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Jamie, Julie and Bronte's All Aussie Adventure

Hello!! Welcome to our blog of our travels whilst we are on our way to Sydney and a record of what we are up to once we get there.

We are planning to visit Koh Samui two weeks and then we hit Perth and about for another two weeks and then we arrive in Sydney.

Please use this page to keep up to date with what we are up to.

We will miss you all,

Jamie, Julie and Bronte

Diary Entries

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Location: Sydney, Australia

Hello all

Sorry its been so long since we have written but we've been through the mill and back recently.

To cut a long and painful story short we are moving back to the UK at the beginning of Feb. To most people this will come as a suprise, as you will know how long we planned to come here and how many sacrifices we made, so this decision has not come lightly. Just so you know here are the main reasons

Bronte has substandard childcare here
We are commuting longer
We are working longer hours and therefore see Bronte less than the UK.
Traffic is silly here
House prices are sky high
My father is suffering from ill health
We miss you all
The TV is beyond a bad joke
There is no decent curry houses
We have been offered our old jobs back

There are other reasons to, but they are the main ones. We do really love it here, the weather, the people and the buzz, but we have to do what we think is right for us all. The big thing is, is that we have done it and found out for ourselves rather than wonder what might of been.

In our remaining days here we are rushing around trying to sell things and get our shipping and lives sorted out whilst also trying to take in as much of Australia as we can.

So far in our house I have killed a Huntsman (bites), a Wolf Spider (toxic) and a Redback spider (deadly). What fun, lets hope one doesn't crawl into Jamie Watson's bed.

We look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Monday, 01 January 2007

Location: Sydney, Australia

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

We have added a few additional photo's from the festive season.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Location: Lane Cove, Sydney, Australia


Hope that you are all well and enjoying the festive season.

We have had a manic few weeks getting sorted.

We are now in our lovely new house. It is a three bedroomed bungalow with a large (spider attracting) garden. We have spent the last week building Ikea furniture in a bid to get the house sorted! There is more than enough space for visitors so get yourselves booked in to Hotel Allan!!

We have both lined up jobs. I am a finance manager for a small recruitment firm in the city. I have worked a few days over the past fortnight while Jamie has been off looking after B and everyone seems nice enough. We had our Christmas Party on Thursday which was a barbeque at Tamarama Beach - certainly different to my last Christmas Party in Darlo!

Jamie starts on Monday. He is going to be a Senior Technical Support Analyst for a software company called Prognosis, based in North Sydney. This job is even geekier than the last!

I now have a month of being a full time mum and house-wife that I am looking forward to. Lots of time with B and time to sort the house out before real life starts again. Potty training from tomorrow as well which will not be as much fun!! Good job we have wooden floor boards and not carpets I think.

On Friday we went to the Noodle Markets and then there was a carol concert which made us feel quite Christmassy. (Christmas in general just feels wrong here - it should be cold and it isn't, mince pies on a hot summers day are just wrong).

The Aussies have their own version of Jingle Bells to try and make up for this - here is the chorus

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summers day, hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Yesterday we went for a lovely picnic with Chris, Lorraine, Luke and Lorraine's sister and family to Centennial Park.

Today we are off to Dee Why Beach for the afternoon and may have a bite to eat on the way home.

Let us know what you are all up to over Christmas and have a few drinks for us!!

We have put some more photies on and apparently now you can click on them and see even larger photos of us if you wish!! Aren't you lucky!

We now have a scanner so I may start putting Bronte's artwork on too, like the Hartbeat gallery!

Missing you all,

Lots of love

Julie, Jamie and Bronte

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Location: Sydney, Australia


Hope that you are all well. Apologies for being quiet for the past couple of weeks, we have been running around like loons trying to sort our new life out.

We are very kindly being put up by Fiona and Dan in their swanky apartment complete with bridge and opera house views and access to a swimming pool, not surprising that we are delaying moving out!

So far we have sorted a new car, a black Hyundai Tuscon V6, a nursery place at a top nursery for B from January (delaying a start at work for me - yeah!) and have pretty much secured a house to rent! We have also scored some swanky second hand furniture from some very rich people advertising on Ebay for hardly any money at all!

