A Bit of Oz in Waitrose

Despite living in my current flat for quite a few months now, it was only today that I stumbled across a Waitrose that’s within a reasonable walking distance. Waitrose, being the most expensive of the supermarkets in the UK, offer very high quality food and vegetables so I shouldn’t have been surprised, (but I was) when I saw they sold Bundaberg Root and Ginger Beer.

Bundaberg Root Beer

Not exactly cheap compared to other soft drinks, they were priced better than the £1.40 per bottle the Australia and New Zealand Store in Covent Garden charge. Totally worth it for something to remind me of home.

A Year Since Leaving Brisbane

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I left Brisbane to go on an internal exchange program to live and work in London. I also can’t believe that I’m at the end of what free days I’ve had in Australia before I fly back to London (yes, you guys have got me hooked).

Thanks to all the people that managed to make time to see me on this whirlwind visit (again!). My apologies for those I didn’t get a chance to catch up with (but you’ll just have to visit me overseas!). I managed to spend plenty of time with the family, get to the beach briefly, and catch up with most people. I had a great dinner and a very enjoyable evening at the Belgian Beer Cafe last night and worked off what ill-effects it had with a hearty breakfast at the ever wonderful Gunshop Café (shown below) this morning.

Gunshop Cafe

Brisbane city and especially West End continues to change, and it struck me at how inner-city apartment buildings have built up in such a short amount of time. I’m intrigued to see what effect the supply will have on the property market and how different city living will be in five year’s time. I also visited the Valley for some tea but noticed that at least it had not changed too much.

Petrol’s expensive at AUD1.40/L (though maybe not compared to the English cost) and thankfully public transports improved slightly (they now have a 3am night train/bus service) with prices only increasing by a little bit.

Brisbane City Hall

Finally the weather in Brisbane was as brilliant as ever with mostly cloudless but always radiantly blue skies for my entire visit. The temperature has averaged a good 23°C during the day meaning t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops (but more colloquially called thongs) though it does dip down to about 10 at night.

This visit reminds me of how much I will miss but, in another way, of how much I can appreciate living overseas. Til next time Brisvegas!

Congratulations Ben and Michelle!

This entry goes out to two fantastic people who gave me a good reason to come back to Australia (see below):

Ben and Michelle

On this Saturday just gone, I was able to witness the union of two very good friends, Ben and Michelle on, what turned out as, a perfect Saturday afternoon by the river in Tenerife. I’ve been lucky to know these two people for a while, and it wasn’t so long ago that I remember eating dinner with them (and Jamie!) on, what would turn out to be, one of their early “dates”. It’s great to have seen their relationship blossom over the years and that I’ve been able to spend great times with them on many occasions both in Brisvegas and abroad.

The arrangements were exceptionally executed from overseas, all orchestrated with the help of Michelle’s parents, Ray and Maree and the smooth running events were enjoyed by the 90+ crowd of people who attended. Brisbane had, what I will remember for some time (I am in London these days after all!), the clearest of bright blue skies with moderate temperatures and light winds, heightening the already perfect event. The MC, Gerrod was a blast, and all enjoyed the speeches.

The gourmand in me really delighted in the fine food and wine that was served for the evening that really made a display of the quality of Australian produce. My king prawn salad was beautifully fresh, the almost freakishly large prawn meat was so sweet and the smell attesting to its freshness. I scored big time with the plump rare steak for dinner as it was incredibly juicy simply full of flavour. The chefs had encrusted it with a delicious coating of some kind, but it simply did not last on my plate long enough for me to just analyse. The evening’s meal was finally rounded off with slices of the wedding cake and a delightful duo of chocolate cups and a delicate custard tart, both simply divine!

I had a delightful time, and the long plane trips and small amounts of jetlag was totally worth experiencing just so I could share this moment with you guys. Congratulations to the both of you! More photos can be seen here.