Barbers and riots

Jamie – 12 August 2011

I’m one of those guys who prefers the “zero conversation” haircut.  Chatty barbers are not something I seek or want.  So the strength of this preference was tested yesterday when I passed a barber in Aldgate who advertised free haircuts in exchange for stimulating conversation on current affairs, politics and religion. Interesting concept – particularly given the riots, financial market turmoil, royal wedding, etc.  I mean without even trying there is a lot of stuff to talk about.  But it’s not really free is it?  It’s like sitting your final year examinations again where the marker is standing over you providing a real-time assessment with sharp metal instruments.   No thanks.  Later in the day I paid nine quid to the local guy who said nothing and did the job in 15 minutes.

Onto the riots.  Thank you firstly to the many family members and friends who have emailed to check on our wellbeing.  Thank you also to those who pointed out that when we were in Athens there were riots. Now we are in London. Riots.  To those people I recommend avoiding Paris next week as that is where we will be.

We have had a truly amazing month in London and it is sad that this is happening in our last few days. That said, apart from a massive police presence everywhere and having to endure blanket media coverage, we have thankfully been able to steer clear of the trouble spots.  Mounted police are something of a novelty for Australians. There are lots of them over here.  We have been woken the last few nights to the surreal sound of horses walking up and down our suburban Fulham street. Clip clop clip clop. Quite reassuring really. Helps to counter the distant sirens that also punctuate our nights.

The last week has been fantastic.  We have visited Hampton Court Palace where we met Henry VIII, or an actor who looked very much like him. Foster and Mylo cruised through the maze and then got cranky that Dad took half an hour to emerge.

We caught up with many of my old friends – including ones in Henley-on-Thames and Monks Risborough where the countryside and villages are unbelievably beautiful and where we were spoilt with hospitality.  Bec and I also joined our great friends Nick and Jane van Marken for a wonderful night out at Zuma, an outstanding Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge where the quality of the food is unsurpassed.

We also again availed ourselves of the cheap babysitting – this time for the whole day – and at Bec’s suggestion set off to explore the Spitalfields markets in East London.  These are amazing markets where you can buy everything from WW2 Spitfire parts to the latest in High Street fashion (for a fraction of the price). Some of the authenticity was questionable but the characters we met, the enormous range of what was being sold, and the temporary absence of children made for a very enjoyable day.  The babysitter also appeared remarkably unaffected when we returned which astounded me.

Travelling with young children is worthy of an entire blog in itself and maybe I will attempt it sometime, but not today. Suffice to say we love our children very much and could not think of doing a trip like this without them. But (sorry Dad, I know you hate that word) – it has also been frustrating, tiring and trying.  You need, as they say, the patience of Job.  As parents/adults it is hard to see the world through a child’s eye but that is indeed what we are forced to do every day of our travels.  Some days it is incredibly rewarding. Other days it is a slog.  All things considered however we wouldn’t swap it for the world.

…..OK, maybe I’d swap it for a romantic week in Paris one time, just Bec and I. Next time sweetheart!

Henry VIII (2011 version)

Proof

We're out. Where's Dad?

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Reindeer

Jamie – 6 August 2011

I lived in London for three years about 20 years ago.  I was 12 kilos lighter and a committed long distance runner.  These last two facts are obviously related.  While I moved around a bit in that time I spent about a year living next to Richmond Park in south west London, and this was a 2,500 acre runner’s paradise.

In summer, when the sun sets well after 9pm, I would run a lap of the park (15kms) three nights a week after work.  The last 3 kms would often involve a race against one of the double-decker buses going along Upper Richmond Rd.  It was always a close race.  They would beat me easily on the straights but each time they came to another stop (about every 500m) I would catch up and pass them.  Inevitably it would come down to how many stops the bus had to make and how good my legs were feeling that day.  There was a bit of pride on the line too as some of the passengers realized what I was trying to do and would stop reading their Evening Standard to watch the contest.

Sometimes I did a half lap and cut through the centre of the park. This felt like you were in the middle of the English countryside, hundreds of miles from any city, and also came with the delight (and sometimes danger) of running amongst 650 free-roaming deer.  The deer mostly just watched you go by but occasionally, at certain times of the year, they get a bit territorial and would give you a little charge.  That certainly put an extra spring in my step.  Not that it ever came to anything. I recall another runner’s advice that if one of the deer charged proper I should zig-zag as they drop their head to bring those magnificent antlers into play, and quickly give up once they realize they keep going in the wrong direction.

