Sunday, 14 February 2010

On the road

Belly boarding on Bondi, Mr Grigg says he does not need the board because his belly is big enough. The waves greet me like the famous scene from The Perfect Storm. I have a fear of being underwater that goes back to a time when I was saved from drowning at Instow, North Devon, as a child. So I slink back to the beach to watch the beautiful people go by.

We are staying with The Fit Family in a cool Art Deco apartment building. Bondi suprises me because the residential areas are so green and shady. The city is like that all over, I realise, when I take in the view from the Sydney Tower. I look out across to Centennial Park, where at Sydney Showground my grandfather enlisted in the ANZACs nearly 100 years earlier.

This is a holiday about the past as well as the present.

Lord and Lady G near Noosa, My Beautiful Cousin and the Twins in Adelaide, The Fit Family in Bondi, Mr Grigg's cousin - officially Australia's Laziest Man - in the sleepy coastal community of Harrington up the coast in New South Wales, The Sugar Cane Farmer and then the ghosts of relatives past.

Through the wonders of Google, I can visualise my great-uncle's home at Rappville, inland from Evans Head and the surf-dude coolness of Byron Bay. When my grandfather was coming back to England after World War One, his little brother was heading for a new life farming in the New South Wales bush.

Mr Grigg, meanwhile, is currently heading up river with his cousin on a motor boat.

"There are all these creeks," he says, looking at the map before he sets out. "But we haven't yet found sh*t creek."

I think he might be there now, and possibly without a paddle.

A few photos from Adelaide, Sydney and then one from the great New South Wales road trip and my favourite photo so far. The colourful shack and the prevalence of Dukes of Hazzard-style ve-hick-els indicates to me that we are getting closer to the land of my great-uncle.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Well Maddie, you are having an adventure, aren't you?!
    I love the idea of searching out your family history in the New World. Like Australians, we Canadians all came from somewhere else - even the Aboriginals came across the Bering Sea. Families grew apart because of distance but the past few years have seen lots of reunifications - love it!

  2. Hong Kong and Australia in the same trip! How exciting! I'm thrilled you haven't given up blogging. I would so miss your take on the world, especially when the windows are on the other side of the world!


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