Looking from North Head across South Head abd Sydney Harbour toward the city centre.

Sydney Heads: between the city and the ocean

The views were spectacular! The rocky cliffs, with their windswept sandstone. The deep blue of open ocean. The view across the heads and Sydney Harbour toward the city centre itself. Standing there soaking up the views, sun on my face and wind in my hair – it was hard not to love this city I’m in!

Learning to love Canberra

My family moved from Sydney to Canberra in early 1991, when I was eight years old. I never quite got over my Sydney snobbery, and made jokes at Canberra’s expense. That said, I have learned to appreciate Canberra – especially its beautiful parks and weather.

Beautiful birds of Australia

I have really noticed the presence, and variety, of birds living in Sydney. About half the birds in Australia are found nowhere else on Earth. Lyrebirds are fascinating creatures; the males put on a song and dance, mimicking different bird calls and even some non-natural sounds.

Senses alive in Sydney

I think what has amazed me most about being in Australia is the way my senses seem to have come alive. Sydney is a rainbow of bright colours, plus sight, sound, scent, and texture. There is a blessing in having lived apart from this sense-awakening atmosphere for so long – I think I notice and appreciate it in a way others don’t, or perhaps can’t.

Ground-breaking for the provisional parliament house.

Canberra – building a capital city

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Yes, Canberra. Not Sydney or Melbourne (the largest cities, with 4.5 million people each) but Canberra, with a population of less than 400,000. This is the story of creating a capital city in the middle of nowhere…

Me sitting on the verandah outside the parlour of Vaucluse House

A visit to Vaucluse House

Vaucluse House is an early colonial property on the south head of Sydney Harbour. It was the first historical museum in Australia, open to the public for 100 years. The house is filled with original and authentic furnishing; the gardens are beautiful – with huge trees, rolling lawns, and a 150 year old fountain.

Australian festivals!

I’ve written before about a number of Chinese festivals – learning about and participating in Chinese festivals was a great way to learn about the culture in which I was living. Now that I’m living in Sydney, it’s time for me to learn a little about the local culture here, so in the past week or so I’ve been to two local festivals!

Sharing a piece of China life with new friends during the tea tasting afternoon I hosted.

Re-entry: my first four months

I’ve been here 4+ months now; it’s been 9 months since I left China. Life has felt different, easier, over the past month – which made more clear how difficult the first few months were. Each month is easier and more enjoyable than the one before – I can’t ask for much more than that.