the front entrance to Ben and Sarah’s, lit big bonfires, and experienced a drenching tropical downpour!
We have also unpacked our belongings stored in the garage of our townhouse, given away and chucked heaps of “stuff”, scanned thousands of photos so we could throw the hard copies away, and prepared the townhouse to rent out furnished and organised an agent to find tenants.
We have now honed down our belongings in Australia to the items in the town house and ten boxes stored in one of Ben and Sarah’s sheds.
One of our road trips was to the coastal resort of Mooloolaba where our sailing friends Mike and Jill from S/V Yantara have recently bought a fabulous apartment.
It was a fantastic surprise that other sailing friends from our adventures in South-East Asia were joining us for some of the time.
We had a brilliant catch up with Cindy and James (S/V YouYou), Andy and Kelly (M/V Quintessa) and Rita and Dave (S/V Beach House.)
A few days later we were heading south to Sydney where we stayed with long-time and very special friends and godparents to our kids, Libby and Tas.
En route we stayed a night in Coffs Harbour where the small marina looked almost the same as it did when we stopped there on our 28 foot timber yacht “Rondo” on the way to Papua New Guinea more than 35 years ago!
In Sydney we met up with Raylee who we spent time with last season sailing north from Didim towards Istanbul when Raylee was a guest on our sailing buddies’ (Sue and John) boat S/V Catabella. We were joined by Raylee’s daughter Brooke and her partner Sue and John’s son Matt, who we had met briefly when they stayed on Catabella towards the end of last year. What a great reunion and a lovely lunch together!
We also stayed a night with another very old and dear friend and former work colleague, Jackie. We had a great day visiting the Australian Museum and later, the fabulous new Sydney Modern – part of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Back in Brisbane, as well as making precious memories with various local friends, we had a great evening with more sailing friends from Turkey – Deborah and Peter from M/V Entre Nous who we had met at Didim Marina and who also have a land base in Brisbane.
A special highlight was a wonderful seafood lunch with Ben on a “retired” prawn trawler on the Brisbane River. Fabulous oysters, prawns and Moreton Bay Bugs!
In mid January we celebrated our good friend Bruce’s birthday at his traditional annual gig when musicians gather to play some of his favourite music. Over the years these evenings have featured various genres from rock to classical. This year was a fabulous mix of big band sound and Gypsy jazz- a fabulous evening!
It’s been such a busy month that we felt quite exhausted by the end of it and ready for a bit of slothful rest before embarking on our next adventure!