London – day 263 (J)

A very simple relaxed day was exactly what the doctor ordered and yet I managed to do loads and have nothing to show for it. Clare and I went out for a lovely walk around the Wallington area. You’d never realise how close you were to the city or the main roads, these beautiful homes tucked away behind massive hedges and at the bottom of immense gardens. All of them spoke of wealth and decadence in their own way and it was nice day-dreaming of living like the other half. IMG_9700We ended up getting to the garden centre before it closed and for the extortionate price of 20p Clare was able to feed the koi and carp in the big pond at the back of the nursery. It soon became very crowded and we left the brightly coloured fish to gawp at the water surface in the hope of more food being thrown at them. The aquatics centre was very well taken care of and the garden centre had a wide selection of plants to satisfy any green fingers. IMG_9681
Our preamble down the country lane meant we saw a juvenile fox out and about and a selection of different coloured poppies. We picked up some dandelion leaves for Hercules and Clare created a simple, stylish display on the window sill from some lavender she picked up outside the front of the building. I worked on the website design of the clinic while Clare watched Penny Dreadful. I watched the new Jungle Book afterwards with a plate of yellow food for dinner and avoiding packing until the last possible moment. IMG_9697
Sunday 26th June 2016

Shepparton – day 263 (K)

An early-ish start to a Sunday morning as we were helping out at an event being held at Latrobe University. Having seen an advert that McDonalds in Australia were now doing all-day breakfasts, Tracey and I had had a conversation last night (around the fifth glass of wine) about going there for breakfast! So, got showered and dressed before putting the fruit in the car (was being donated from Tracey’s work to the forum), jumping in the car and heading down the road. Another moment stood in front of the menu, gazing in awe at all the burgers that we don’t get back in the UK – must have taken me about five minutes to drool over the menu before deciding what to get. Was sorely tempted by a frozen Coke but since it’s winter here and a little too chilly for a frozen drink (and, bizarrely, I’m loving feeling the cold after months of heat and humidity!). After filling up on greasy goodness, we headed over to the university and unloaded the car. Caught up with Charles (a friend of Tracey’s from Rotary) who was organising the African Youth Forum. The forum was organised to hear and learn from young people about the issues of greater concerns to them. There was a range of professionals discussing issues ranging from education and training, apprenticeship, mental health, mentoring and domestic violence against women and girls. We were in charge of registering people who were attending the event. Notice how organised the leaflets are?!? That was my job…
I was also in charge of setting out the refreshments… I guess my OCD ways haven’t diminished at all during our months of travelling – In fact, they may have gotten worse!!The morning passed pretty quickly as we chatted to the Mayor and some of the political candidates who had come to do a quick campaign speech at the start of the forum. Chatted loads with Tracey as people trickled in, lots of them coming directly from church, whilst we sneaked peeks at various rooms and notice boards in the university – is a much nicer university than the ones I went to in England… Made me want to be a student again!Popped into the supermarket on the way home to grab some lunch and annoy Ashleigh on the deli counter, who was back at work today. Resisted the urge to go on a massive shopping spree in the stationary shop, choosing the steal the chocolate muffin from Ashleigh hot chocolate meal deal instead…
Headed back to the house to watch some TV and have a relaxing afternoon before Tracey goes back to work tomorrow (having worked all weekend too!). Got introduced to the show ‘Orange is the New Black’ which was good, although tough when you start in season six. I had to keep asking what was going on! Met up with Tracey’s parents who, very kindly, took us out for a Thai meal at a nearby restaurant. My medium hot curry had quite a kick to it and I felt substantially stuffed as we left. Also said ‘thank you’ in Thai to the waitress who looked at me as if I was insane!! Semi-finals of ‘House Rules’ rounded off a great evening! 9 days to go.

Sunday 26th June 2016