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Day 16 “Family” (Friday 16th March 2013)

Today I Skype’d Mum and Dad first thing to make up for the other day when I was at Micks and didn’t get back in time to speak to Mum. We had a really nice long chat including about my booked plans to travel the East Coast with Oz Experience so I can now start anytime in the next 12 months and after the first journey from Sydney I have up to 6 months to work my way up to Cairns. I just need to sort a trip from Melbourne to Sydney either on a plane or doing another small tour and when traveling need to decide if I want to continue up the East coast after Cairns to get to Darwin and then come down the middle of the island via Aires Rock and Alice Springs or if travelling isn’t for me I might just come straight back to Melbourne.

After Skype I was just playing around on my mobile trying to sort it out when the house phone rang and Peter answered it, but for the first time it was for me. Polly from the bank was on the line asking if I had received my key card (debit card to us English folk) which I had but in order to use it I had to activate it by creating a pin preferably in branch, so I decided to walk down there. Peter had assured me it was only a 10 minute walk but 25 minutes later I got to the bank!! I believe I then spoke with Michelle who sorted everything with me firstly by setting up the pin, then told me the best rates and how to get them, next she showed me how to use everything and finally she even showed me how an Australian ATM works. On the long walk back I decided to stop off and buy Peter and I lunch (Pies and sausages rolls it was then – like like my first day here) and also get Avril and Peter some white wine to say thank you for all they have done. As the sun got stronger the walk back with the wine and food became a little strenuous, but thankfully my gym work back in England helped me up the last few hills.

When I got back and after lunch, I used my new debit card to top up my phone to see if the card worked and also to check if the new credit would help me text back home without problems. After sorting my phone book so everyone’s number started with +44 and deleting some old text messages, I sent a couple of trial messages to Mum and Dad which were both successful… It seemed my phone was finally working!

In the afternoon I was invited to Micks for a BBQ but didn’t want to go as I knew David and Joan (Avrils Dad and partner) were coming back from New Zealand today and Avril was going to pick them up from the airport and bring them back here for a meal and to sleep. However Avril explained that Mick and Alex were invited round here so they accepted. On top of this Hollie Anthony and Harrison were going to be coming today instead of tomorrow which meant there was 9 and a half people coming for dinner tonight.

When Avril left to get her Dad, Hollie and family turned up and she immediately began to help with the salad and potatoes while Anth (Woody) and I went to pick up some more BBQ meat and drinks. In the meantime Peter had to pack up his work things and prepare the table. It wasn’t long after Woody and I returned from the shops that everyone else arrived. (Woody was another person I hadn’t ever met but found myself getting on really well with – He was Hollie’s husband and called Woody due to his surname of Wood… But in turn this made Avrils daughter ‘Hollie Wood’)

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The evening was great and having so many people round meant the conversation never dried up and there was always someone to talk to about various different topics. It also gave me chance to speak to David and Joan again as the last time I saw them was September 2012 at Neale and Jenny’s Wedding. (We spoke about there trip to New Zealand as well as my family back home) It was a long evening filled with alcohol and plenty of meat, salad, home made garlic bread (Hollie had made while I was at the shops with Anth) and desert – vienetta as well as strawberry cheese cake. Mick and Alex left around 11pm but everyone else was sleeping here including Anth and Hollie on a sofa bed. (This made me feel guilty as I had a double bed to myself but I kept trying to offer it to Hollie who wouldn’t accept) After Woody and Hollie went to bed, David, Joan, Avril, Peter and me stayed up for about another hour socialising and drinking before all calling it a night! Another fab day with the family in Australia! 🙂

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