Archives for posts with tag: sydney

When Monday morning rolls around and the alarm goes off, I spring out of bed with a huge grin spread across my face. Well, there may be a slight bit of exaggeration in that sentence but the general sentiment is true enough. I like Mondays.

Because come Monday evening, when the first day of the working week has been put to bed, I sneak into the men’s toilets, change into my running gear (Kevin 87 t-shirt, swimming shorts and a pair of well-worn sneakers covered in drips and drops of old paint) and head down through Darling Harbour and Pyrmont to Wentworh Park for a jog with Paul. As well as being my running buddy, Paul is a dear friend, prayer companion, former work colleague and mentor, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for the past five years. He’s also the editor of a magazine about trucks. Read the rest of this entry »

A sandstone wall on the F3. (Photo: RMS)

It’s now almost two months since I arrived back in Australia. One thing I’ve continually been reminded of in this time is that it is people, more than places, that give me a sense of belonging. There have been lots of opportunities to share special moments with family, catch up with old friends, meet new babies and resume long-running conversations with close friends and mentors. These ‘people moments’ are easily the best part of being back home.

At the same time though, places can be important too. One such place for me is the small stretch of Parramatta River near my apartment, where I go to jog, walk and lap up the view on a shady park bench. There’s a lot to like about it – the smell of salt water mixed with mangroves, the gentle breezes, the acres of green parkland and the playful sea gulls. It’s a highlight of my neighbourhood and, after walking along the muddy, brown trickle of Santiago’s only river, the Mapocho, it seems even better.

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Burwood Station and mission accomplished. (Photo: CitySider/Flickr)

“Doors closing. Please stand clear,” said the recorded message.

And just like that, the doors rolled shut. With a creak and a couple of muffled clunks, the city bound train began edging forward as it pulled out of Strathfield Station, past the old Whelan’s Hotel and the relatively new TAFE college, which, as always, was advertising new enrolments. Some things don’t change. Like the whistling noise the train made as it started to pick up speed.

It was late on a Sunday afternoon – almost late enough to be considered evening – and the sky was heavy with dark grey clouds that looked ready to burst any minute. Even though there was still a week of summer left, a cool breeze fluttered through the window beneath the sunless sky. It was almost jumper weather. Almost but not quite.

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Harbour Bridge.

Nice view: one of the advantages of being back in Sydney.

“It’s good to have you back.”

They’re nice words and I’ve been blessed to hear them a lot lately, as I’ve caught up with friends and family members at all sorts of social gatherings, parties and catch-ups.

“Yeah, it’s great to be back,” I always respond.

And I mean it. Every time. After a 12-month absence, there are few things better than seeing friendly smiles on familiar faces and hearing equally friendly and familiar voices, without the distortion of Skype or the delay of an international call. It’s also nice to see leafy neighbourhoods, filled with grassy parks and tall gum trees, and to hear cockatoos screeching and kookaburras cackling. And jogging along the Parramatta River is great way to end the dat. Yes, it’s great to be back.

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