We have also spent time catching up with our friends Lorraine and Chris and meeting the gorgeous Baby Luke for the first time.

In between all of this sorting out of lives we have took in some sights including;

Manly Beach
Darling Harbour
Balmoral Beach
Bronte Beach!
North Sydney

Jamie is off to watch Sydney FC v Adelaide United with Chris tonight, and has two interviews tomorrow so wish him lots of luck please!!

Keep us up to date with all of your news,

Lots of love

Julie, Jamie and Bronte

Sunday, 05 November 2006

Location: Bunbury, Australia

I am trying to write this up while I remember what we have actually done, it has been a busy few days.

Thursday 2 November – Drove from Pemberton to Margaret River, stopping off at Cape Leeuwin on the way. This is the most south-westerley point of Australia. In the days of seafarers, this would be the first part of Australia that would be seen, as most ships travelled via the Cape of Good Hope. It is also where the Indian Ocean and Great Southern Ocean meet. We thought that this would be spectacular, but it was not obvious where this meeting was. Good photo opportunity (as always) though.

We then moved onto our accommodation, at Sunflowers Animal Farm. Bronte went straight into action feeding the animals including, kangaroos, llamas, goats, pigs, chickens, geese, donkeys, ponies. Bronte really loved it and was a regular little Bindi Irwin.

Friday 3 November – Up for an early (for us) eight thirty start for Bronte to have her pony ride. She sat on Basil the pony and was soon in for a comfortable four laps with him. She talked about it all day.

We then headed off to visit some wineries, a cheese factory and a chocolate factory before heading to Gnarabup Beach. Western Australian’s have a bizarre definition of swimming beach which seems to mean that you cannot surf on it, when to us it just seems to mean, really wild waves that you wouldn’t send anyone in to. A very beautiful beach to look at though. Headed back in time for more feeding of the animals.

Saturday 4 November – Today another eight thirty start but for a tractor ride. We went into the field of cows (steers apparently – that were being reared for meat) and fed them loaf upon loaf of bread as a treat. Quite bizarre being surrounded on a small trailer by a lot of cows, one accidentally licked Bronte on the head – bless her.

We then headed off to visit a few more wineries and food establishments before heading to the Colonial Brewing Company. This place had brilliant food, top beer, an excellent beer garden with the best play area I have ever seen at a pub and a band playing on the afternoon – what could be better – the perfect way to pass a Saturday afternoon.

We then had a look at Gracetown Beach and then back for more feeding of the animals. I stayed in the apartment whilst Jamie and Bronte went. One hour later they returned with Jamie covered in some kind of dirty spit all over his t-shirt and in his hair – apparently Pedro the Llama had sneezed directly in his face. This picture cheered me up for the whole day (if only I had got a photo!!)

We headed to Surfers Point for the sunset. Little did we know that this was part of a Margaret River institution where loads of people go to the beach to watch the sunset and have a few drinks whilst watching some very brave surfers catching waves way out. Bronte by this point was hungry and did us proud by demanding “cwips” so loudly that the family nearby gave her some!!
Sunday 5 November – Tried to ignore that it is Bonfire Night. Jamie is in mourning as apparently this is the first year since the age of ten that he has not lit a firework on this night – bless him. Not a mention of it at all over here.

Up again early for Bronte’s pony ride. Jamie – she is a natural – maybe you should consider her for Northern Candy!!

Another day of travel to our next port of call – Bunbury. On the way we visited;

- Yallingup – a beautiful beach where the Aussie cricketers have their holiday homes apparently
- Meelup Beach – yet another beautiful beach
- Fun-O-Rama – a poor man’s Ruff ‘n’ Tumble
- Bussleton Jetty – this was very shoddy – they charged us $2.50 each to walk up the jetty (a feeble attempt at an English pier) that was in bad condition and had a train track running up it – and this was the main tourist attraction – we left as soon as we could

Once we had dumped our stuff at our accommodation we headed down to the imaginatively named, Ocean Beach, and within one minute of arriving saw dolphins jumping in the sea. This is amazing, as on our last trip to Oz, dolphins had always evaded us, at all the spots you are supposedly guaranteed to see them. Heading to the Dolphin Discovery Centre tomorrow to hopefully see them closer up.

