Darling Harbour, Aquarium and Roosters

Our second day we decided to use up one of  our attraction tickets and go to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. We got up late and Uber’d it down to beautiful Darling Harbour.

We walked along the water front stopped and had some food and then made our way to the Aquarium. The Aquarium was nice, not fantastic but then we do have pretty spectacular one here in Dubai so unfortunately we have been spoilt. However we very much enjoyed finding out all about Dugong’s and although we only got see the arse end of one it was interesting all the same.They had been rescued and put on a rehabilitation program, one had been released but was found again washed up on a beach/rocks and the other wasn’t ready. The penguin expedition was fun too, there is a little boat ride that last about 5-8 minutes and it takes you round the enclosure (they call it a colony, it’s not!)) of King & Gentoo penguins. It was freezing and the kids had a fab time. I know a lot of these places are above-board and they tend to rescue all their animals but sometimes the enclosures just don’t look big enough for the animals to flourish. Don’t get me wrong I know the Aquarium was doing all it can to help and constantly raise money for the animals. Anyhoo after the aquarium we made our way to the Allianz Stadium home of the Sydney Roosters  to watch them play against the Newcastle Knights. When we went to New York we took both children to see The New York Mets (Miss C was still in the Ergo) so we wanted to catch a local match here too.  We sat down got comfy and the heavens opened lashing rain!! The kids thought it was hilarious scrambling over the seats to get into the covered area.  We left after the first half as although we had enjoyed it, we thought the children had learned enough swear words and profanities for one day!! If you ask them both what their favourite parts of the day were Miss C: It raining at the match, LPV: the men shouting at the match……There you go folks, trip of a lifetime!  The swearing really didn’t bother me, you can’t keep your kids sheltered from it, plus they hear a few choice words from me on the school run, however they were being introduced to a WHOLE bunch of new ones that I didn’t care to explain. We had the same conversation as always “adult/bad words, repeat them and I’ll kill you etc and got a uber home!

An affair to remember

Dear Dubai, I’ve cheated on you, I’m not sorry, I didn’t think about you the entire time, in fact you didn’t cross my mind once and I will do again…………You want to know who with, you say? Ok…..It was with Australia.

Yes it happened as I knew it  would, I fell in love with Australia, now I have been known to fall for other places like Hong Kong but this time it was different. Australia is a place you would never tire off. a great outdoor lifestyle, beautiful greenery and fresh air, laid back and friendly people. Expensive? Yes but so worth it. From the minute we arrived we were greeted by a really friendly taxi driver, who gave us tips on where to go, to buy an Opal card (which was a godsend). Rather than selling us 4 adult ones the newsagent sent us somewhere else  to buy children’s ones. You can use these on all forms of public transport and it makes life so much easier and top up when they needed it. Our Uber drivers were so fanatstic and full of local knowledge too and as an added bonus knew where they were going. Our first airbnb was in Birchgrove, Balmain. A 10 minute walk to the ferry crossing and park just down the road which the kids loved. On our doorstep a newsagents, corner shop, launderette and cafe. With a high street about 10 minutes away too. I swear now with children Airbnb is the only way to go. The house we rented was spacious enough, had a big enough kitchen I cook a basis meal for 4, we ate lunch out most days but eating out in Sydney isn’t cheap and we would have gone through our budget like no ones business. Birchgrove had no wifi or TV so we downloaded a few Netflix programs for the kids but they basically made their own fun playing with some toys we brought with us. In the evenings EPD and I sat outside on the terrace with a beer or wine and read our books, he read 5 and I’m still working through mine, god damn you Outlander series for being so thick!!!! and talked. I feel like as a family we re connected without the distraction of electronics. I know not being able to go on FB every 5 minutes did my head the world of good. It was us in our little world and we didn’t need anyone else. The house was nothing fancy at all, in fact it did lack a bit of character but it was clean and comfortable and did its job of being a base for us. Our 2nd Airbnb in the Blue Mountains was spectacular and will  into more details when I get to that point of our trip.

Our first day In Sydney is when I fell in love, we caught the ferry to Circular Quay, had lunch along the harborside and took a walk up around the opera house, all through the botanical garden and then to Sydney Tower.

 

 

It was hot but hot lovely not sticky or humid. The Gardens were beautiful and the children loved running and exploring. The Opera House was everything I expected it to be, feeling so surreal that we were actually stood in front of it. We took some token photos but didn’t go inside.

 

We then moved on to  Sydney tower which was fabulous though and actually great value for money as when we brought our entry ticket we got an offer that covered two other attractions in Sydney. We watched a 3D short film about Australia and then headed up in the lift! By the time we got to Sydney tower we had pretty much reached our limit and being jet lagged we had a look from the 360’C viewing area and then headed home to sleep off the jet lag and start afresh the next day! It was a great day and everyone was pooped I went to bed with a big smile on my face knowing I was going to enjoy EVERY minute of this trip of a lifetime.

Stop making it so complicated

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A friend/my old midwife  for a laugh posted this on her FB page yesterday. I do laugh at these things myself. However I can honestly say that I have probably subconsciously stored a few bits of this meme to drive me crazy at any given time in the future and convince me I’m doing a terrible job as a mother. I can put my hand up right now and say “Hello I am Expat Mammy and I feel that working full-time at my children’s school since last September had a detrimental effect on my son academically” Why? because I was always to tired to put the time in for his homework, his reading, his spelling. Ok not entirely my fault, if he put as much time in energy in to his school work that he does to fighting Pokémon he’d be a flipping genius.

My point is, how many of us actually take all this in and worry that we don’t do it? I know I do, every time I shout I’m worried I’ll be spending our retirement fund on therapy. It’s us we are doing this to ourselves. I think as a society we share too much (she say’s bearing her soul on a SM platform) we are always out to impress someone, we brag about our lifestyles (Dubai is the worse for this) we talk about things that some Mammies were blissfully unaware of and now they are getting their knickers in a twist because are doing or not doing the right thing. And why? Why are we trying to impress, mostly people who really don’t care, they’re just friends with you on social media to be nosey?

So confession time!

I’m not actually sure that I’m taking care of my children’s academic, psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, nutritional and social needs on a daily basis. I know I tell them I love them on a daily basis, I cook for them…..Sometimes pasta with sauce from a  jar as they have swimming lessons…BOOM, Physical needs right there Expatmammy 1 Society 0. I do homework, read with them. Multilingual house? EPD speaks Irish to them when I nag him and I guess Bristolian is a language in itself so I’ve got that covered. I don’t want to helicopter as half the time if we’re in the park I just want them to leave me alone for 5 minutes, just me? We live in a villa, in a badly lit street where cars drive really fast, I can’t let them out to play in the compound because the swimming pool scares me…. First world problems. I take them to the Dr for anti B’s when they are sick, I definiately understimulate when I’m hungover!  Oh and I hate coconut oil, it makes everything taste like rabbit hutch.

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LPV: I hate you, we didn’t live in a cul-de-sac and that ruined my life Mammy!! Miss C: Hmmmm, what bad stuff can I get away with and blame it on my parents?