So it was with fond memories and the promise of reindeer that I took the children off to Richmond Park yesterday.  The deer did not disappoint.

After being told we might see deer if we walked 2 mile down one of the many park roads (not an attractive option with three young children and no guarantee of a sighting) we were spoilt with about 20 males, complete with fully grown antlers, cresting one of the nearby hills and walking straight towards us.  We all froze; ready to duck behind a nearby tree. To our amazement they just wandered past us, probably about 25 metres away, and proceeded to walk straight into a nearby pond, shaded by large weeping willows.  It was a hot day and they just wanted to cool off.  They didn’t mind the four Adamsons and a lovely old-timer sitting by the pond watching them having a dip.  Our new friend said he had been coming to the park every week for over twenty years and had never seen them descend into that particular pond en-masse like that.  It felt like we had been given a special private viewing.  After about a quarter of an hour they exited the pond and marched back up the hill.

The children, who had been somewhat difficult that morning, were mesmorized by the sight of these magnificent animals and talked (calmly) about little else all the way home on the bus. Something about animals always brings out the best in children.  Their only disappointment was that none of the reindeer appeared to have a red nose.

Mylo stood like this for about 10 minutes without talking. A new record.

Richmond Park. The deer descending down the hill.

Cooling off

Can you see any with a red nose?

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A London update

Jamie – 1 August 2011

It has been a while between blogs.  Halfway through our London time and we have been busy in a relaxed kind of way. Here are some recent stories from the last couple of days:

Foster and Mylo today attended a wonderful football (i.e. soccer) skills training camp which was hosted by the Fulham FC at Hurlingham Park, a short walk from where we are living.  It ran from 9-3 and goes for the rest of the week (catering to children on their summer school holidays).  They had a great time making new friends and are keen to go back tomorrow.  Mylo met another Mylo. Foster introduced himself to the first girl he met.  She also had a cool name – Isis! We watched a woman running laps around the oval. Impressive given it was a hot day.  Doubly impressive as she was wearing a full Burka.

While the boys were developing their soccer skills Bec, Sari and I headed off to the V&A (a.k.a The Victoria and Albert Museum), one of the world’s great art and design museums.  Sari and Bec joined a program where they were sent off with pencil and paper to study and record some of the geometric patterns used in Arabic and South-East Asian art which was displayed in one of the galleries.  They then translated those patterns into a tile using materials (coloured card, etc) that the museum supplied.  One of those great collaborative efforts which they both loved and which culminated in the perfect souvenir of the day.

Yesterday I joined some friends at “The Cloudy Bay Shack on Parsons Green”. This is an annual summer local event where this classic NZ winery teams up with a famous London chef (this year Skye Gyngell from the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries Cafe) for a grand picnic. For ten pounds you get a main course, matching glass of wine and about an acre of grassy common to sit and enjoy it all in.  Londoners it seems think of their commons in the same way that Australians think of their beaches – the perfect place to spend a warm summer afternoon.   I had a great time.

While I was taking in some sun and Sauvignon Blanc, Bec and the children headed off to the Tower of London where they learnt all about the final days of many of England’s famous historic figures and got to see some knights re-enacting a “tourney”, or mock fight (later known as a tournament).  They loved seeing history in action.

A couple of days ago Foster and I went to the Science Museum where we learnt all about everything from fluid dynamics to the history of x-ray.  It is one of those great interactive museums built for young children with thousands of levers to pull, buttons to push and films to watch. Mylo, Bec and Sari meanwhile were next door in the Natural History Museum to help Mylo research his “Mini-beast” school assignment.  He chose the red-back spider, naturally.

So we are doing quite a lot, but letting the children set the pace (more or less).  Some days we revert to more “normal” activities – seeing a film, or going shopping.  The strength of the Australian dollar makes a huge difference.  The going rate for babysitters is seven pounds an hour (about ten dollars).  Needless to say Bec and I are making the most of that with plenty of restaurant visits with friends, and the odd show – we are off to see Jersey Boys this Thursday.

The knights fighting (maybe over Sari!)

History alive .. presenting food and drink to the Queen

Oh yeah .. we also went on the London Eye !

