Birdsong and Snow

There have been a couple of mornings recently when I have woken to birds singing. It is still dark out, with hours to go before the sun eventually comes up, but somewhere out there, the little birds are singing away.

I presume this is a sign that spring is on the way. It’s an odd thought, as it has coincided with weather that epitomises winter for me: snow. It hasn’t been heavy snow; it left barely a sprinkling on the ground. But, it fell frequently for consecutive days. Each time I looked out the window, there was a good chance I’d see the white flakes drifting down.

Snow-dusted rooftops

Snow-dusted rooftops

We had heavier snow falls earlier in the season, where the snow blanketed the ground, and took days to finally melt away. They were exciting, but seeing snow fall day after day reminds me that I now live somewhere where it snows in winter.

Sydney Beaches

A few photos of Sydney’s sandy beaches…

Beach culture, Manly

Beach culture, Manly

Swim between the flags

Swim between the flags, Manly

Lifeguard tower, Cronulla

Lifeguard tower, Cronulla

Bundeena

Bundeena

Manly Beach

Manly Beach

Sydney Views

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.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

View of the Harbour Bridge from the Botanic Gardens

View of the Harbour Bridge from the Botanic Gardens

Entrance to the Botanic Gardens

Entrance to the Botanic Gardens

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Aussie Barbeque

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.

Meat on the bbq

Meat on the bbq

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.

Homemade bread and butter

Homemade bread and butter

Mum's pavlova

Mum’s pavlova

Flowering Jacarandas

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.

Jacarandas at Darling Harbour

Jacarandas at Darling Harbour

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.

Jacarandas line the streets at Milsons Point

Jacarandas line the streets at Milsons Point

The flowers will soon carpet the ground below, to be replaced by new leaves, and the Jacarandas will fade quietly into the background again.

Jacaranda outside Sydney Town Hall

Jacaranda outside Sydney Town Hall