Kayaking, partying, ten pound poms and farewell Australia!

There’s a great community spiritin Barwon Heads, and Claire’s friends are totally exceptional. In addition to our wonderful friends Clare and Andy, we spent time with Robyn B (oh! Robyn it was SOOOOO good to see you, and to meet Brooke and Dom), Robyn and Marque, and Noni and Charlie.

Julie and Tony hosted a ‘book launch’ house party for me on Friday night in their beatiful home. Amazing! There was a live band (The Gems) which included Tony on drums…..fab Tony! Paul and I were overwhelmed with the hospitality and kindness of this wonderful couple. Thanks Julie (new sister!) and Tony for everything…book loans, advice, coffee, kayaks and the party! Niece extraordinare (Claire) said a few words about my book, and our family. Again, another poignant moment.

Robyn and Marque invited us for a BBQ on Saturday night, another memorable night. We are becoming more convinced that BH is the ‘place to be’! I loved chatting to Robyn W about the history of Australia….thanks Robyn. I almost don’t need to read ‘Buckley’s Hope’ now! And Noni, the tales of your Polish grandmother really made me think. I so enjoyed talking to you. And it turns out Julie's parents were Ten Pound Poms. I love the story of how new lives started on little financial investment, and although the emotional investment was probably far greater for her parents I would like to guess they felt it was well worth it!

Rob and Tony took us kayaking, what an experience! Barwon River was cool. Day after Tony and Paul repeated the fun but the travelled in the opposite direction. We met them later at the Heads, and Paul was quietly admired by the friendly owner, who offered him a huge slice of date cake ‘to keep his strength up!’ He certainly took a shine to those boys!

Champagne with Robyn on Saturday afternoon, in the sun again, was a special treat….especially as it was meant to be a coffee!

On Sunday (last day) we visited Ballarine Estate winery and had light lunch with Julie and Tony, accompanied by James, Tony and Julie’s nephew on the guitar. Lovely voice James!

I took some time to make a short film for Tom and Claire, about the first 'leg' of their travels. I also heard that they loved it!

The last party was a quieter affair, but was perhaps the most important! Lottie, special Lottie is 16 today…so last night another BBQ with a delicious chocolate cake (made by Lottie herself) was in order. Happy Birthday Lottie! You are a credit to your Mum, and I am so proud of you. Can't wait to tell your Grandma all about you. 


As I write this last blog whilst preparing to leave this remarkable land after an extraordinary adventure, I am reminded that it wouldn’t have been half as good if not orchestrated by and shared with, Claire Geldard. We are forever grateful.