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Open Mind….Open Heart

Bec – 27th July 2011

I adore alot of things about travelling…but my most favourite thing… is that whilst broadening your mind you seem to drop your inhibitions and leave yourself open to all sorts of experiences that just happen to you along the way.

I had one of those experiences on the train ride back from Brighton Beach two days ago.

We had all had a long day at the seaside and everyone was ready for a nap on the one hour train ride back to London. I however can not travel facing backwards (due to motion sickness) and decided to move to another carriage.

With Sari on my hip I found the last two empty chairs opposite a lady that was penning what looked like a tomb of a novel in a notebook and I caught myself thinking about the lack of journal writing that I had done.

As soon as we got settled, Sari went off to sleep across my legs and I was looking forward to an hour of quiet dozing.

The two girls…….two rows behind me…. had other thoughts.

What started off as an interesting discussion on how they would design a two week itinerary going around New Zealand very quickly descended into an episode of ‘Two Idiots Abroad’.

I wondered how they could possibly be compatible travelling partners if they couldn’t even decide what direction to travel in.

If I heard the word Auckland one more time I was going to scream … and then it happend…the lady opposite me read my frustrated mind and we turned and both mouthed ‘shut up’ at the same time.

A perfect mirror of my thoughts…and after that the giggles instantly set in.

I learnt she had two boys…Fraser and James and other than the fact that I had a third child..Sari…..we were living the same lives on opposite sides of the world.

With the time we had left on the train we shared frustrations, regrets, joys and sibling issues. I had met a kindred spirit… and all too quickly we had pulled into Victoria Station.

With a big hug Jane farewelled me and walked off to her life.

I wondered that night if I really had met her…. or whether in the twilight of sleep… I had simply imagined this wonderful person whom I had downloaded on.

This is the true travel experience…using every opportunity to make the most of each moment. To learn things about others and how they live their lives. To take what you find and somehow use it to enrich your own.

My children are total professionals when it comes to that. Within five minutes in a place they have made friends..whether it be because the other child was the same age as them or because they had a soccer ball on them.

They have worked out they you don’t even have to speak the same language……….

Acts of friendship speak louder than any words.

Best Of Friends

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Brighton and the Black Ninja

Jamie – 24 July 2011

Today was one of those days that came together late, was largely unplanned, and became a trip highlight. Orlando Gemes (one of Foster’s godfathers) and his lovely wife Ana-Maria suggested we all went on a day trip to Brighton. Brighton, as many know, is one of the UK’s favorite “beach” destinations, and today was forecast to be the warmest UK day in many weeks.

The day began with a laugh when Sari came across a woman dressed head to toe in a black burka (with only her eyes showing) sitting in our local bus stop. As many of you know, Sari is the dress-up Queen and she was mightily impressed! She immediately yelled to her brothers to come over and see “the Black Ninja”. It was a truly cringe-worthy moment which Bec did well to recover from with a sincere apology to the woman – who had said nothing and of course we didn’t know if she was laughing or scowling – and a public explanation to Sari that it was in fact a religious dress.

We then went by bus to Victoria Station and train (one hour) to Brighton.

Brighton Beach is wonderful and quite unlike any Australian beach. The beach is made entirely of pebbles (imported apparently, in preference to the sand which sits beneath we were told by a local). What really got our attention though were all the Brits playing on the beach in their Sunday bests – men and boys in suits (with ties) and girls in velvet dresses. Our Crocs somehow seemed very inappropriate.

Then there were the sunbathers who, despite a strong and biting breeze, were determined to lie on the beach. To do this required them to cocoon themselves in what looked like a sleeping-bag, which rather defeated the “sun-bathing” to my mind. They were however wearing bikinis inside the sleeping bag so they did get that bit right.

Orlando had been to Brighton before and introduced us to the wonderful cobbled lane-ways that branch off the main beach promenade. Jewelery stores, clothing shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs – many looking like they probably did two hundred years ago. Orlando took us to one of the best seafood restaurants I have ever been to in my life (Riddle & Finns – write it down) hidden several blocks back in these lane-ways. My “mixed shellfish marinière” was filled with local ingredients many of which were unknown to me – cockles, welts, mussels, razor clams and langoustines. All accompanied by thick slices of homemade bread and some smoked mackerel to smother it in. It was – to use one of my children’s favorite words – awesome!!

