A Travellerspoint blog

2015 and the adventure 'down under' resumes

Life's too short to work full time!

Well, the best laid plans...and all that. As my tendon injury pretty much put paid to a summer of camping and hiking in the UK I did actually return to work in April last year. A new job and I was sold on the promise of company expansion and the increased responsibility that comes with a developing role. The vision was great! Unfortunately not all the board members were sharing the same one and after several months of long (and unacknowledged) hours I decided to stop beating my head against the wall and return to experiencing the real 'meaning of life'
So, here I am, back in Sydney and with plans for an extended stay that will allow me to visit those places not managed last year and to explore further the ones I particularly liked during my last visit. I have joined an online house sitting agency 'Trusted Housesitters.com' and have already lined up some pretty special assignments during the next few months. These are unpaid but in return for house and pet sitting the accommodation is free. If, as a traveller, you are not already aware of this site take a look there are some amazing opportunities all over the world.
Those of you who read my blog last year will know that I have family near Sydney so I will be able to visit them regularly, between house sits, without over staying my welcome and encroaching on their space for too long.
I arrived in Sydney on 28th February and came straight to a three week house sit in Eastwood in the northern suburbs of the city. My homeowners are great and made me feel welcome with emails and photos before I got here and even more so when I arrived. Fortunately they were around for a couple of days after my arrival because I had serious jet lag and sleep deprivation and a very bad cough (don't you just love all that re-cycled air). I spent my first two nights 'glamping' in the air conditioned cabin in the garden and enjoying all mod cons including wi-fi, sound system and tea/coffee making facilities. I also had my own (almost en suite) loo and was very grateful for the peace and quiet and privacy.7106166EFD31B6EF2D5260E00FE31A0B.jpg
My homeowners flew off to Tasmania on 1st March leaving me in charge of their lovely house 7123E3C2F9F488029306FC728E73E523.jpg and their even more lovely dog Josie. 7124EECEF4B64E07E6FA6F802B21899D.jpg Eastwood is pretty much a 'strip mall' town with a high proportion of Chinese and Korean people among the population and this is reflected in the shops and restaurants of which there are many. 715F534292DC03AAE636FAC56B12EE14.jpg71604B089D54ECCC1398113BA5830573.jpg
When you walk down the main shopping street the smells are delicious!
There is a small library, that I am making good use of, and a station from which trains take you directly into the city for just a few dollars. The house I am staying in is a five minute walk from the centre and is also on a bus route so getting around is extremely easy. My homeowners have left me the keys to their car but Josie and I are having far too much fun exploring the local area on foot to make use of it up to now.
This part of Eastwood has a real variety of housing stock from large, brick built, modern properties to lovely colonial bungalows with rap around verandahs and corrugated tin roofs. What all the properties have in common are big and really well maintained gardens and grass verges (nature strips) that, apparently, are the responsibility of the homeowners to keep tidy. There are stunning views over the city from many of our walking routes 71D0EBE0A21B16042E1EFC20008519DD.jpg and the whole area feels very safe with friendly neighbours who have time for "good morning, how are you"
I am told the bus will take me to Macquarie Shopping Centre, a well known and 'unmissable' shopping experience. I have not yet felt bored enough to pursue this suggestion and as my suitcase is already fully loaded I don't think I need to add to it. Realistically I probably couldn't get anything else into it and still move it but I did have to plan for all seasons during this trip and chocolate is very weighty! The latter is not for me, I hasten to add, so I suppose I will have some spare capacity once I have made my first visit to Cronulla.
If I had hoped to get away from all the pre-election posturing going on in the UK I haven't been fortunate because NSW is in the throes of it's own and the various supporters are out in force. 7299CA5CD0FCC9A54358A0218C04133A.jpg729BBAB1F3CE64BCE1D8EC477C448A99.jpg Interestingly the rival parties seem to set up their stalls right next to each other and, from what I have experienced so far, it all seems quite good natured. I haven't seen a party election broadcast on TV yet but there are lots of 'sound bite' messages (mostly about the sale, or not, of the electricity supplier) and I did watch a rather good programme, 'Question and Answer', the other night. Same issues, different politicians, oh well.....
Until next time.

Posted by busyboots 17:39

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Hello Jane - good to read your blog - so pleased you are back in the travelling mode again - say hello to "Paddy's Market" for me - Edward x

by edblake

Thanks Edward I shall.

by busyboots

Hi Jane, looks like you have landed in a nice home with a sweet dog. We are enjoying a lovely easter holiday for a week. Been to IOW . Weather gorgeous for outdoor per suit , walking gardening etc. temp 22 * yesterday. We went exploring in Bosham today which was so gorgeous - love it! Take good care. Love from myself and Andrew x

by Elberling

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