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G'day to you all from Down Under
I’m not sure where to start this blog, but here goes and a warm G’day to all the readers of the T&A and good folk of Bradford.
I'm not a Bradfordian, although having spent years working and living in the city during the 90s, feel like one. I followed the fantastic rise of both Bradford City and Bradford Bulls during that time and have so many great memories of Wembley trips, a promotion season and life in the Premier League.
We still keep a close eye on both clubs' fortunes, which sadly are not as good as then.
Kiran, my wife, is a true Yorkie and a very proud Bradfordian. She talks with great pride about her place of birth. In another blog, I'm sure she will elaborate.
Today, she in in Sydney on a course for her new job working for the government equivalent of the NHS here, Medicare.
But Sydney is a seven hour drive, so she flies down on a Monday and returns on a Friday evening. Another 10 days and the course will be finished.
We live in an area of the world vastly different to Yorkshire and even Bradford.
We have bought some land about 35 kms (yes, we're metric here, so that's about 20 miles) north of the major city of the region, Coffs Harbour.
A five minute walk to the beach, our little piece of paradise is called Corindi Beach. About 1500 people, a pub (must have a pub) a post office, a school, a shop and a caravan park on the beach. A great community where people still take the time to stop and talk and say Gday.
Our son Harry, goes to the local school and I'm told, speaks in an Aussie twang with a twist of Yorkshire from his mum!! And he wears a Bulls replica shirt to footy practice!
In the big cities, and Sydney is no different to London, people are too busy to talk these days it seems.
At least in Bradford I can always recall how friendly people were - and I guess still are.
But back to that land we have bought .... Here in Oz, you can buy the land and then choose from a variety of builders to build your new home. And that is what we're doing, a 4 bed, two bath, double garage, single storey house on our 780 sq metre block of land. Pretty standard sort of build, but you get the chance to project manage and choose colours, roof tiles, flooring, kitchen designs etc etc, which is quite exciting. The build takes abut five months, so in the meantime we are renting a house right on the beach!
We have a variety of wildlife that really makes the living quite good - and a climate that is on average really good.
August is the final month of winter Down Under, but today is 20 degrees and blue skies. The downside is it will be cool at nights (10 degrees) so we have a log fire. But no ice or snow!!
And that is an average temp at this time of year. It will get warmer and by October and then summer will be warm balmy days of 30 degrees and warm nights.
It also brings warm currents from the Barrier Reef and the sea will warm up to 24 degrees - like having a bath!!
Our local wildlife includes a family of kookaburras, wonderfully coloured lorikeets - green, red and blue - and even a python!
Yep, we have a python in our street - but he's harmless.
Monty, as we have nicknamed him, is a diamond backed carpet snake, a medium sized python that comes out once it gets warmer. I'm told he keeps the mice away!
Oh, yes, I almost forgot, we also have lime green tree frogs - and they make a noise like a seal that is amplified once they live in a hollow pipe that holds up a balcony at the back of the house.
We also have a 'mob' of kangaroos living across the street. They just stare at you when when we take a walk to the pub or through the village - especially at dusk time. About a dozen or so - really brings it home where you are! We never had them when we lived south of Sydney, but here is much more rural, yet close enough to Coffs Harbour for shops etc. And a three hour drive north to the Gold Coast and the glitz of Queensland.
I'm sure as we progress this blog thing, we'll fill you all in on life Down Under - the cost of living, where petrol is still only 70 cents a litre - and on our trips north to Brisbane and south to Sydney.
Of course, we both still miss of things about Bradford - family and friends, great beer and wonderful fish and chips! Going to Valley Parade to see City in action or up to Odsal to see the Bulls.
The great curry houses - we have yet to find anything here in Oz that comes anywhere near the superb tastes, Sweet Centre and K2 are a couple of my favourites. We do have banana plantations though - and amazingly run by Sikhs - who migrated here over 50 years ago!
The Woolgoolga Curryfest takes place here in April. But that's for another day.
Hopefully, we can through this blog, be reminded of some of the wonderful things Bradford has to offer, and also give a little insight into life here in Australia as ex-pats.