Later in the day we walked the famous pier however that didn’t hold any real appeal – lots of people feeding coins into slot games and fast food retailers. Got halfway and turned back. We felt like we had already seen the lovely side of Brighton, and didn’t want to spoil it.

Orlando and Foster

Orlando and Ana Maria

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Getting my nose out of joint

Bec – 20 July 2011

They say that when you are traveling you should throw yourself into a country and experience all that your destination has to offer.

Well…I for one have hopefully had my first and last taste of the National Health Service here in London, due to an englishmen literally throwing himself into my face.

Let me return to the start of a very nice summer day here in Fulham. The temperature was a acceptable 18 degrees and the children and I set out for a ride on the double-decker bus whilst Jamie caught up for lunch with an old friend.

Foster and Mylo had set their sights on Hyde Park, and in particular the Princess Diana Memorial Walk.

The bus pulled up at Hyde Park Corner and we happily exited our ride, ready to enter at the front gates of the park. As I walked along the footpath a man out on his lunch time run, heading in the opposite direction, king hit me in the nose and mouth with his arm or shoulder and failed to stop.

I’m not sure just how he couldn’t have noticed what he had done, seeing at least half a dozen others had.

Two lovely englishmen came to my aid before I crumbled but I thought after a few minutes of rest I would be able to continue.

Maybe in hindsight I wasn’t thinking that clearly!!

After making it through the main gates of Hyde Park, I realized i wasn’t okay and knew I had broken my nose, so I approached a “bobby” and the next thing I remember, the kids and I were sitting in a police car in Hyde Park whilst I was treated by an ambulance officer.

Poor Jamie, after just sitting down to lunch, he receives a call from PC (can’t remember his name) from the Hyde Park Branch. Sir, we have your wife and children with us…your wife has been knocked over by a runner and is being treated for a broken nose!!!

A twenty minute trip to the University College Hospital in Euston found me in a emergency waiting area where I was told that I would have to wait at least 5 hours, even though I was a “priority”!!! I’d hate to know how long a ‘non priority’ case has to wait!!!

The thought of 5 hours in this overcrowded room led me to a decision to abandon the prescribed course of action and we simply left the hospital from hell in a London black cab bound for Fulham!

I’m now at home, on the couch, nursing a fat nose, bruised eyes and swollen face.

I’ve learned two things from this experience. The first being that we do NOT have a bad hospital system in Australia…I will never again complain about a 20 minute wait at my local emergency department. The second and probably most crucial thing…. is something that I have always believed, and was reinforced to me today…. “exercise is dangerous”.

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In your own backyard

Bec – 14 July 2011

Sorry to bombard you with 2 blog entries today but I guess Athens has brought out the ‘blogger’ in us…

We have been on double-decker buses, taxis and on foot around Athens and I don’t think my chin has been anywhere but on the floor. You turn down a tiny street that has air conditioining units dripping water, cars lining the sides of the street whilst others try and negotiate their way between them and Athenians casualing going about their business… and you lift your head a little as you try to see where you are going and you realise that at the end of the street there is the Parthenon, high on a hill staring straight at you… and then it hits you… you are in the middle of history… living history.

I feel like I am the only one seeing it as I gasp in awe and watch these other people taking no notice but then you turn into the next street and you are standing in front of another ruin that has been cornered off by a rope and a sign that reads “Please No Touch”. No one is taking notice and people are certainly touching …but there is no alarm …no officer running after you… just a random Greek person half smiling, shaking their head and tsk tsking you for doing exactly what they do and that is… sticking it to authority.

Greeks hate to be controlled or told what to do…it comes from their long history of being ruled over by so many foreign governments that they don’t even differentiate when they are being ruled by their own countrymen.

They simply want to live and protect the two things that mean most to them …their families and their land…actually make that three…their families…their land …and their food. The latter of which we have certainly had our fair share of.

I am forming in my mind an opinion that Greece is a country that likes to under-promise but over-deliver.

They talk of ‘ruins’ – but I can tell you that there are magnificent structures on almost every corner – orthodox churches covered with byzantine mosaics, whole areas of the city studded with columns and marbles that bring the history textbooks that we read in school jumping out of the pages right at you.