Wednesday, 01 November 2006

Location: Pemberton, Australia

Hello All,

Just thought that we would update you on our last few days while we have the opportunity. We have popped into a telecentre in deep South West Australia. Surprisingly there was no wireless connection in our hotel.

Monday - We caught a ferry to Rottnest Island. For those of you who went to Amsterdam with us, Jamie did turn as green as expected. Rotto (as it is known to the locals) is a nature reserve with stunning scenery and beaches. Cars are banned so bicycle is the preferred mode of transport. Jamie pulled Bronte in a small cart behind him (along with our bags) and I sailed along on a ladies bicycle. (Dad and Andrea - I even managed to cycle up hills without passing out and puking!) We cycled round the island and then stopped at Salmon Bay and had a picnic at our own private beach.

We then cycled back to Thomson Bay, had a potter and caught the ferry back.

Tuesday - A five hour drive from Perth to Pemberton.

Wednesday - We have done the Karri Forest Explorer Drive with the following stop-offs;

Big Brook Dam - brisk 4km walk (carrying B as we had forgotten the pushchair!) Very scenic though - in between the swearing.

Beedelup Falls - a very average waterfall

Pemberton Wine Centre - for a spot of wine tasting

Bicentennial Tree - a very tall (over 75m) tree that used to be used a lookout for fires. It is pinned up to a viewing platform up the top. You can climb up it. Surprisingly Jamie and I climbed about 5m up and thought better of it.

Jarrah Jack's Brewery - for a spot of lunch and some beer tasting - aah the life.

We move onto Margaret River tomorrow. We are staying on an animal farm and get two buckets of animal feed a day for Bronte to feed the animals. (It has just clicked that this is a form of child labour to save the farmer doing it himself). I am sure that B will love it all though and get to meet her first kangaroo (all the ones that we have seen so far have been road kill!).

Lots of love to all of you - we miss you,

Julie, Jamie and Bronte

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Location: Perth, Australia

Hello all

Julie is upstairs on the phone, so you will have to make do with my half arsed attempt at updating you all.

After 3 flights and 11 hours on flying we finally landed in Australia, and didn't get to bed until 3am. What fun it was with Bronte! We had a nice guy at immigration welcome us to Australia which was a little emotional after 2.5 years of waiting and it felt great to be finally here.

So far we have been to Kings Park (which is the largest park I have ever seen), Freemantle, Cottesloe Beach, and the city. Its weird being back in Australia, the tv seems to have become even worse than it was before (which I thought was impossible). We recognise lots of things which is good, and I am always astounded by how healthy everyone looks.

Perth is a really idealistic city, lots of nice people, loads of joggers (freaks) and dozens of families having picnics. Everything is very clean and well maintained, and not a chav in sight. The weather has been amazing since we arrived and Bronte has found a few playgrounds to drag us to so she is well happy.

Silly Australians still talk through there noises and wear scarfs and thick fleeces when it is 24 degrees at night. Oh how they long for proper seasonal weather.

I am not sure whether there has been some sort of conspiracy but Dennis Wise is in charge of Leeds? Is someone in the media just winding me up? We get whooped every game and now have this winker in charge. Wash your mouth out son, and go get your fathers gun............

We have a car hired on Tuesday, so are heading south for 5 hours in a car to Pemberton, so that should be cool.

Hope you all have a top weekend and don't forget to send us some abusive messages, we appreciate all that we have received. Although I am concerned about John Lillie's mental health, just get those flights booked son.

We have once again added a few pics for you to peruse.

Enjoy till next time.

Monday, 23 October 2006

Location: Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand


Hope that you are all well.

It is our last day here on Ko Samui, all good things must come to an end. The time seems to have gone so quickly, yet it seems surreal that this time two weeks ago we were just leaving home.

We are spending today, as always, at the beach and then having a meal at the hotel this evening.

Jamie is starting to think that there is something wrong with the televisions over here, every time he looks at the Leeds score they are losing by four goals. This further dip in Leeds' form seems to be linked to his leaving the country, maybe they are missing his support.

We are spending pretty much the whole of tomorrow travelling to Perth, with three flights.

