Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Winter festival abandoned....

... due to bad weather!
We had planned to go to the Winter Festival in the city on Saturday, but the weather was AWFUL! It bucketed down the whole day... so we had Helen/Chris and Jo/Paul over for pizza and watched the first series of the Inbetweeners!

The rest of the weekend went like this:

Friday - lunch with the girls to welcome Kim back from the UK... and to collect the goodies she so kindly bought us!

Friday night - Ross Noble at the Acer Arena. We had free tickets thanks to Sali and Andy. Noble was soooo random, but very funny. The highlight of the night was shouting Cramlington at him with Julia and Jo. Cramlington is his home town, and also happens to be our Julia's home town!

Saturday - as described above!

Sunday - a complete change in weather! It was lovely and sunny... so we enjoyed a lovely brunch on the beach followed by a big food shop.

This low key weekend will be offset nicely by our trip to Hunter Valley next weekend! There are 10 of us and a dog going. Really looking forward to leaving Sydney for the first time since we have been here! Don't feel too sorry for us - we live on a beach - everyday is a holiday!!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Food shopping- no room for snobbery

I always had different shops for different food at home -
Asda/ Morrisons for staples like crisps/ baked beans/ detergents/ fruit and veg/ branded stuff (always had offers so good for stocking up!)
Tescos for fresh pasta/ dips/ nice bread etc
Indian shops for masalas/ indian veg and pulses
M&S for treats like Percy pigs/ tea cakes etc

Here, life is a bit more complicated!
There are only 2 main Supermarket chains - Woolworths (I guess Tesco) and Coles (Asda/Morrisons). The main problem is that they pretty much sell the same things, Woolworths is just more expensive!

The added contender here is.... Aldi!
The snob in me would never have dreamt of buying none branded Baked Beans etc in Aldi at home (I wouldn't normally even buy a supermarkets own brand for most food things unless it was Tesco Finest!)
New country, new rules! I figured that most of the brand names here would be new to me anyway, so why not try something different...
The added bonus is that Aldi here often have English imports too - I recently bought Marmite and McVities Digestives (milk chocolate and original!).

We always have to do a top up shop in Coles as you can't get everything in Aldi, but this new attitude has allowed me to not only reduce our shopping bill by about a third, but also led me to the discovery that Aldi Houmous is infact MUCH nicer than anything I have bought from Coles and Woolies!!

Lastly, Sydney has not yet suffered the death of the High Street like London has - there are lots of lovely delis, speciality shops and bakeries to buy yummy stuff - at a price though! I could buy proper Bisto gravy granuales from the Expat shop as long as I don't mind paying the equivalent of £4 for it!

On that note, please can I remind everyone that might be visiting soon to bring us any of the following:
Hula Hoops, Skips, Prawn Cocktail Walkers,Squares, Toffee Crisps, Mini eggs.... oh sod it - any crisps and chocolates!!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Talking to strangers...

Having grown up in London, my manners end at please and thank you, holding doors open and sometimes not pretending to be asleep and giving up my well earned seat on the Northern Line!
So when we first got here, it was a bit weird that the woman in the bank wanted to know all about what we had planned for the weekend!

Don't worry - I have adapted well... I quite look forward to going to pay the rent on a Thursday now... last week Chris at Commonwealth Bank in Manly told me all about how May-June were the warmest months to go for a swim in the sea (yea, I think I will take your word for it!)

Clothes shopping is still a bit scarey as the shop assistant insists on following you around and taking anything you pick up from you and leaving it in the changing room for you!

The funniest story I heard was from a girl I used to work with who knew the first names of the 3 bus drivers that were on her route to work (one bus, different driver depending on what time she came in, I think!)... she knew their kids names and even bought them Christmas presents! Bless her!

It still freaks me out sometimes though... a few weeks ago, Helen and I were in a bottleshop (an Off Licence to some of you).. this old lady who looked like Pat Butcher at 80, leppard print coat and all, was starring at me. So I apologised for being in her way and got my vodka (what?? it was for sharing, honest!) and moved out of her way. As I walked past, she touched my arm and told me I was "a beautiful colour"!! All I managed to do was say thanks!