The Greeks come across as very relaxed. You ask them a specific question and they usually come back with an answer that involves a shrugging of the shoulders and words such as…maybe….sometime….soon…… in a little while… but I have yet to catch a plane, boat or bus that did anything but arrive and departed exactly when it said it would …. something I have not experienced in any other countries that I have travelled in around the world.

I knew, from spending time with my wonderful Greek friends and surrogate Yia Yia, that ‘family is Number 1’ in Greece, but once again the words over-deliver spring to mind as I think back of our experiences both in Zakynthos and Athens. Never before have I been celebrated and lead to an “express line” in an airport…….just for having a family. On buses the adults stand up for the children, and in restuarants Jamie and I may as well fade into the background as the staff fuss over the kids making sure they have had enough to eat, and cooing over Sari whenever she comes out with some Greek words.

Greece and its people have won me over and I’m learning her language is full of poetry and beauty. Other than telling some old men in a shop that “I LOVE YOU” rather than “I LOVE IT” all is going well.

I was hoping to be humorous and witty, rather than gushy but seems like I have lost the ability for the mean time. Let’s see how I go in London.

At the end of every street is something wonderful

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The Acropolis

Jamie – 14 July 2011

38 degrees celsius in Athens today.  Really dry heat.  The kind of heat where you drink a litre of water and feel thirsty again a minute later. We got some wise advice that visits to the Acropolis are best done first thing in the morning or very late afternoon.  Acropolis literally means “high city” and there is no shade up there – people regularly pass out.

We went up at midday. Figured a sleep-in was more valuable than our first layer of skin, and anyway, we had sun screen on.  Bec and I handled it well.  Foster and Sari pretty good.  Mylo wished he was back in the hotel room.

Mylo, halfway up the Acropolis

They sell small ice cold drinks up there for about $5 each.  Because they can. Simple economics – demand and supply.  One shop, lots of overheated tourists. Margins must be huge. Oddly enough it still felt like good value for money at the time.

The Acropolis truly is amazing and no trip to Athens is complete without a visit. There are about a dozen historically significant buildings up there, most of which were built around 500BC.  Bec had the children each sketching the famous Parthenon in their journals and I have to say I was impressed with their efforts.  Some of my father’s genes did get through.

Lesson for the day - draw the Parthenon!

Adamson family on The Acropolis

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Zakynthos

Jamie – 10 July 2012

Zakynthos is the southernmost Ionian Island, just off the west coast of the Greek mainland. One of its northern neighbors is Kefalonia, the setting of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. We are staying in Porta Roma, a relatively undeveloped region at the southern end of the island. This part of our journey was proposed by our great Melbourne friends, the Dimitropoulos family, with whom we have shared a magical week. We have similarly aged children and they have loved having each other to swim, eat and generally play with. They have made our Greek experience really special. Steve is a walking historian of all things Greek and has endless energy for the children. He made the mistake of offering himself up as a human catapult launcher in the villa’s pool on our first day and now has to launch the six children until his arms drop off with each visit to the pool.

This has been a wonderful start to our travels. A real assault on the senses – warm sea breezes mixed with the scent of the olive, apricot and plum plantations that surround our villa. Even the odd eucalypt to remind us of home. Noisy cicadas blast away during the day. We alternate between simple meals out in one of the local tavernas or make a home cooked meal using local produce. The tomatoes and strawberries in particular explode with flavor – makes you realise how watered down our Australian versions are.

In keeping with local custom we have started taking siestas during the hottest part of the day and then eating and going to bed late. I try to go for a 5 km run every other morning before the rest of the family (and the sun) fully wake up.

Our local beach is long and sandy with shallow water – ideal for children. Typical of many Mediterranean beaches it has neat rows of fixed beach umbrellas’ and lounge chairs which can be hired for a nominal sum. It is also a nesting area for the local protected turtle and the back of the beach is covered in small wooden pyramids, each of which marks a nest. The turtles come ashore at night, lay their eggs, and then return to the sea before morning. A warden then comes down and marks each new nest before the public arrive.

Here are a few photos.

Our front gate (Villa Lenas, Porto Roma)

View from our local restaurant (Porto Roma)

Another meal in paradise

Shipwreck Beach

Bec and Helen, Shipwreck Beach

Husband and Wife, Shipwreck Beach (derrr..)

