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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Sunday, December 31, 2000

Curve Ball...(Part 1)




SOMETIMES LIFE THROWS YOU A CURVE BALL

This is my last email from Australia. At the age of 23 I have been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma :o(


Sunday, December 10, 2000

Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 31) - NZ South Island

Survived!
THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD AND ON...

Turning up to Queenstown with a limp, turned out be very appropriate. It is the mecca for adrenaline junkies. It's where you throw money, caution and gravity to the wind. You can go bungy jumping, canyon swinging, sky diving, and afternoon snoozing. I was definitely not the only injured party dragging myself around town. Lian pegged it off to go bungy jumping and Sharon shot off to fire guns at a range. I took a load off and hung out with some very sound English girls we had befriended on the Kiwi Experience. Ironically, we all bonded over our shared skepticism of the ability to make friends on these tour thingys.


Monday, December 4, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 30) - NZ Franz Josef

Brrr, it's cold in here
ICE ICE BABY...

The Kiwi Experience always like to make a stop at a pub/hotel in pretty much the middle of nowhere. It's got photos on the wall of every Kiwi Experience tour group that has ever stopped there, yes we checked and spotted friends on the wall! We all stay in the hotel and have the pub to ourselves for a cross-dressing party.


Friday, December 1, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 29) - NZ South Island




SADDLE UP, RIDE 'EM IN, RAW HIDE...

I have now confirmed my suspicions that I am definitely NOT a horse rider. Firstly, you have to wear these hats that make your brain implode. Secondly, how do you change gears? Thirdly, are they related to unicorns? ;o)


Thursday, November 30, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 28) - NZ Abel Tasman

Team Ireland, storming it!
THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEA...

It was our first really really sunny day and we were going kayaking with the Kiwi Experience in the coastal nirvana that is Abel Tasman...


Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 27) - NZ Nelson

New Zealand ferrari
LET'S SEE WHAT THIS BABY CAN DO...

Our first port of call was Nelson, a beaut of a place. We went Quad Biking there. I honestly think I have found my calling, I feel the need for speed. We were bombing it through forests, up mountains, over lakes (OVER lakes, what am I, walking on water now). There were a few scary bits, when I had slowed to the back so I could get a clear stretch to myself (a major no no apparently) and I went out of control and nearly swan dived into a gorge!


Sunday, November 26, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 26) - NZ South Island




SOUTH ISLAND...SWEET AS

We arrived in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, our last stop before the South Island. Wellington is terrific, I took to it a lot more than Auckland. It's got a great harbour that the town and its hills have bloomed around, and that's exactly what it feels like, a 'town'. It's very easy to get around, has a great relaxed friendly vibe and is confident in its coolness when it comes to food. music, and the arts.


Sunday, November 19, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 25) - NZ North Island


NEW ZEALAND - HIGHS AND LOWS

My brain is bursting with all the activities this country has to offer. You come here as a mouse and you leave a lion...


Sunday, November 5, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 24) - NZ North Island

Great seat, lots of leg room
NEW ZEALAND, ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND OR LARGE SHEEP FARM?

New Zealand is the BOMB Baby, having said that...


Friday, November 3, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 23) - Port Stephens

Who's drivin' this thing...

ROAD TRIP CONTINUES

Next up, the high speed boat which we picked up on a whim at the harbour of Port Stephens. It was superb!


Thursday, November 2, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 22) - Hunter Valley


ROAD TRIP

Well, I had the best weekend last week (it was road trip time). The morning was a mad dash as we had to get over to Katrinas house in Sydney's North Shore, she had picked up the rental car. The car was perfect, very city slickers. We piled in, threw some road music in the CD player and away we were. I was pretty quiet on the way out, things on my mind. We arrived in Hunter Valley, that’s a wine valley about 2 hours from Sydney. We were sooo lucky Katrina was with us, aside from the dazzling company, she knew the place like the back of her hand and was able to scoot us along to one vineyeard after the other.


Sunday, October 29, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 21) - Canberra

Canberra during rush hour

A CAPITAL PLAN

My brother's job brought him to Canberra for a week, so being nosy folk...


Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 20) - Sydney gigs and giggles



DON'T DREAM IT'S OVER

We've all gotten really into an indie band over here called Powderfinger, they are so friggin good...


Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 19) - Olympics

Proud of our face tattoos at the Olypmics - (erm, ookkaay)
AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE....OI OI OI

The infamous Sydney Olympics 2000. With no pre-planning and just rocking up on the day, we managed to score ourselves some prize tickets for the athletics. However, the seats were 3 rows from the back, in fact, you practically had to be propelled to the seats through a series of levers and pulleys.


Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 18) - Pubs and grub in Sydney

A bin and a bus stop - obvious kodak moment

PUB N' GRUB


Tuesday, to take the sting out our work day, we popped along to...


