From NZ to Oz
My hosts in Invercargill, Cecily & John Mesman, had spoilt me rotten; and Marie Teuwen, President of the Southland branch of Save the Children, had organised a welcome fit for a hero (and I’m only a pedal-twiddling lycra lout). It was sad to leave their company, but the show had to go on.
A combination of one of these….
and one of these got me from the toe of NZ, via Wellington and across the Tasman Sea, to Sydney where once again (once the bike was reassembled) I was able to display this
to give the Aussies I encounter an opportunity to match (or even outstrip) the generosity of the Kiwis. No sooner had I set wheel outside the airport, I knew I needed local help to get across the city. A passing cyclist (and if he reads this, a big “thank you”) stopped and very patiently mapped out a route for me, which got me to the district I needed. That was brilliant. Then a couple of iPhone toting 20 somethings opened up Googlemaps and finalised the fine detail. (Of course, I could have done this for myself, but it’s much more fun asking others!).
I had to race against the fading light (sunset is over an hour earlier than in NZ) across a city that has some notoriously unfriendly cycling streets, but before the light disappeared I eventually found Dee Read’s lovely old wooden cottage
and she gave me the warmest of welcomes. Thank you, Dee! This encounter happened through the networking power of Facebook, where a mutual friend had shared details with her own lists of friends (thank you Anne!). I thought I didn’t know Dee, until she looked at me and said she’d met me before somewhere.
Well, to cut a long story short, both her children had attended Kimbolton School in the 1990s, and I had taught one of them for a year!
It is a cliche, but it’s true…..it’s an unnervingly small world.
I will spend today unapologetically being a Sydney tourist, I have a (cheapish) ticket for Il Trovatore at the Opera House, and I’m meeting up with Richard Tulloch (another blogging friend) for a bushtucker lunch, during his break from drama rehearsals at Sydney University.
It promises to be a fascinating day.
Children in Syria Appeal: http://www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1