Sari, our beautiful sun-kissed daughter

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Arrived in Athens

Jamie – 3 July 2012

A short update today. It is 11am Athens time and the rest of the family are still asleep having all gone to bed at 7pm last night. That is what 30 hours on the plane does to you (Melbourne-Singapore-London-Athens). Yes there are more direct routes but not under our OneWorld “around-the-world” ticket! Impressively all FOUR* suitcases came off the conveyer-belt in Athens having been last sighted in Melbourne. I was pretty sure I was saying goodbye for the last time to at least one of them back in Melbourne. Good on you Qantas.

I woke up at 5am and settled in to watch a movie, read today’s edition of “The Age” and track Hawthorn getting thrashed by Collingwood in real-time. All on our iPad. Great thing technology. You just need to make sure that the online world doesn’t dominate the real world as you travel around amazing new countries.

We head off to one of the Ionian Islands later today (Zakynthos) and will probably be “off-line” for the next 10 days so there may not be an update for a while. We have a few hours to kill this afternoon so if the rest of my family wake up we may go looking for ancient civil riots and tear gas. Kidding Mum – we promise to stay in safe areas!

(* see previous blog posting.  We compromised.)

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The Final Countdown

Bec – 12th June 2011

And so the final countdown begins – with only 19 sleeps to go – the question arises of how do you possibly pack for five people for six months of travel with weather that will cross over three seasons!!!!

Which leads us to the time honored tradition of husbands and wives disagreeing on how many suitcases should be going overseas with us…..

My better half felt that we needed only three suitcases between the five of us. One for him, one for me and one for all three children. He reasoned that we only really needed shorts, tee shirts and some swimmers and besides, he said “I will be the one that ends up carrying all the bags when the kids are exhausted, so we should really cut it down!”.

Quite a convincing and heartfelt argument… but of course me and my wardrobe knew better.

The ‘Suitcase Issue’ is cleary something that depends on the family you grew up in. You have the Overpacker Families, the Underpacker Families, the Last Minute Packer Families and then you have the family that I grew up in, the Anally Retentive Packers who pack three months in advance, make a list of everything included  and account for every circumstance forseen and unforseen.

So clearly, it is not MY Fault ….. I was just brought up this way and you know what they say… “you can’t fight genetics” …..so why even try!

We talk about women ‘multi tasking’ – but we are talking beach wear, evening wear, museum/gallery wear and dinner wear, along with the inevitable – cold wear for the London stint – so this is ‘multi functioning’  and three suitcases was not going to cut it.

So, what to do…..I scoured the travel websites for hints and suggestions and came across articles such as  “How To Pack Your Life Into One Little Bag” – but the people who wrote these articles clearly had no lives and that’s why they could fit them into such little bags….I on the other hand had to look elsewhere to solve my problems.

And then it happened…. at Doncaster….the answer to many a girl’s  dilemna!

I was walking through the centre and there it was, in all it’s glory ….. the ‘Spinner’,….. the answer to my prayers. A suitcase with four wheels…..not the measley two we have all come to expect with tag along bags ……but four, so that a small child could simply push it along….or just collapse against it and roll it along as they are screaming that they are too tired to walk or  to go any further. (Funny isn’t it – how children have the energy to scream and wail yet not the energy to walk or carry anything!!!! Yet another of life’s enteral mysteries)

So I trialed the suitcase and rated it a total success – Sari actually wailed at me when I tried to take it back from her. She pushed it up travelators, through stores and around the food court and when we hit some steps we simply pulled up the handle and used the traditional back wheels.

Somebody out there has clearly been listening and my heartfelt thanks go out to you Mr Samsonite, or at least it does right now as I still sit in the comfort of my living room with 19 sleeps to go.  I’m positive there will be days when I wish I had listened to my lovely husband and had agreed to the three suitcase rule but for now we have agreed to embark on the ‘one suitcase for each’ rule.

So democracy does have alot to offer the humble travelling family….truth, justice and a suitcase for all.

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Welcome

Welcome to our (first ever) blog. After 20 years with UBS (with plenty more still to come), Jamie resolved to cash in all six months of his long service leave and he, Bec, Foster, Mylo and Sari have decided to see some of the world for the second half of 2011. We plan to travel through Europe and the USA and will use this blog to record our planning, travels, thoughts, observations and experiences. This is also a way for our family and friends to stay in touch while we are on the road. We hope you enjoy following us on our journey.

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