As I’ve begun to settle into my role as an au pair a bit more over the last week I’ve had more of a chance to catch up with some people I already know in Sydney. If you’ve been following my blog since I departed the UK back in October you may recall I flew with a bunch of others who also booked their trip with BUNAC. Some of these guys have been working and saving their pennies in Sydney, and so now I’m back I’ve had the chance to catch up with a few!
This weeks adventure was supposed to be a trip to the beach with Nikki and Becky – two girls from the afore mentioned BUNAC group. However, the weather had other ideas, and come 11.15am we found ourselves watching the rain fall from Circular Quay station.
Not one to compromise a days plans though, Nikki came through with a back up plan! Swim, spa and sauna at the North Sydney Olympic Swimming Pool. All for $11, not too shabby I think you’ll agree!
I won’t lie, we did struggle to find the entrance initially, but once we did we quickly changed into our bikinis – or ‘swimmers’ as all swimwear is referred to over here – and manoeuvred our way to the outdoor pool. It was still spitting with rain, but we’d come to the conclusion that this way we were going to get wet anyway!
After larking about in the recreational lane for a little while (much to the amusement of the obvious Saturday morning locals) we got a bit cold and decided to hunt out the ‘spa’. Now, having only paid $11 each, plus then an additional $2.20 between the three of us for a locker, our expectations for the spa weren’t exactly high. And that was probably just as well, because after following the signs saying ‘Spa’ we were eventually led to a 1.5m x 1.5m hot pool with a button to press that produced bubbles. A jacuzzi, basically. Right alongside the 25m indoor pool, hosting its Saturday classes for children aged between 8-12! Coincidentally this is also where the sauna was located, and this had the added bonus of a glass wall so the children could press their faces up against it and gawk at you through the glass! I now know how animals at the zoo feel…!
Calming and therapeutic are not words I would use to describe either of these two experiences. But they were both warm and we had a good old gossip and a catch up with each other after having not seen each other for a few months!
Once we were done the weather still wasn’t all that grand, so we all came to the conclusion that home was the best place to be heading, but not before deciding on our plan of action for the next day: Mardi Gras Fair Day.
I don’t even know where to start with Mardi Gras Fair Day…it was so much fun! I absolutely love things like Mardi Gras. They have such an important and incredible message, but rather than focusing on the seriousness of it all they turn it on it’s head and make it the biggest and best celebration going! I think the best way to explain Mardi Gras Fair Day is to say it was the best possible crossover of Freshers’ Fayre at uni and a UK Pride event…
My favourite stall BY FAR was the Ben & Jerry’s stand – not only were they serving up copious amounts of free ice cream, but they also have this amazing #EqualityCalling campaign going on at the moment regarding same sex marriage in the UK. I’m a big believer in same sex marriage, and so I didn’t need any encouragement to join in with all the support surrounding this campaign. However, the rainbow telephone box and giant multicoloured cake provided such good photo opportunities that it would have been rude not to have taken advantage! 😉 Although, I will totally accept that one could be mistaken for thinking the message on the cake says “Say I Doush”…
By far the funniest but most embarrassing moment of the day for me was having my photo taken with these two fine gentlemen…
I tried to do what others had done previously and hold the sign up in front of me, but the guy on the right had other ideas, said “you don’t know what to do with your hands, do you?!” and in the end I had a hand on each of their bottoms!
I had far too much fun! The whole day was an absolute hoot, what’s more it was completely free (besides any donations you chose to make) and it was so much fun I almost didn’t mind getting burnt…almost! After the abysmal weather the day before none of us had really expected the blazing sunshine and 30 degree heat that the day brought with it. Especially not me, and so I came armed with my flowery anorak and no suncream. I then had to face the shame of Church in the evening looking like a lobster, and as this was only my second time at this Church it was quite obvious to the rest of the congregation I was definitely not a local! Oh well, I’m British and proud, and what better way to demonstrate that than rocking the lobster look, hey?!