We then have a week in Perth, and then a week travelling about, to Pemberton (famed for tall trees), Margaret River (famed for food, wine and surf) and Bunbury (famed for dolphins). We are particularly looking forward to our farmstay near Margaret River where Bronte gets to go out with the farmer each morning and feed the animals.

Please check out the new photos. We will update this page soon.

Keep us up to date with all your news, gossip and anything else that is going on,


Julie, Jamie and Bronte

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Location: Thailand

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

We are still having a wonderful time. Our highlights so far have included;

Thai massage on the beach - Jamie had an all over massage (lucky boy), Julie had a foot massage (so she could keep an eye on B) and Bronte had a baby manicure (she now has beautifully painted pink nails - I have never seen her sit still so long)

Taste of Thailand evening - This involved a huge buffet of Thai food and traditional music and dance. Bronte loved the dancers and sat enthralled watching the dancing. She even did her own dance at the end.

Football - Jamie's highlight - six hours of the Premiership in a row last night, including two three o'clock kick offs (shame he can't watch Leeds though!!)

Cheapy DVDs - you can get DVD quality films two weeks after their release at the cinema here for £1.50 so we are planning to get up to date with everything we have missed at the cinema.

Please check new photos too!

Cheers for all your messages and e-mails. We are thinking of you all.


J. J and B

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

Well we have all arrived safely in Ko Samui following a marathon of three flights, stopping off at Munich and Bangkok, before getting here finally.

We are all v jet lagged, which mostly just involves a dizzy feeling, I would normally associate with feeling drunk. Looking forward to a good night's sleep to hopefully sort it out.

The hotel we are staying in is lovely, all the staff love Bronte (although she mostly just looks moody at them) and they are all super helpful (someone came in our room to spray insect repellant and they fumigate the gardens each night!)

We have attached some photos of our first day if you fancy a look.

Plan for the next two weeks, is sleep, beach, pool, food and dvds!!

Please leave us some messages as we look v unpopular!!

Missing all of you,

J, J and B

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Recent Messages

From Michelle Legg

I can't believe your coming back but I am secretly really pleased.

We will have to catch up over a coffee at Elliotts!!!

Say 'Hi' to Bronte and Jamie for me

Lots of love


From Bea
You know what they say, "there's no place like home." Besides, you did more than most people, and actually gave it a go. Good luck with your return journey - just a shame you have to do it right in the middle of Jamie's pottie training!!!!
From John The Lillie
We don't want you to come back (Julie and Bronte we don't mind, but you can stay there) . . . we've just got rid of you for God's sake ;)

Have a safe trip back and tell Jamie to say hi to Leon for me, if he sees him!
Response: You are obsessed with this Leon chap, what really happened? I look forward to kicking you in the balls
From Rosie
Blimey - Jamie Watson can read?? or was Bronte reading the story to Jamie? (sorry Jamie I'm sure you're very intelligent really!!) :-)
Love Bronte's rain coat - do they do those in big girl sizes??!
Looking forward to seeing more piccies x G and Mrs Moo x
Response: No they were both just looking at the pictures, neither of them can read yet
From Rob and Flora
I hear on the grape vine that you have been blessed with a visit from JW - you lucky devils!!! Happy New Year - would have said this sooner but have just recovered from my monumental hang over!! Anyway hope to see you soon
Response: Yes its fun fun fun trying to keep him smiling. See you very soon!
From Fairygirl

Just a quick note to say good luck with your new houseguest and that I hope he behaves himself! If he does get a bit grumpy or bothersome just stick him out in the sunshine, he'll hate that!!
Looking forward to seeing you again soon, can we have a 'coming back' party?!


