So much ocean....
Well another day of just cruising the lovely Pacific Ocean! I think I can cope with that!
I feel slack for not posting here for so long. Noel went home when we got to Sydney so it's just been me chasing the crazy girls since then! Not much time to stop and blog.
It was so awesome taking the others to my home town! (well, not exactly my home town, cos that's over an hour outside of Sydney and pretty boring for overseas visitors! But I pointed out my street on a map!) Noel and I felt so proud as we sailed into Sydney Harbour and pointed out different suburbs and beaches and headlands and landmarks. Tell you what, there were SO many people along the foreshore to see the QE2 and the Queen Mary 2 (which left Sydney the night we arrived). It was amazing! I called my mum and she said it had been all over the news and there were huge traffic jams and crowd problems in the city because thousands and thousands of people came to greet the ships! And there was a fireworks display to greet us, it was so exciting. I love Sydney!
We all partied fairly hard in Sydney and on the 2nd night I surprised everyone with Bridge Climb tickets that I'd arranged. It was the 2nd time Noel and I had done it but it was just as cool. Standing on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is very very cool. You're not allowed to take photos while on the climb but here's a group a few hours before us... approaching the southern pylon...
And here's me underneath the southern end of the bridge on the way to the BridgeClimb offices...
The last day in Sydney the girls and I just hung out with Noel, had a really nice lunch together and then Noel took us back to the ship and said his goodbyes to everyone. We didn't drop in at home with him because I didn't want the girls to think we were going home and then get all upset. Tali was a bit cranky that Daddy wasn't coming back on the boat but Bea didn't seem to mind. They've both been pretty fine since then and Tali just keeps telling the others that Daddy's gone back to work. Poor Daddy.
Anyway. I was so excited to go to Brisbane because I've been dying to go visit my friend who lives a couple of hours outside Brissie. I hired a car and took the girls to visit her for the day. She has three kids and we just had a lovely relaxing day at her house. It was so great for Tali and Bea to play with some kids who don't get around with armfuls of expensive gadgets and toys and fancy clothing. That's actually been close to my favourite day so far. I felt so relaxed and at home.
The Barrier Reef was fun of course. We just hung out on the beach most of the day. I was too scared to take the girls on a little boat without Noel there to help, they probably would've tried to jump in with the fishies. But we saw lots of little fishies and crabs and even a starfish which Tali thought was fabulous.
Going north of Australia has been awesome. I've decided I LOVE the tropics. Hot and beautiful and just so alive somehow.
Papua New Guinea is totally gorgeous. Gemma and Julie and I took the girls on a walk near a kind of mountainy area. It was a few hours' walking and we got food from a market before we went and had a beautiful picnic lunch near a little stream in the shadow of a volcano. It reminded me of the landscape in the show "Lost". The walk back was very slow going because the girls were so tired and Gemma and Julie disappeared (ahem!) on me. But I managed to hold off the overtired tantrums for long enough to get back to the ship, tuck the crashed-out girls into bed and order room service and a massage. Now that was a nice end to the day.
The last few days I've actually made some really good progress with my Handy Dandy Notebook. I've been working on a couple of characters based on some of the more eccentric passengers here. Three monologues are done for a girl I've called Therese, based on a single girl I met once in the Funnell Bar - she seemed lonely and had a few strneg things to say but doesn't seem to want to be friends. Anyway she intrigued me and I've made up this girl with a fairly good story behind her and I think I might even have enough ideas to write a play about her. So far it's just the monologues.
And the other one is based on a lovely old lady I met named Elizabeth. She's told me and the girls so many stories over the last month or so and I've written some of them down as monologues. I read a couple of them to her yesterday and she was so pleased. She said she wants to see me in a film one day and then said "you'd better hurry up though, I've only got a couple more film-watching years left!". She's a funny old thing.
Anyway right now, Amber and Meridith and I (and the girls obviously) are off for a swim and a sunbake. It's a hard life...