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#10 Wimbledon!

9 Jul

The world famous tennis tournament right on our doorstep! This is our second year living in Wimbledon and we missed out on tickets last year. The ballot process is complex and there is no favouritism for residents of SW19. Boo.

BUT, this year we managed to get two Centre Court tickets! Six rows from the front and next to the Royal Box! I called Nick with the amazing news, only to be told that he was in Paris that weekend because his friend got four tickets for the Euros. So my friend Sarah inherited the second ticket and we were excited!

Wimbledon is much more sophisticated than I thought it would be. I’ve been to the US Open and it was a great day out, but this was something different. Staff in pristine uniform, immaculate grounds, and it just had a feel of grandness and history.

And the proof we were there? Check out the lady in the black hat… yours truly! Sarah is sitting in white to the left. Yep, that is Roger Federer! ūüôā

We also got to see Novak Djokovic, see if you can spot him in photos below!

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#23 Go parasailing

26 Aug

Tenerife. Canary Islands. Spain. Nothing Spanish about it really.

But that also means that we get to take advantage of all the touritsy activities that make up this mini Britain away from Britain! So, parasailing. I first did this when I was about 12 and I remember it being the most relaxing and carefree experience. I even did it by myself.

Cut to 2014 and I convince Nick to do it with me tandem. I also forgot that Nick didn’t love heights.

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I didn’t feel as comfortable this time… was it the height? Was it the mature understanding of mortality and being 100m above sea? Or was it Nick asking questions about what would happen if the rope snapped or our harness broke or a big gust of wind came or the parachute collapsed?

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Anyway, we made it back down to a more civilised height and the driver had a surprise for us. Dragging us through the water! When I did this when I was 12 I was gently dipped into the water up to my knees, the water was a little cold, but it was funny and I remember enjoying it. So check out what happened this time…

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Hold onto your pants, people! We survived… but you might not!

#15 Helicopter ride over Sydney

13 Nov

This was a fun one! I bought this helicopter ride for Nick for his 30th birthday and the timing worked well as we booked it for our last day in Sydney before the FINAL move. A lovely way to say goodbye to my beautiful home city! And the weather was perfect… it usually is in Sydney anyway.

We hired a Go Get car (as I sold my Peugeot in May) and at 8am we were off to Sydney airport. When we got there, there was no one else in the office – YES! We weren’t sharing the helicopter with any other groups!

After watching a safety video and signing our life away we were taken out to a tiny helicopter. It was honestly about the size of a car! Nick sat in the front (as it was his gift!) and I sat in the back, which had just as good of a view.

Taking off felt strangely smooth. I’m so used to taking off in huge A380 or 737 and feeling the vibration along the runway. In a helicopter you simply lift off the floor. I know that seems obvious but it hadn’t occurred to me until then that it would be so flawless. The same goes for the flight. We both felt like we were just driving in a car in the sky. Very surreal.

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A quick two minutes in the sky and we were already approaching the city and looking down on the skyscrapers as if they were matchsticks and the people as if they were ants. We passed our apartment and I felt a little emotional knowing that it was going to be the last time we saw it from the outside.

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Over the tall city buildings and then through Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Harbour Bridge on our left and Opera House on our right… Sydney sparkled like a diamond. Almost as if it knew we were leaving that day.

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Then next we passed over the suburb where I grew up – Mosman. We flew all around the bays and beaches and it was lovely to see my part of the world from above. Next we went out to Manly Beach and came back into Sydney Harbour then made our way over to Bondi Beach.

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With over 100 beaches in Sydney, there are too many that we passed over to name, but they all looked beautiful. Before we knew it we were passing over Maroubra Beach and heading back south to the airport. The 20 minutes had gone by so quickly and we didn’t want it to end, but definitely glad we did this activity in Sydney of all cities. It truly is the most naturally beautiful city in the world!

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#5 Become Certified Scuba Divers

3 Apr

The previous item that we crossed off our list¬†involved going 14,000ft in the air. So it made sense to check out what is down below for our next activity. Scuba diving involves quite a bit of preparation before you can submerge. It is recommended (but apparently not essential) that you get a diving medical and there is quite a bit of theory to study. We found the study element particularly¬†difficult¬†as we can’t even go though a five minute ad break without saying something to each other!!

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The main purpose of the medical is to test your lung capacity and your balance through your ears. Nick had no problem getting his ears checked. I on the other hand had a Madame Tussauds open for business in my ear canals and needed an ear flush. Mortifying.

We ended up becoming SDI certified over a three day course which will allow us to dive anywhere in the world to 18 meters underwater. Next stop, Great Barrier Reef!

The course consisted of:

  • a day of theory with an exam
  • a day of confined water diving to get used to the diving equipment and underwater communication
  • a day of open water diving and skills

After completing the course you can understand why there is so much involved in becoming certified. You are completely reliant on your equipment and a small error in your pre-dive checks can result in a complication. Anything from your air tank running out or your weight belt coming off and rising to the surface too quickly and tearing a lung.

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Your equipment is quite heavy and it is a relief when you get in the water and take the weight off your body. Especially if there is a distance to get to the water. I always thought that you just jumped in the water and swam down with ease and you had a tube to suck air through a tank. That’s how it looks in the movies! No one mentioned equalizing, safety stops, regulator checks, weight belts, purging, decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis (however, that last one could be kinda funny!).

Its all worth it though! It is incredibly peaceful down there. You almost feel as though you are in slow motion and the only thing you can really hear is your breath. Schools of fish dance past you and there are endless areas to explore and fish to admire near rocks and in caves. I think its safe to say that we will be scuba diving again in the near future!

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30 March 2013 – 1 April 2013

#3 Skydiving!

21 Mar

When people ask you what it feels like to jump out of a plane and plummet towards earth at 200kms/h… you can’t really describe the feeling. You can’t find the words. Most people assume it’s like being on a descending roller-coaster for 60 seconds. It isn’t. At all. Imagine yourself floating over a large industrial size fan. You don’t feel gravity… all you feel is the wind on your face and the pressure in your ears. You have no concept of falling apart from the terrifying fact that the ground appears to be getting closer. Your screams are hardly heard and your whole life rests in the hands of someone who is strapped onto your back. Its absolutely exhilarating!

When answering the first asked questions “So, what was it like? Was it scary?”, my honest answer is that the plane ride is scarier than jumping out. You’re in a tiny tin plane with nine or so others and you’re all sitting on the floor being deafened by the single engine struggling to get you all up to 14,000ft… and gusts of wind are not this plane’s friend!

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The relief when you feel when that parachute pulls you to a more civilized speed makes you want to kiss the ground. How ironic! You’ve still got a long way to go. Thankfully the rest of the descent is a peaceful and scenic float back down to earth.

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It is truly the most surreal thing that you will do in your life. We would recommend this to anyone that is open to doing it. It is worth every single dollar that you pay… and as you can see, you MUST get the photos and DVD.

Hey, if my Mum could do it at 50, you can too!

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We organised our jump through Skydive the Beach in Wollongong, NSW, Australia.


15 February 2013