East Coast and New South.....

I am in Orange. The one in N.S.W. and I am happy, the weather has been cold and cloudy... and it suits me just fine!! I will be M.C at my friends' wedding in March and my speech has been composed by me and approved by the bride....phew!

Last week, I left Adelaide by plane to Sydney. I (foolishly) decided to stay in a suburb called Tempe, next to a highway under the flightpath to Sydney International Airport ..I know I don't sound enthusiastic.... No sleep! It was torture! On a plus side, during the day, it was very interesting...as soon as the first A380 wakes you up at 0.6.30 it's a case of "if you can't beat them , join them!" and it is quite amazing to see these jumbo feats of engineering and physics just glide by a few metres away from the balcony. Let's say..one trip to Tempe was enough.

I then went by a very dirty, icky, dirty train to Lithgow...what fantastic scenery through the Blue Mountains...Those I recommend! Stunning scenery! A single ticket to my final destination of Orange was just 26$AUD..not bad at all....!


I've come a long way baby! Greetings from the Goldfields of Kalgoorlie, W.A.

Well folks, I have left picturesque yet sunless Finland, my life in Saariselka as an Elf is well and truly over. It was fun but tough. I made lots of friends and even more memories.

Here I am on a very humid Summer night in Western Australia. I have just checked my flag counter and my latest visitor is from Iran and I had those mixed feelings that must strike every lazy blogger. Pride and Guilt, Proud that somebody from a new country has clicked in and the Guilt of not writing often or well enough.
To all of you that check in on me and my exploits, I thank you, it means a lot...!

I reached Perth in the middle of the night 2 weeks ago and overnighted in a motel. Motels are strange places that always stink of men, I don't know why and I'd rather not know why! The first thing an Irish woman does is check the surroundings for spiders and pull the bed away from the wall in case my arachnoid buddies climb up the wall and into my ears during the night.

Next, check the toilet for more creatures. Bang the lid, flush and check toilet roll holders for reclusive spiders.
Then, see how low can the air con go! I had been in Finland 2 weeks previously at-34c . Australia is far too hot for me but it's a chance to see old friends and make new ones.

I had an interesting week in my next port of call Geraldton where I was the guest of the very hospitable people of the City of Geraldton Greenough. I spent time doing radio/ TV interviews and having a very nice time. I was honoured to help them with their Australia Day celebrations, I was MC for their inaugural Wife Carrying race.

I finally had my dream come true! I went on a return visit to The Principality of Hutt River, there I was greeted by H.R.H Prince Leonard and H.R.H. Princess Shirley and their son Crown Prince Ian and his wife Princess Annette and Sir Steve Baikie ADC and his wife Dame Chris Baikie. I got across the border whilst enduring +43c with the help of Geraldton-Greenough P.R.O. Sue Chiera , together we all entered the Chapel at Nain and went though a ceremony bestowing me with my Damehood "for my service to the State for International Sports". I am now Dame Julia Galvin of the Serene Order of Leonard. It was all very formal, the sword came close to my ears but here I am to tell the tale.

All good things come to an end, I flew back to Perth and experienced city life with friends before flying to my Australian H.Q. in Kalgoorlie. Here, I have the advice and friendship of Ciara and Aaron who help to "ground" this old foreigner and "re-group the troop" and assist me in my next campaign...S.A. and the East!

I have been practicing for my bog snorkelling events here in their lovely garden swimming-pool and watching on the TV the terrible troubles of the people of Queensland, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Many thanks to all that are making my trip so memorable.....2 weeks down...! Beautiful Adelaide next!