A few photos of Sydney’s sandy beaches…
During our trip to Sydney, we made the most of the warm weather to take in the harbour and beaches. When the sun shines, Sydney sparkles in vivid colour, and there’s just something about the warm, humid sea breeze.
Living in the gastronomic capital of France ensures we are surrounded by amazing food, and a seemingly endless collection of new things to try. Still, there are things I miss that are hard to come by in France. So, our trip to Australia became something of a gastronomic event. This was not fine dining gastronomy, it was simple pleasures, mostly enjoyed outdoors.
To start our visit, my parents organised a barbeque. Sausages, steak, chicken wings, and a collection of salads contributed by various family members were all enjoyed in the backyard. The beer, wine, and conversation flowed freely. And it was finished off with my Mum’s signature pavlova.
Our visit to Sydney coincided perfectly with the flowering of the Jacaranda trees. For most of the year, these trees blend into the surrounding greenery, but for a few weeks each spring they are crowned in purple flowers.
The streets of Sydney are full of Jacarandas. I’ve always loved the Jacaranda tree in my grandparents’ front garden and the one in my university courtyard, but I’ve never noticed just how prevalent they are. Every time I looked out the window, there seemed to be one in view.
The flowers will soon carpet the ground below, to be replaced by new leaves, and the Jacarandas will fade quietly into the background again.
Most mornings, a market sets up along the Saône River. The market hosts an array of fresh produce, and right at one end there is a flower stall. I was quite surprised to see bunches of what appears to be wattle for sale at the flower stall this week.
I associate wattle so strongly with Australia; I did not expect to see it here in Lyon, let alone at the end of winter.
One of my favourite times to be out and about in a large city is the early morning, as the city slowly comes to life, and before the usual mass of people arrive. It is a time of day you share with delivery drivers, cleaners, and those out exercising and walking their dogs.
Part of my weekly routine in Melbourne included early morning runs by the Yarra River. For a large part of the year I got to watch the sun rise during those runs. I am not naturally awake early in the morning, so getting up was a challenge, but those runs were often the highlight of my day.
This morning, I dragged myself out of a cosy bed and braved the cold for a morning run in Lyon. It is not my first run since arriving, but it is the first one I’ve done in the early morning. Similar to Melbourne, my route takes me along the river, this time the Rhône.
As my lungs burned with the cold air, I focussed on the pale pink morning sky and the buildings across the river with purple smoke drifting from their chimneys and the fire orange sun reflected in their windows. There is something about running in a city before the day begins that really makes it feel like yours, and I imagine my new routine here will see many more sunrises by the river.
Our final weeks in Australia were a whirlwind of packing and catching up with family and friends. Thank you to everyone who hosted events for us and had us as guests. We had a wonderful time.
After a 38 hour journey, we find ourselves on the other side of the world and at the start of a great adventure.
Happy Christmas from Graham and me. I hope you have a wonderful day.
My work colleagues hosted a surprise farewell lunch for me this week, and gave me an amazing bunch of Australian native flowers and a bag of goodies that are difficult to find elsewhere in the world.
It was a lovely event. Thank you to everyone involved.
One of the things I love about living in the centre of Melbourne is being able able to shop at the Queen Victoria Market. Our market visits are usually limited to early mornings before work, but last week we went to the night market as well.
Over summer, there is a night market each Wednesday. The night market is more about entertainment than shopping. The usual stalls are transformed into seating areas, food vendors, and stages for live music. There are a handful of other stalls selling handmade soaps and candles, homemade fudge, and other pretty gift ideas.
While we were there, we took the opportunity to wander around the dairy hall. It was after closing time, and the normally crowded space was unusually quiet.