One foot on the ground
SETTING THE COURSE
On Saturday we woke, walked to the beach, had a swim in Mahon Pool and after a fruit breakfast we caught a bus into the city. Buses are the main form of public transport in Sydney and there's a great link from the end of our street straight into to the city.
We walked for four hours around the Harbour City. It was full of vibrant energy and there were literally hundreds of waterside bars and restaurants between Darling Harbour and the Opera House. Street performers pushed themselves to entertain with highly risky acts. We dropped into the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Opera House. The city is a truly exciting and envigorating place.
In the evening Miranda cooked and we had some great discussion over a few bottles of wine with Dan and Fiona. Bed at 11 and a full night sleep until 7. We seem to have defeated the jet lag.
We are used to seeing the world with a Mercator projection - a 'cylindrical map' that tries to flatten out the earth by laying it out as you might if you carefully cut up an orange. But it doesn't give you the real sense of the distance north and south relative to east and west. You'll see on the map below that it looks like we are nearly there once we cross Europe and Asia ..
However, we flew 10 hours East to Seoul, switched planes then flew 10 hours South at an average speed of just over 500 miles per hour, covering a total distance of about 10,500 miles. Both legs were about the same distance.
When we arrived, Fiona met us at the airport and drove us home to Maroubra where we are staying for a while.
Feeling very excited ... Tomorrow, Miranda and I fly to South Korea for a very brief stopover and then we land in Sydney.
It's late. House packed in lots of boxes marked ''stuff'. Lovely caretaker ready to take over. Three suitcases packed with all we think we need for six months away including good boooks and a Juice penknife. All bills paid and a few pounds left over. Celebrated Christmas and New Year and exchanged love with close friends & family.
We're staying with Miranda's sister, my brother in law and their grown up children for a while - in their shed. And then we're moving to an apartment on a cliff with a view we can watch whales from our bed.
I have a fabulous new opportunity working with a great team at KPMG and I'm looking forward to 'knocking it out of the park' in their amazing office over looking Sydney Harbour. This new practice is one of the most innovative and disruptive in the whole firm, it's led by an awesome, genuine, generous, innovative good friend I met in Chelsea in the DotCom boom days - Piers (you'll most certainly be hearing more of him). It also turns out my step cousin is the National Managing Partner of KPMG NSW so I'll need to prove myself big time to show my face when I next see my mother in law! Oh, and whilst I have an official fancy job title, I have given myself an unoffical title. I'm now a 'Smart City Architect (SCA)' and I am going to help design a/some Smart City/ies in Oz. From a quick Google, I think I'm the only SCA at the moment. I'll be blogging on that area in another blog sharing some ideas about how to build a Smart City (see www.howtobuildasmartcity.com if that made any sense and sounded interesting).
The kids are coming over soon for the Easter holidays and we're all going to learn to surf in Maroubra beach - the HQ of surfing in Australia (400m from our appartment). My step nephew is currently around 100th best in the world so I'm hoping he may be able to help out.
Several other friends will be over and we know a few more really great people there.
Last but not least ... I have four step nephews (Sam, Luke, Tom and George) who are considered to be the best sibbling rugby league players in Autralia, so I am hoping to watch their magic while we are there.
What could possibly go wrong?