As regular readers of my blog will know, I have a long, and lasting, relationship with Australia. Having done my rite of passage backpacking trip in ’94, I seemed to spend a month here every second year. Not always with the same person, but I like to think I was doing my bit for tourism, and the local economy.
I’m now on first name terms with the local Hunter Valley wine testing tour guide. And if I go on one more Captain Cruise tour of the Harbour I think I will be offered shares.
|Mothers' Day cruise|
All the trips here, the developing love affair, all led to me becoming a permanent resident of this glorious country, and hence the inception of this blog, documenting my travels and travails along the way.
In this time, if I had a dollar for each occasion mum said “I will come out one day and see Australia”, I would have more money already than my sister seems to be managing to save in her tin for a trip here.
So, on a long scooter ride last year, wind buffeting me and the Besbi, with time to think and with thoughts racing through my head, I made a decision. I went home that night, and booked a return flight home. And a flight back with me for mum. This was the only way it was going to happen. I had to take charge. If you were reading this blog last year, you would be forgiven for thinking I may not have even still been here right now. In Australia I mean. Not anything more sinister.
I decided that mum was coming to Australia. Before life took over. She was coming. All I had to do now was break the news to her. That was an emotional Skype call, but in a good way. Once mum had run off outside for some fresh air, and returned to my little glowing computer screen, it had become a reality.
Not having flown further than Europe before, I did wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew. This could prove to be an ordeal. Twenty four hours, with a couple of stops in Munich and Singapore along the way, cooped up in a glorified tin can.
But it has to be said, it was “too easy, no dramas”. I think all the food served on the plane took mum’s mind of the actual flying. At one point I thought I’d fallen asleep and woken up in the middle of an episode of Man (or mum) versus Food!
Surely, she didn’t have room for a Magnum ice cream after ALL th……..oh wait……
|Mary versus food|
In no time at all we had touched down on Australian soil, were in a cab, zooming across the city, and Mary was in Mosman.
What followed was a fantastic 3 weeks of showing mum around the back yard. Where I have chosen to currently call home. Show her what keeps me here.
One thing I had resolved to do was get mum being a bit more adventurous when eating out. Go to any pub / café / restaurant with mum, hand her the world’s largest menu, and I can predict with eerie accuracy what she will order. “Scampi and chips please son.”
Well, we were having none of that on this holiday. Although she did try.
I’m not sure she was too impressed when on one of her first days here, I took her for seafood. With NO scampi. Her face was a picture when I offered her some octopus tentacles. And prawns that required the heads pulling off, and peeling were not what she was used to from Wetherspoon’s.
Another first was a wine tasting trip. Being Sydney’s most loyal customer, Sam the owner provided my trip at half price, with a promise that my next visit would be complimentary. I am already checking the calendar for when I will be taking him up on this offer.
I had purposefully chosen this particular trip, as on the way to the Hunter, we have morning coffee at a wildlife centre. Giving you the opportunity to get up and close with all your Australian favourites, although I think this little fella is everyone’s fave!
I think the wine was less of a hit with mum, but I benefited from this, having double tastings. Now this was MY kind of trip J
|Can't see any shrimps on that barbie!|
Other highlights included the Mother’s Day lunch trip around the Harbour, a trip to Summer Bay (aka Palm Beach), an amazing high tea at Boronia House, a visit to Bondi beach (everybody has to on their first trip, despite what the locals say), and the numerous BBQs we had.
A particular highlight for me was mum frequenting the many stores in Mosman. Could I keep her out of the haberdashery? How much knitting can one granny do? And who would call a homeware store “Bird bath and Table”? Nobody but mum it seems…
Mum, we had a great time. You were a fantastic house guest. I miss you every day. And I look forward to seeing you again on these shores next year.