Monday 2 July 2012

If it's Friday, it must be Sydney

View from my balcony
I started writing this on Friday in the Paramatta RSL, coming towards the end of the first day seminar of the Unlock the Past tour. I wouldn't say that I'm jet-lagged, I'm not actually doing to badly, but I have absolutely no sense of what day or time it is. Suffice to say that I have managed to be awake when I need to be awake.

I touched down at Sydney's Kingsford-Smith airport early last Monday morning, then had a connecting flight to Brisbane, arriving at 10.30am. I gave my first talk at the Queensland Expo that afternoon, and another in the evening. The first talk was one that I know so well that I could do it in my sleep, and it did cross my mind that I might wake up to find my self doing exactly that, but it was fine! The weather in Brisbane was dull and drizzly on the first day, but for the other two days of the Expo the rain was hammering down! I felt right at home. It was a nice change, I suppose, to have the locals apologising for the weather, because that's what we Brits usually do.

Still, the company was good, people seemed to enjoy the talks, and approached me with lots of questions afterwards. I particularly enjoyed 'The Will Forgeries', a talk I gave for the first time on Wednesday. It was especially appropriate for an Australian audience. It was also the final talk of my tour, and I was very excited to find someone in the audience who had been researching the same story, though from a different angle. We have exchanged email addresses so I see a fruitful correspondence coming on!

Now that's what I call a meat pie!
Now it's Tuesday morning, and I am back in Sydney, after giving my 15th and final talk yesterday in Melbourne. It's been great fun travelling round and meeting some great people in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, but I'm looking forward to having a whole day and a bit to myself in Sydney before I fly home tomorrow afternoon. Everyone has been very welcoming, and I've been driven all over the place by an assortment of generous Australians, most of whom I had never met before. My good Geni-mate Jill Ball aka @geniaus and her lovely husband Robert were the most wonderful hosts for my time in Sydney last week: they not only put me up in their lovely home, but laid on the full tourist guide experience, culminating in dinner at the famous Doyle's restaurant. I just can't thank them enough.

Last night I arrived here at the Radisson in chauffeur-driven splendour, courtesy of Carole Riley and her husband, Keith. Fellow-blogger Carole has been my travelling companion for the last few days two, and she is great company, we found that we giggle at the same things; she and Jill have also patiently accompanied me to assorted gift shops in search of my essential travel trophies (a fridge magnet from every state I visit).  The lovely Radisson has upgraded me to a deluxe room, which is a lovely finale to my trip. I treated myself to a room service meal, and had a lovely long soak in the bathtub - there's even a shuttered window between the bathroom and the room so that you could lie in the tub and watch TV if you wanted to! Chateau Collins back in Chesham is going to be such an anti-climax when I get back, I'd better make the most of this decadence while I can.



  1. Thankfully Sydney has turned on the sun for you today. Enjoy our beautiful city, travel safe. We'll see you next time.

  2. Thanks again, Jill, I've had a great time, and I'm about to hit the town. Sydney won't know what has hit it!

  3. It was lovely to meet you - brief as it was. And I'm glad Australia made you feel 'at home' with all the rain, though some sunshine no doubt would've been nice.