G'day mate...

...and welcome to my first Aussie blog. I'm typing this as a sit outside on our little patio listening to various birds make strange sounding noises (that's not a nice way to talk about your mother you say, ho ho ho). It's just before 7am here and it's pleasantly warm, though it feels a lot more humid than it did yesterday. I've just glanced up into the bush behind our house and seen something move. Fearing for crocs (we're close to a very large river) I shot up and looked around. Not a croc. A wallaby. A little hoppy wallaby just casually bounced into the area behind our house. Mum managed to get a few snaps, just as proof that I'm not making this up.

But we made it. Sure, it took 28 hours and three flights across ten timezones, but we flew with Emirates. And I'm really never going to complain about it taking five hours to get from London to Edinburgh again.

For starters, we almost didn't get on the plane. Feeling very sad and weepy, I was giving Mum a hug rather than concentrating as I went through security, thus forgetting to take my makeup and laptop (and other electrical goods) out of my hand luggage for inspection. Cue a very understanding security man (who took one look at my red rimmed eyes and decided I wasn't a terrorist, or if I was then not a very good one) who bagged up the liquids for me properly and scanned everything I owned for bomb dust (or similar).

(I've now just had a weird bird wander into our yard. No idea what it is but there's tons of them. They look like really rubbish turkey's with black feathers and sunset heads. It's like living in a zoo. I've now been told they're an actual breed of turkey. Weird.)

Our first seven hour 'hop' to Dubai was OK. I had a window seat which always makes me happy (mind of a child) just a shame that Emirates decided to turn the heating up to volcanic levels. This was made all the more enjoyable by the heating vent by my feet which not only meant that I couldn't stretch out, but also that I felt hotter than anyone else. At one point I genuinely poured water over myself to cool off. We also had the pleasure of squeezing past an odd man sat on the aisle who preferred to not get up when we wanted to get out. He'd also opted for an eight hour wait in Dubai before a connecting flight to Mumbai rather than going directly from heathrow because he 'only lives 20 minutes from Birmingham so it's so convenient'. Strange man.

After an hour or so in Dubai (where I thouroughly enjoyed an iced lemonade) we got onto our blissfully quiet fourteen hour marathon to Brisbane. If we'd drawn the short straw on our previous flight, we had the longest straw in the world on this one. It was so quiet we managed to get three seats each to stretch out on. Heaven. I had books on my kindle, thousands of films, music and TV shows on my little telly screen and red wine on tap. Really darling, you haven't lived until you've watched a thunderstorm from 30,000 feet while sipping merlot and listening to Debussy. Probably one of the most pretentious things I've ever thought or felt.

Having dreaded the flight it was really very enjoyable. I'd have happily stayed on for a few more hours. But after a short film about Aussie quarantine laws (featuring a woman being stopped by a sniffer dog to reveal....an apple in her hand luggage!!! And another woman (sexist) getting caught by the X-ray machines attempting to smuggle in...a wooden african drum!!!) we had to disembark. We spent most of the immigration queue laughing about the apple smuggler so obviously the one person on our flight to be stopped by the sniffer dog at quarantine would be my Mum. She was let off, and is still certain that the dog could smell her 'double long haul flight without a shower' aroma.

My favourite airport warning sign goes to: "It doesn't matter where you are in the world, peaodophilia is still an Australian crime'. I'm really not sure that they meant it to imply what it appears to imply...

Most of the little domestic flight to Townsville was spent reading and lauging at Australian Sky news. They spent ten minutes talking about HRH the Queen's superb choice of hat. I also had no idea that the Aussie's were so fond of our monarch, it made me feel a lot better about my new choice of home.

Townsville greeted us well, with low humidity and blue skies. Having not experienced proper hot weather for four years, it took about an hour after moving in to go for a swim. That's right, our complex has a pool. -smug face- Feeling sleepy after our five lengths (and not because of the jet lag) Mum and I went for a sleep.

Waking up after an hour was hellish beyong belief. My body did not want to comply and thank God mum was there to wake me up or I'd have slept straight through.

It's very disorientating to not have the use of internet or a car. We'd been provided with milk, bread, butter, jam and tea (basically an Enid Blyton picnic) but had nothing in the way of 'food' food so we went for a walk to forage. Well, we didn't find a shop but we did find a little complex with bars and a cafe right on the river. Deciding that alcohol has fed us more than vegetables anyway we opted to stay for a drink. I was delighted to find they had strongbow (which is much sweeter here) but very confused by the option of a 'schooner' or a 'pot'. Thankfully Mum speaks the lingo and translated for me.

Saints be praised there was an offie nearby, so we got some tonic for our gin and some medicinal red wine to go with our dinner of Pizza Hut pepperoni. Yum.

Exhausted, I sloped off to bed at 9. I've been pretty skeptical about jet lag, feeling more concerned about the tiredness than waking up. So I was rather surprised to find that when I woke up feeling rejuvanted it was only 90 minutes after I'd turned off the light. This pattern repeated every couple of hours but I did manage to sleep until 6am which is pretty good for a first timer.

I'm not feeling too homesick at the moment, but I imagine that'll kick in in a couple of days. It's hard to not be able to connect with people instantly, so I'm keen to get internet sorted sharpish. I need skype back in my life. At the moment everything's so new and exciting that feeling sad isn't emotionally possible.

Anyway, that bring us up to now. Breakfast is finished and the wallaby has run away. I had some vegemite which is nothing like marmite because marmite is THE DEVIL and vegemite is quite nice if spread thinly. We're pretty much unpacked and I have pictures up and all of my leaving cards on my bedside table. I sent over the tea I purchased at Buckingham Palace and Mum has her twinings earl grey so that's OK. Today we will hopefully get a car and look into internet. Plans are being made to clear the yard and to perhaps drive up to Mission beach next weekend.

But before all that, I'm going for a morning swim.

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