So, although I think its lovely that school kids always give up their seats on buses here and everyone thanks the bus driver when they get off, I think it will be a while before I am on first name terms with him!!

I am, after all, British, and we are taught to not talk to strangers!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

I take it back!

I take back all my moaning about the weather! We went to Balmoral Beach for brunch with Mark and Anita today - it was 19 degrees and amazing!

I went to the Dirty Dancing Wrong Prom this week with some of the girls.... it was basically a mass dance lesson put on by a dance school in Sydney - was a great laugh... and we now have a little routine we will no doubt be showing off at our next girlie night out!

Sydney is currently hosting a festival called Vivid Sydney- Sydney's festival of Music, Light and Ideas. The coolest thing about this Festival is the light projections they are dong on the Opera house... they change every 15 minutes and are very, very cool!

Photograph courtesy of Helen Roebuck!

For those of you that aren't on Facebook, click here for some pictures of our winter in Sydney... so far!

Monday, 8 June 2009

A weekend of much food and drink!

Things really are different here - we are having a bank holiday weekend, and the weather has been AMAZING all weekend!

We spent Saturday at the Manly Food and Wine Festival... or as I came to know it, the Wine and Wine festival!

In my defence, there was a noted lack of vegetarian food... and I am told that the Indian food stand was sub standard... so, if we are still here next year, we are seriously going to look into having a stand at the festival!

The rest of the foodie weekend included a Sunday roast (although I missed out on the Yorkshire pudding), Homemade apple crumble with the Apprentice final and a yummy Lebanese feast in Surry Hills!

I will not be stepping on the weighing scales for a few days!

The Apprentice final deserves a special mention...
I refused to log onto Facebook and Twitter yesterday until I had watched it - and boy was I glad I did! No lees than 17 of my Facebook friends had Apprentice related statuses! My personal favourite was Priyen threatening AGAIN to apply... put your money where your mouth is P Man... not that we need another Shah embarassing us - once was really enough!!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

We are... NOMADS

I recently had a conversation with some Aussie friends about what Sham and I consider ourselves to be...
This made me think, well we are Indian Brits living in Oz, and both of our families came to England via East Africa!

Dictionary.com defines nomads as

no⋅mad  /ˈnoʊmæd/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [noh-mad] Show IPA –noun

1. a member of a people or tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of the pasturage or food supply.

2. any wanderer; itinerant.

Ok, so our ancesters didn't move seasonally as far as I know, but since the 1930s, they have moved pretty much generationlly (I think I made that word up!). They didn't follow a tradional route as such, but they did follow a tried and tested route by following other members of the "tribe".
With that in mind, I sincerely hope that some of my family do follow in our footsteps - even if its just to visit!

Interesting... re Queens birthday...

I have just found out that the queen actually has a second birthday in June because her actual birthday is in April and April showers make celebrating her birthday not so fun!!

Actually, its something about official birthday duties such as parades etc being better in June... makes sense!

The funny thing is, I often joke that I wanted to move here because I hated having a winter birthday... Liz, I like your idea of 2 birthdays though! ;-)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Happy birthday your majesty...

This weekend will be a bank holiday here (for the queens birthday!)
Its nice cos the UK have loads this time of year, and I think some of my expat friends might be missing them... me not so much, as with no job, every day is a bank holiday! lol

We have a nice food filled weekend planned:
Saturday, there is a food and wine festival on here in Manly
Sunday, we are going for a YUMMY roast for my friend Becs birthday- hope there is Yorkshire puds!
Monday, Sham is working, but we are planning to meet Neal for dinner in the city.
Tuesday, will probably need to start the diet!

The best part is that it looks like the weather might be ok again by the weekend - Sydney has been on a spin cycle all week!

If you liked this, you might like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails