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9th of February was an exciting day – not only was it Charlotte’s birthday, but we had returned to Perth and Charlotte’s mum and stepdad were flying in to celebrate with us. Continue reading



We spent four days traveling from Perth to Sydney with the aim of making it in time for Christmas. Here’s the story of our roadtrip…


Meet Alvin.

Now readers, we’ve taken a different approach with this post,
To try make the story more readable of how we journeyed from coast to coast.
Its a strange kind of love poem, as the journey was by no means romantic,
And in fact was littered with incredulous antics,
However Alvin you see, is our trusted campervan,
And he took us 4000km regardless he’s an 80s Nissan.
We bought him from a man called Fred down in South Perth,
Who quick to sell passed him on for less than his worth.
There were some teething problems initially, and getting him into 3rd gear took a while,
But for $800 we weren’t expecting agile.
He has quite a turning circle and a 3-point-turn is exercise
(In fact, just driving round the block again is probably wise).
He’s heard before he’s seen and he makes quite an impression,
And that was before we’d even started renovation.

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We always knew that Perth would be scorching as Christmas drew near, but it was still very surreal to see the shop decorations, trees and lights whilst wearing T-shirts and flip-flops, singing along to carols!

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Still enjoying our week off after the farm, and with new jobs for Blue Cow Cheese beginning a couple of days later, we were keen to indulge in some glamour and fun; the Melbourne Cup provided just such an opportunity.


These races are celebrated all over Australia and whilst we couldn’t yet head to Melbourne, we went down the road to Ascot Racecourse, Perth.

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After the farm work, there is nothing that could have warmed our hearts as much as the word ‘vineyard’. Already having friends further south to stay with we hired a car and drove down the stunning west coast, stopping at Fremantle for breakfast and every beach along the way. Sal and Cam, and their two beautiful daughters Abbey and Phoebe, are good friends of Sarah’s aunt, and acted as the perfect company, hosts and tour guides for Busselton and Margaret river.


Our morning trip around the vineyards and chocolate factory was indulgent and tipsy to say the least; our favourite was a rather dashing and eloquent French waiter who successfully sold us a rather fancy sauvignon blanc. We stopped by a smaller vineyard for lunch – the food was just as good as the wine!



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A rooftop cinema was pretty novel for us as any such venture would struggle to make it back home in rainy England. Whilst being situated on top of a car park doesn’t sound the most glamorous of venues, it’s a stunning place to watch your movie of choice (and very convenient should you be arriving by car!).

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Kelly Family – Nannies

Our first day in Perth we were lucky enough to land ourselves short-term live-in nannying positions with the Kelly family. Fortunately, the Kelly family were able to accommodate two people, one working as the nanny for wages and accommodation, whilst the other paid rent, or alternatively, both people split the nannying role and work for accommodation and food without wages. We opted for the latter, meaning we’d both have enough free time to get part time work at the local pub to fit around the children.

Oliver, 7, and Grace, 6, are hilarious and we became instantly attached to them, with us partaking in all manner of arts and crafts, dance performances, baking, computer games and gymnastics. In reality, it required a lot of energy and a lot of cunning. Grace loved arts and crafts, and we were constantly trying to come up with new ideas for her that wouldn’t destroy the house. Oliver was fairly self-sufficient, but trying to get him to take his maths problems seriously took military-type planning and attack. But the best thing of all was the affection; both loved hugs, climbing on us and whispering secrets to us. This was definitely the most rewarding of all our Australia work.


Grace, the morning after payment from the tooth fairy


Oliver, bankrupting the tooth fairy

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It was time. Time to leave Thailand. The trauma of leaving Thailand was monumental and so to cushion the blow, we decided to ease ourselves from Asia to Australia, via a speedy trip to Kuala Lumpur. The fact that the train to there from Bangkok combined with the forwarding flight also proved cheaper than a direct flight, was just an added bonus. We took the overnight journey to Penang, then the bus to Kuala Lumpur, followed by a flight to Perth from there.

train bangkok to kuala lumpur

Regardless of sudden jerks on the rickety rails, strange warm meaty smells of people’s food and the occasional unexplained stop in the middle of nowhere for up to an hour, we consider a journey on a Thai sleeper train to be a peaceful and unmissable experience, and we relaxed and chatted merrily with our fellow train passengers. Watching the train guard come along at 8pm to unfold everyone’s seats into beds with military precision and speed was quite hypnotising, and we slept soundly until morning.

Crossing the Thai-Malaysia border caused slight confusion; “everyone get off the train!” “Everyone get in this queue!” “Everyone over there!” “Everyone wait a short while!” “Everyone put your bags here!” “Everyone back on the train!”

bus penang to kuala lumpur

After 24 hours on the train, we stepped out at Penang station to… nothing. It was completely deserted, and upon finally finding someone who worked there we found out that all trains to Kuala Lumpur were full. Never fear, we could take the bus! A friendly local pointed us in the direction of a coach station, and we paid £7 for a ‘VIP’ seat. 5 hours later we arrived – hello Kuala Lumpur!

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