I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Sydney courtesy of my elder son Sloane, who flew me out to celebrate one of his special birthdays. Looking back on it, I think without a doubt it rates as being amongst the happiest and most wonderful holidays I have ever had.
It was my first visit to Australia in the 13 years that Sloane has lived there, and my goodness what a lovely city Sydney is, with its myriad beaches and hidden coves; tree-lined streets and evergreen flowering trees; and winding hilly streets with spectacular views of harbours filled with boats of all sizes.
The temperature ranged from 24 to 30 degrees and above, but having lived in Jamaica during a period of my life for 14 years, I am accustomed to that heat and I can quite see why people love living there. Sloane swims twice a day, very early in the morning at a small wonderful beach called Nelson's Port before going to work - and in the evening on his return.
Among a host of wonderful happenings, I flew over, sailed under and drove over Harbour Bridge! How about that!
Another special event was being taken to a spectacularly brilliant performance of Madame Butterfly at the wonderful Sydney Opera House - what a treat! One of the most memorable I have ever seen, with the added brilliance of Anthony Legge the famous Glyndebourne conductor. The renowned acoustics are indeed quite exceptionally good.
My younger son Angus, who works for the World Health Organisation, joined us from Bangkok for three days. This was just wonderful, as this was his first visit to Australia, and he too loved the whole experience.
I happened to read Bill Bryson's book 'Down Under' whilst I was there, and whereas Bryson waxes lyrical about the Australian continent as a whole, he seemed beset by the terrors of the many poisonous creatures that he felt were lurking everywhere to get him and give him a long, lingering and agonising death!! He survived and so did I!
From Sydney I flew to visit a special goddaughter and her lovely family who live perched high above Wellington. Wellington is not as beautiful as Sydney, but it has its own unique charm and once again I was shown all the sights. I also visited friends of very long standing who live along the coast at Howard's Point. They took me to South Island, docking in Picton. One of the most spectacular views of the whole trip as we approached Picton, was sailing through narrow high tree-topped gorges that had small white sand beaches at their feet.
It is surprising the weather in Wellington doesn't reflect the fact that the nearest land to the south is Antarctica - but it certainly lives up to its name of 'Windy Wellington' - so forget any hair styles!!
I have suffered horribly with jet lag since coming back to the UK, but, after two weeks, I am just returning to normal!!!
The crop circle season approaches, though I have a feeling it will have a late start unless the weather picks up, but please get in touch soon if you would like to join one of my crop circle tours as the places are already being booked.
All very best wishes,