Tuesday, September 26, 2006


These pix will be of minimal interest to anyone except for those of us who went to school at Dubbo South High 1966 - 71, but I've published them anyway for the people who were there.

Road Train

They have these enormous road trains everywhere in Oz. Here we are on the way to the re-union, in a truck stop, and I start snapping away. This big burly trucker gives me a dirty look, so I ask him 'Is it OK to take some pix'? and he just grunts at me. ' I'm from the UK' I say by way of explanation, 'We don't see these every day.' This elicits a cheery wave and an 'OK mate, no worries' from him. Obviously, being English is all the explanation you need for strange behaviour over here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wobbly Boot

Road Trip - Friday/Saturday

Got up at 4.00 am, by 5.00 was ready to put in a call home, spoke v briefly to Katharine and Arwen and then it was time to go. Took loads of pix on the way, but have yet to figure how to upload more than one at a time to this blog package - every time I upload one the last one seems to disappear!

Anyways, after a ten hour journey, we arrive in Dubbo, and naturally headed for the nearest pub. This isn't it, but I this is one we saw on the way, and it merits inclusion by nature of the name - the Wobbly Boot.

Tomorrow when I get some time I'm gonna sit down and figure out how to get a gallery of the pix I've taken so far onto this site. Before that though, we've got the reunion, so more drinking, eating and catching up with people I haven't seen for 35 years to do!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

What a Long Strange Trip


Have arrived in Brisbane after what can only be described as a marathon flight. The first leg to Singapore took 12 hours, then after a two hour stop it was upwards and onwards for the final 8 hourr leg to destination Oz. Travelling by plane is one of those activities best undertaken in company - on your own the whole experience is only marginally better than waiting for hell to freeze over. It's also impossible to sleep due to chattering people, crying babies, stewardesses who wake you up to offer you food - on this trip a succession of breakfasts was on offer but lunch and supper were eschewed - and pilots who seem to think it's a big joke to hurl the plane around in turbulance, and do a kind of 'now you see it, now you don't' with the 'fasten seat belt' sign.

Getting in to Oz is actually more difficult than getting out of the UK. Here your luggage is x-rayed and you get searched on the way in, whilst you're exhorted every few yards by signs warning of the dire consequences waiting anyone attempting to smuggle in wheat, grains, animal feed, sweets, Marmite sandwiches, or other dangerous foodstuffs - airports tend to reveal an enormous amount about a nation's obsessions and psyche, of which more later.

Having made it through customs I was enormosly pleased to see the hulking figure of my mate Wilf - the original 'tall guy', who immediately whisked me away to bar in the seedier area of Brisbane, where he insisted we 'sink a few beers.' Thirty hours without sleep and I was already getting my first taste of Oz nightlife. After that it was back to his place to talk long into the night about schooldays, and who will and won't be attending the re-union. At the top is a pic of his fantastic house - like many in Oz it's on stilts and surrouneded by a verandah.
Tomorrow....ten hour road trip to Dubbo!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Previous Travels

The Old Tub

This is me in Rome a few weeks ago sitting by the the fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps. It's known affectionately to locals as 'The Old Tub.' I got Katharine to sit in the place where we thought Audrey Hepburn had sat in 'Roman Holiday', but we found out later that we were about three flights out!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Starting Point

A Bit of Oz in London

Our back garden in June this year - wherever I am in the world I think of this as a place of peace and tranquility. It has a bit of an Oz feel to it, and the fern in the left foreground is an Australian Tree Fern. In the background on the left is another native of Oz - a Eucalyptus tree, but at this time of year it's covered in flowering clematis, which has grown over it, and managed to nearly cover it completely in the last couple of years.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Oz Travels

Welcome to Dick's Oz Travels Blog.

This is my first post, I'm setting off for Oz in four days time and am getting mighty excited. The reason for the visit is a school re-union, where I'll be meeting up with people I haven't seen for over thirty years. It's going to be my first time back in Oz since I left thirty three years ago to come to England, and I'm wondering how much has changed, and how much I'll still recognise in my old home town Dubbo.

I've created the blog in order to keep people at home and in Oz up to speed with what I'm doing, and I'll be posting every day where possible, adding pix, reflections and updates to my itinery where appropriate.

In the next few days I'll post some pix and bios of myself and the the family (who are collectivey called the tribe), as well as pix of where we live etc.