Yes, a lot has happened since my last post. My last post was the 11th September 2011 and we had just decided on a change of plan and return to Europe, head towards Italy where we could fly to Australia in the middle of November. Unfortunately, I received news from home that my mother had been taken ill and to cut a long story short I ended up flying back to the UK after following her progress for a week over the internet using messages from Skype. Finally, I decided that I was too difficult to stay away and have to worry about her and I flew home. I spent 14 days at home in the UK and after seeing her improve and return home under the care of my step father I decided to resume my travels.

During the stay in the UK my sister arrived from Australia for the same reasons I had flown home. It was fantastic to see her again after what must have been 11 years. She met me Leek where I was staying with my son and within 10 minutes it was just like she never left. Funny how that works with family. You can be apart for years and as soon as you meet again, it is like they never left. This is what it will be like with my two children S & L when they finally get home.

Anyway, from then I decided on a change of plan once more and so I flew to Brasil via Holland, before setting off to my stay with the rest of my family in Australia as planned.

Oh, and yes the biking has been shelved for a while, at least until after the Aussie trip. On arrival in Amsterdam I had some time to kill and so a trip into the city is a must. It’s been many years since my last trip to Holland. In fact the last time was playing rugby for the Michelin Tyre Company when I was 16 years old. Amsterdam is a lovely city with it’s canals and tourist attractions. So liberally minded there.

From there I arrive in Sao Paulo, Brasil for just a week before my flight to Australia to settle some technicalities concerning my forthcoming marriage to Rose. Whilst in London it was also an opportunity to visit the Brasilian Embassy in Oxford Street to  sort out my British details for the same, and to visit our franchise headquarters for our English language business.

So, I’m sitting here in Caloundra, Queensland, by the pool on another hot morning listening to the local wildlife whilst typing and my blog up to date. Thinking about the last few months and all the places I have been too and my two children back in the UK.

One thing, it doesn’t matter how you fill your time, whether it be sitting at home in the UK watching the bad weather take a grip or travelling around the world, the thoughts of my two children S & L never leave the front of my mind. It’s like nothing else matters regardless of how beautiful or wonderful your time, they are there in your mind, constantly thinking about them.

The plan now is to spend the rest of the year here in Australia seeing as much as I can and experiencing this beautiful country. I have two brothers and two sisters here and this is actually my 4th visit. Having spent my childhood here until leaving for England when I was 15 years old so I have a lot of memories here. My plan is to retrace as much as possible. Already I have been to my old school, visited our old house and indeed had a chat with the current occupier. It turns out that our old house is in fact now the oldest traditional Queensland house in Buderim. The current occupier was only too pleased to stand and chat and she seemed quite proud that the house was still standing after all these years. it’s nearly 40 years since I lived there and most of the houses around there now either were not there then or are more modern built houses. I also managed to visit my old school, Buderim State School and nothing had changed including the cricket field where I used to play as a kid. Buderim is in Queensland and has always been famous for it’s ginger growing and processing factory. As a child I have one of those immovable memories of the smell of the ginger. It’s funny how everyone of us has certain memories that trigger at certain times.

I’ve been here for just over a week now and every day has been well over the 30 degrees mark, in fact whilst swimming in the surf last week on Kings beach, the lifeguard station was stating 37 degrees on the scrolling display. Although I wasn’t completely white when I arrived it hasn’t taken long to get very very brown. You do have to be careful here as the sun is extremely powerful and the Aussies have a serious skin cancer problem, so most people except crazy poms like me stay out of it. Although I am constantly plastered in factor 30 and wearing a hat. But somehow it seems to get though.

The idea now is that I will spend Christmas here in Australia and then travel back to Brasil around the middle of January stopping off in Chile which should be interesting. I was calculating my air-miles last week and realized that since November last year (2010) I have actually taken 39 flights. Calculating the actual miles was no easy job.

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