Update June 2012 – From Sydney

 Hi all,

Well another month has gone by and we are still living in ‘The Rocks’, Sydney – not too shabby an address so we are enjoying it -(even though it’s temporary). We love it here watching the boats cruise by – our highlight is when the P&O ferry ties up below us, it is always fun to see them turn on a sixpence and set-off on their journey to another exotic location. As I write I can see a huge chandelier being transported on a dredger used for the set of La Traviata which was an outdoor performance near the Sydney Opera House.

Work: Tomorrow I am off to do some work in my beloved Dubai I have a few days of media outreach work for my Australian Organic beef client plus rolling out several days of event and advanced PR training. So I think I will be pretty exhausted by the end of my stay in Dubai. Here in Sydney I attended a seminar hosted by PRIA (Public relations Institute of Australia ) on Corporate Communicators Seminar this evening: PR for PRs, the strategic value of what we bring to the business. And was surprised to see Adele’s sister as one of the panel speakers. I have included the hyperlink above.J

Sailing/Racing: This month on Inkonkoni (46’Beneteau) ..we took one 2nd place, yesterday however whilst we didn’t obtain a place we did enjoy a fabulous sail with winds gusting up to 18knots at times. I am looking forward to sharing with you some photos taken by Daniel as and when they arrive in my inbox. Bry will continue to race in my absence, I think there is only one race remaining for the 2012 Audi Winter Series and it has been wonderful sailing on such a great yacht. We met with the owner of a a Beneteau First 40’ called Wave Sweeper and have been invited to join the yacht as delivery crew in September helping to bring the yacht slowly  from Hamilton Island via: Magnetic Island, Percy to Hamilton, Kepple, Middle Percy/Mackay RP, Musgrave, Kepple Group, Frazer, Lady Musgrave / Urangan RP, Double Island to tip of Frazer culminating in Mooloolaba – Double Island Point. Sounds like a good trip and will be fun to explore new waters.

Gastronomy: This month we visited the Australian boutique wine maker’s monthly gathering. It was a mixed bunch of wine makers some going gung ho creating modern wines with contemporary labels. We succumbed to a small purchase of wines by Lisa McGuidan Wines who produces a fabulous Moscato Noir with a lot of depth, fruitiness and of course lots of bubblesJ www.lisamcguiganwines.com The dinner that accompanied the evening hosted a menu that must have been specially designed for Brian and me. With soufflés, meats with wonderful sauces and naughty deserts. With Sydney being the hub for gays it is funny seeing our friends on our table eye up the rather well presented waiter and share their lusty thoughtsJ

On the concert/theatre scene: Our friends Verity and Duncan to celebrate Duncan’s birthday at the tail end of last month took us to Balla (funny to have a restaurant named after my old friend in Dubai …but hey!) http://www.star.com.au/dine/signature-dining/Balla it was a great evening followed by a night at the theatre to see an Officer and a Gentleman hosted by V & D.

Clubs: SWIC (Sydney Women’s International Club) has been a fun resource this month I have played Mahjong twice –yeah! and have met a nice bunch of ladies at a couple of the coffee mornings – one had a superb Guest Speaker – Viv Dore – intrepid adventurer, mountaineer, trekker, explorer and action photographer. You can see some of his exploits on the following links: OZ | Traveldharma http://www.traveldharma.com/2009/12/oz/


Catching up: This month Carole Harris introduced us to her longtime friends Annie and Scott who are a fun couple that live in Sydney remarkably as with us they have lived in Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai –so we spent a long evening swopping stories and reminiscing about our wine making experiences in KuwaitJ Sadly we missed out on a birthday in Melbourne to celebrate Gil’s 60th we do hope he had a great time.

On the horizon: In the early hours of tomorrow I will be off for the 14.5 hour journey to Dubai to stay with Sharon, June and on the return Lynne. In the UK I hope to stay with Michele then on to the Cotswold’s to do my ‘gardening leave’ literally — with my mum’s oversized garden –we already have one trip scheduled to Staunton to buy plants, bulbs and shrubs to plant out and the rest of the time I will be attempting to tame a rather unruly garden that needs some TLC. Any friends in the UK reading if you are able to help gardening with me… bring yourselves and don your wellies and a gardening we will go!!!! I hope to make the great escape for one day to catch up in Bath with Louise and Karina.

My Blog: Yep still haven’t started the blog…sorry Sal…so you will still have to make do with my newsletter in its current form. I have got my blog site, just need to set it up. Yikes, inshallah I will do this….perhaps with Sally’s help if you have the odd one hour to help me get it into shape it would be fab. Sally I bow to your experience-x- For those of you who would like to embark in an interesting food focused blog check out:


My Custard Pie logo

Charities: This month I am going to set up a monthly charity area that will highlight a charity that has touched our hearts. This month thanks to Verity and Duncan (yes their names do keep cropping up. They introduced us to ICM (The International Care Ministries) they went on a ‘vision trip’ to the Philippines with their family and assisted in running a camp. This charity stretches far afield and the CFO of Morgan Stanley who is a lead spokesperson for the charity presented a wonderful PPT that showed the impoverished areas of the Philippines and the areas where through ICM they have enrolled Pastor’s to assist with educating the inhabitants from a grass root stage through to initiating scholarships within schools.

At the fundraising dinner we journeyed on an emotional rollercoaster with not a dry eye in site. Watching the powerful slides and hearing of experiences of hope. We realise we have been blessed to have been born out of poverty — so it is only right that in our own way we strive to make a difference in others lives. This may be in a small way through buying merchandise with the proceeds sent in a direct filter to the people that the charity is providing for. Or it may be in a more advanced way through sponsoring communities. To give an idea of just how poor these people are, with the proceeds of just two gorgeous hand-made teddy bears it can educate six children for one year. (Anouchka we bought them for Hugo and Beatrice as Xmas prezzies– I thought you might like the idea of how they were made and for why).

I know a few of my friends around the world have sponsored children. Or climbed mountains or visited camps to fundraise or supply first hand assistance. It is however important to hear the stories and let it impact upon the many.

International Care Ministries

This is a non-profit organization serving the poorest of the poor in the Philippines. ICM now works on the islands of Negros, Bohol and Mindanao, serving each year over 100,000 Filipinos who live in unspeakable poverty. Check out the website to learn about this charity and click on the hyperlink below.

Sad news: This month we learned of our dear friend Shams –whose mum has had her Cancer return. Shams is off to Las Vegas to be with her family at this sad time. Our thoughts are with you. Ray is in hospital at present and we hope he makes a speedy recovery.

Skype calls: Ok the name and shame!!!! No seriously — thanks again for those who have skyped me and for those who haven’t —well you know who you are – please do better next monthJ tee hee!!!

Lots of love and remember we should all be working on our bucket list – don’t wait – start crossing things off of your list —-GET STARTED TODAY!!!!

Remember: Hold the Prosecco!

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