Christmas in Australia 2008/09

My friend Pad and I went to Australia for Xmas recently.

Everytime I go back, I wonder to myself why I left! But of course, you go somewhere over Christmas, for a holiday, in the summer, when the worst financial crisis in 80 years is sweeping through markets and you happen to work for a bank... well, it's not that surprisingly that I'd feel homesick for Oz!

Here's me being a dork in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Notice the guy on my right who decided to get in on the act! That boat actually pulled out of the harbour just a few minutes later - we got to watch it sailing all of the way out of Sydney Harbour.

My sister Kate had just taken us on a tour of the Sydney Opera House. She was taking us around back stage where we quite unexpectedly bumped into Rolf Harris! I was shocked I didn't really know what to say (all I could think was - "What did you think of that Goodies episode where the world is struck by a plague of Rolf Harris's?"... but I figured this probably wouldn't be a great question to ask. Nonetheless, he was very friendly and jovial, even though we were complete strangers.

Later in the day, Kate, me, Pad and my Dad, caught the ferry to Watson's Bay, then wandered around "The Gap" national park (at the top of South Head)

Pad was staying at a hostel in Many (the Manly Backpackers, which he said was very good). He later went up to spend a few days in a hostel at Kuringai National Park, where he met his first wallaby:

After that, we headed up to my Mum's house near Murwillumbah.

Here's the view from the top of the hill where my Mum lives - that's Mt Warning in the distance, and me looking like a dork in the foreground:

Pad and I went on a "Catch a crab" cruise - great fun, especially catching yabbies (the dork theme is continued):

Xmas day at Mum's place - Kate dressed up as Santa Claus to hand out everyone's presents:

Russ got some beer:

Mum got a letter box shaped like a cow (from me ... well, somebody had to look like a dork when I'm gone! ;-P) :

Back at the airport, ready to go back to miserable, cold, rainy London... (why are we smiling !? ;-) )


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