Thursday, September 14, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 17) - Olympic Flame




THE FLAME

Thanks a million for the concern about the fall I had in the Blue Mountains. My accident sounded worse than it was, at this stage the pain is practically gone. There are still 2 other pains but Lian and Sharon just won’t leave!

The Olympic Torch is actually passing my office today...


Monday, September 11, 2000

Friday, September 8, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 15) - Bondi Junction



VIDEO NIGHT

The whole weekend was perfect...


Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 14) - Betty Crocker


BETTY CROCKER

Lian was saying you were all wondering a while ago what I meant by saying “ask Sharon who her best friend is” well the thing is...


Thursday, September 7, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 13) - Blue Mountains



HIT ROCK BOTTOM

So, here's the story of my fall down a cliff face and trip (yet again) to hospital…


Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 12) - Blue Mountains

Australia 2000 - Colm, Sheilagh, Sharon, Lian, Kieron and Dom
BEATIN' THE BLUES

Last Friday night we had a blast, we met up with Katrina. Brilliant night, bar hopping in North Sydney encountering the weird and the wonderful...


Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 11) - Bondi Junction


LOCAL DERO

I forgot to tell you about our local dero (Aussie slang for homeless person/derelict) he likes to sit outside Coles supermarket, when women go in he always, without fail, yells out “Baby, Baby, you’re Beautiful, Fantastic, Exquisite… Take me home and make mad passionate love to me”… hee hee.


Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 10) - Glebe and Newtown


Sydney 2000 - Lian, Sheilagh and Dom

GLEBE AND NEWTOWN

I recently paid a visit to our local hospital in the dead of night...


Monday, August 14, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 9) - Sydney

dun-diddle-dun-diddle-dun-dun
TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN MATE 

My cuz Lian has made it over from Dublin and has moved in, yay. Myself, Lian and Sharon are officially the three musketeers (Bags D'Artagnan - who wasn't actually one of the three, but whateves!)

I have been a busy little camper but I am avec cold at the mo. I think I am at the end of it, last night it reached its pinnacle. I was whoopin up a storm, barking away...


Sunday, July 23, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 8) - Sydney Suburbs


FRUIT BATS

I forgot to say, when we went to visit Sharon’s relatives last night, her cousin, who walked us there was telling us about Fruit Bats...


Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 7) - Sydney Suburbs



Irish anti-smoking campaign ad

ZSA ZSA GABOR

Hello Possum!...


Thursday, July 20, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 6) - Manly

Hello, is it me you're looking for...

MANLY AND INFLATABLE FURNITURE

How ya goin? (Aussie speak for 'How's it going')

We went to Manly today, it’s a ferry ride away from Sydney Harbour. Very nice, but...


Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 5) - Double Bay



DOYLES AND DOGS

Australia is all about the wanderings, the ambles, the walkabouts. With no map and just a vague idea of where we wanted to go, myself and Sharon strolled from Bondi off into the sunset. A few kilometers under our belt we ended up...


Monday, July 17, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 4) - Sydney

LAAZZYYY DAAAZZE

We tried to book ourselves into classes over here in Pilates. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, it’s kinda aerobics but better (seems like you do a fair amount of lying down, ha, supposed to be vicious good though!). Annnnyway, we were too late (shame).

There is a wine tasting course on soon so we were thinking of doing that maybe, sounds good. Also we were thinking of picking up cheap tennis rackets somewhere, there is a park near us that we think has public courts.

(Wow, lots of 'thinking' little 'doing', meh, I'm a backpacker, very little is expected of me).


Friday, June 30, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 3) - Bondi Junction

Home in County Bondi!
THE UNIT

Let’s see, oh, of course, the flat. Aussies call flats 'units' no idea why, one of their many quirks. We got one on the second day we went hunting. In fact it was the first place we looked at. It's in Bondi Junction, which is 10 mins from town on the train (it's cheaper than the bus ?!), 2km walk from Bondi Beach and 20 mins bus journey from Coogee, not a problem. There is a shopping mall right opposite, restaurants and cinemas nearby, also did I say Bondi Beach is only 2km away. <Pause> I gotta say that again, Bondi... friggin... Beach....<brain...BOOM>


Thursday, June 29, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 2) - Sydney

The Land of Plenty

G'DAY MATE!

When I first arrived in Sydney, Australia, it was rain, rain, rain. I was nay impressed and SO tempted to ask for my money back. However, rain never lasts long out here and ever since then it's been sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.


Thursday, June 1, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 1) - America

Cal-a-friggin-fornia
ONLINE AND LISTENIN'

Well, California was the Business Baby!

LA was excellent, I don't get these people who waffle on about how ruuuubish it is. What's not to like; Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Hollywood (or Holly - WUD, as the locals pronounce it, or at least they do in my head) all very rich, very flash, very wannabe! It's great. I don't necessarily wanna live there, let's not lose our minds here. The difficulty for tourists is that it's widespread and public transport isn't very obvious. Most people seem to hire a car but we managed on the metro, taxis and tours.