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Australia: Day 17 – 28.11.18 …………..‘Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed’!

We were having a well earned lie-in this morning although we were both awake at 6am listening to the torrential rain, the howling wind and the thunder and lightning that was taking Sydney ‘by storm’ so to speak. How lucky we were to have walked the harbour bridge yesterday. Apparently schools are closed, the airport is closed, ferries have stopped running and some trains have been cancelled and people have been warned only to venture out if they absolutely need to.

We got up about eight and got ourselves ready which actually took longer than usual as we didn’t know what to wear for our ‘Pink Me Gin High Tea’ at the Intercontinental Sydney later this afternoon. What we were both hoping to wear wouldn’t stand up to this weather so with much deliberation we both wore shorter dresses and flip flops, taking our makeup with us to make ourselves look presentable once there.

At eleven thirty we had a tour booked at the Sydney Opera House and we were intending to walk there, which would take about forty-five minutes but first we needed breakfast. All packed up and ready to go we set forth into the mire, armed with our umbrellas and wearing our kabooms (actually mine is on loan from Becky....thanks Becky it’s finally making an appearance) and made our way to Joe Blacks cafe just next door.

Just walking those few steps and we were soaked! The owner was a very happy chap and very friendly and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast. Our next stop before our walk was the farmacy.. I don’t know if Maice had been dreaming again, of walking for miles and miles, for she woke up with yet another blister, this time on the top of her toe. Maices flipflop, the one she wears on her double blistered foot was all sticky due to her blister plaster melting and leaving a sticky residue on her flip flop that she can’t get off, so instead of wearing a tissue under her foot, which is the only thing she can find to come between her foot and the sticky goo, we’re going to look for some surgical tape to cover over the sticky stuff. We had a chat with the Chemist and told him we were walking to the opera house. The look on his face said everything. ‘Why don’t you get the train’ he said. Well, we hadn’t thought of that. So after Maice had stuck tape all over the inner part of her flip flop we headed off to the station and rode the two stops to Circular Quay. The rain seemed to have eased slightly but there was a hell of a wind and our inside out umbrellas from Singapore were having a real Mary Poppins moment blowing all over the place and we were having problems keeping hold of them. We finally managed to get to the opera house, keeping close to the shop fronts to keep out of the rain, without looking like drowned rats.

Our tour guide, Nick, was great. He was so knowledgeable and gave us lots of information about its construction. So if we remember rightly, here’s some useful facts and figures,

· Danish Architect Jorn Utzon won an international competition to come up with a design for a new music and cultural centre in Sydney. His entry number was 218.

· It was estimated to cost $7m Australian dollars (AUD) but it actually cost $102m AUD

· It was due to take 3 years to build but actually took 14, completing 20 October 1973

· The structure is made up of 10 ‘sails’ of different sizes

· There are 1.6 million tiles covering the ‘sails’ which are self-cleaning

Interesting huh?

We were fortunate enough to go into one of the auditoriums where the Australian Ballet were rehearsing ‘Cinderella’ which was opening this coming Saturday, which is such a shame as we’d love to have got tickets to see it. It was quite a privilege to watch them and we were there for at least fifteen minutes. So we can honestly say we’ve watched a performance at the Sydney Opera House. Nick then took us into the main concert hall where the sound, lighting and sound crew were carrying out their checks on stage. Apparently beneath the stage there are twenty six pianos of different sizes, makes and models in order to accommodate visiting pianists preferences. Another interesting fact.

After the tour, and before we left, Maice sat down to sort out her blisters. I’ve no idea how long ‘blistergate’ will go on for, but they don’t seem to be getting any better.

It had stopped raining by now and the sun was even trying to make an appearance so we made our way to the Intercontinental Sydney for our ‘High Tea’, stopping off in the loos first to make sure we looked decent. We were eating in the ‘Cortile’ foyer of the hotel and very comfortable it was too. We were offered either a Pink Me Gin Cocktail or a Gin Martini, so Maice plumped for the cocktail and I plumped for the martini, both were delicious. Our High Tea was brought out which looked amazing, although it was very ‘pink’.

We really enjoyed it and it was so nice to sit and relax in our nice comfy seats. Being a 5* Hotel the type of clientele are slightly different from those of the Travelodge. We sat and watched as an overseas cricket team came back from either a training session or a match, we’re not sure but we think they were either Indian, Sri Lankan or from somewhere else around that part of the world. Not knowing anything about cricket we did wonder if there was a big international tournament being held in Sydney. Being the classy, chic gals that we are, Maice of course had to be the one to lower the tone by introducing Blistergate to all and sundry. She only starts sorting out her blistered foot, with its tissue paper dangling from beneath the surgical tape, during our High Tea. Honestly, you can’t take her anywhere!

It had started to rain when we left, so kabooms on, umbrellas semi-up we struggled on back to our 3* hotel through the wind and rain, put the laundry in (all the hotels in Australia seem to have laundry rooms), did our yoga, had lovely hot showers and finished off yesterday’s leftovers, and of course had a glass of wine. We were in bed by 8pm with Maice sorting out her photos and me writing our blog.

It looks like tomorrow is going to be less wet than today with some sun. We’ve given ourselves a challenge tomorrow to see how many museums and art galleries we can visit in a day. We’re hoping to do at least six and on the way we’re going to call in to the cafe we had breakfast in yesterday in the hope I left my hat there.

On another note entirely, I emailed Alison who owns Purrfect Cattery in Weymouth where Milly is on holiday. Apparently she’s having a lovely time and being spoilt rotten. They think she’s a little sweetheart and they all adore her. Ah, that’s my Milly.

G’night to you all...

P.s. Question. In which film was that iconic phrase uttered (see the above title of today’s blog)

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