All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…. and George a very grouchy and overly analytical girl, so luckily for me I arrived in time for the Sydney weekend. The timing of my trip was set up around a work event, the JusticeforLB book launch and the JusticeforLBGMC tribunal (I rejigged slightly to stay and live tweet last weekend), but I knew I wanted to arrive in time for the weekend to give me the best chance of beating jet lag.
Turns out this was a great plan. Having forced myself to stay awake for most of the 24hrs flying over when we landed in Sydney at 6:30am I didn’t feel too bad at all. I felt sure that would change quick enough but I headed to my accommodation (lovely place with a lovely couple – AirBnB did me proud on this one) and after unpacking and faffing for a bit I decided to head out in the fresh air.
On the advice of Aine I headed to Three Williams in Redfern, the suburb where I’m staying. As much hip as a Shoreditch pensioner, yet in no way pretentious. I had a cracking Vegan Bowl with a side of halloumi, nom. Served with a long black, that’s double expresso in hot water for the UK audience. Following such an amazing brunch it felt only right and proper to go for a walk. I took a stroll down to the Anzac Memorial (it was Remembrance Day after all), then from there onto the Sydney Opera House through the botanic gardens, and then after much people watching in the sun and admiring the view I headed back. I eventually crashed into bed shortly after 6:30pm.
5am this morning I was wide awake, which I decided was no bad thing. After a while wasting time on twitter, catching up with things at home and generally musing the week ahead I decided to get up and head for an early breakfast. I can tell already that if I’m not careful I’ll be returning a dress size larger, Sydney has some great cafes. Gibbons Street Cafe is literally across the road from where i’m staying, which is very dangerous for my waistline. I opted for pumpkin and sweetcorn fritters with avocado, poached eggs, spinach and haloumi chips – what can I say haloumi for breakfast, and avocado with everything, so so good.
Following brekkie I did what all Brits abroad do the minute it looks like the sun might come out and I headed to the beach. A short walk and I jumped on the 395 bus to Maroubra Beach. The bus ride was useful for orientating myself (I’ve got a sense of where University of NSW is now) and the beach was truly, truly beautiful. Even at 9am it was quite busy in the area you can swim so I took a stroll up to Mahon Pool and spent the morning swimming and baking in the sun (don’t worry I was also slathering on the Factor 50).
This afternoon I headed back to get up to speed with my planning for the week. I feel totally chilled and not a whisper of jet lag so far, I can’t wait to start meeting people and get their perspective on things. Still feeling incredibly, incredibly lucky and very grateful to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.