Fairy xx
Response: Hey Fairy
Yes he got sunburnt just looking at the sun. We'll send him to Oxford St when he needs cheering up!
From Kirsty
Happy New Year to you all!!
The pics of the fireworks look great. There were some pretty good ones going off over Brinkburn aswell, unfortunately I didn't have my camera to hand so you've missed out there!
Hope you had a great Aussie Christmas, and I guess we'll see you soon.....!
love Kirsty, Keith, Josh and Jamiexxx
From sheila & tommy
Happy New Year. Photo's look good, but not as exiting as the Rolling Mills Social Club!! It was a thrill a minute pulling crackers, wearing silly hats & listening tothe only duo they could bribe to play on NY eve - what fun! The best bit was being blown home by the lovely high winds & desparately trying to stay upright! Thank god for alcohol & good company! Hope 2007 is a good for you. Much love T & S xxx
From Kieron & Rachel
Hello! Glad to hear you are settling into Aussie life so well. It looks fab! We'd swap all the rain and wind and cold for mince pies in the sunshine!! Some people don't know when they're well off!!!! Xmas is creeping up really quickly and there's loads to do. The only thing we're doing over Xmas is moving house....Kieron is moving to mine and we're both really excited!!! We're hoping to be over to see you next year but you'll have to stop mentioning the garden wildlife or he'll never get off the plane!! Byeeee!!
Response: Wow, congrats to you both! Hope you have a top Xmas together! Please come over to see us, we'd love to have you hear and I promise to look after Kieron.
Speak soon
From Mrs Moo
Guys do you have a postal address yet or anywhere we can post stuff to please. thought i might send some northern rain your way...we've certainly seen enough of it. i'm sure you are missing it! how's B? take care and load up some piccies so we can see what you are up to. love G & Mrs Moo xx :-)
Response: Just added some piccies! Will text our address and ring soon,


From dawn/aquajet
hi, just a quicki b4 trac catches me Hee Hee. the photo's r fab n b looks gud. i giv u so much credit for doin wot u have dun. wish i had the guts. im so pleased that things r working out well for u. n yr website is fab. i dont know if i told u but im preggers n im 4 mth now n very fat. trac keeps dropping hints on how long i will be off. i still have not set up my email at home but as soon as i do i will let u know, gud luk 2 u all im so gealous but so pleased 4 u keep in touch. missin u XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Response: Miss you too Dawn, will send you a big email once we have a house!
Julie x
From sheila & tommy
Hi youz,
Loved the pictures especially Bronte's jaunty little hat! Pleased to hear things are beginning to come together. How did the job interviews go? Are you an executive type yet? Sydney FC must be a bit of a step up from Leeds - did they manage to score??

Luv T & S xxx
Response: I scored a job and another job! Everyone here must be stupid!
Sydney won 2-1 but it was no better than watching Leeds.
From Mrs Moo
Hello kiddies - so glad you have arrived in Sydney safe and sound. it looks as though it has been a real struggle getting there! i have to say Jules, you are soooo organised, it must be an Australia thing!! Hope the interviews went well Mr Jam - keep us posted with the news. G is busy on the farm but we're looking forward to xmas. Lots of love xx
Response: We miss you both too and look forward to seeing you asap! I got offered 2 jobs yesterday, how exciting
Can we get an extra bottle tomorrow?
From Rob
Good luck with the interviews matey!
Response: Cheers dude
From Kirsty
Hi there,

Glad you're getting sorted. In amongst all that funiture make sure you've got a spare 7 or 8 beds for when we all come over!!
Also, just thought you should know that last week Josh finally decided that it would be nice if he could play with Bronte. Needless to say he was not best pleased when I explained that you had moved to the other side of the world.
I took the brunt of that tantrum so thanks very much!!

Good luck with the interviews Jamie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

love Kirsty, Keith, Josh and Jamiexxx
Response: Both houses we are looking at are large enough for lots of guests and Josh will get to play with Bronte, bless him.

Hope Baby Jamie is well and sleeping lots,

J, J and B
From Josie
Hey lady

I'm missing our chats today. Hope your loving every second! Are you in sydney yet? Take a city tour on a harley just for me - have always wanted to do that!

Enjoyed the draw a pig email, looking forward to catch up emails once your settled!

Ask B to say shoe for me

Love Jos x
Bizaarely - the evening after I read your message I then saw some people on the Harley Bike Tour - I did not know that they existed.

I shall save doing this tour for when you and Jon come to visit us!! (In a bid to make sure that you come!)

Missing our chats and working bizaarely. I have become much more dizzy (which I didn't think was possible) and lose everything all the time!

Will send big e-mail once sorted and in our house etc,


From Jamie
Perhaps with Bronte Dettori on board Northern Candy might rise to the dizzy heights of third last!!!

Just to bring an extra bit of cheer where it is clearly not needed you will be pleased to know I have been in agony all week due to there being a hole in my tooth.

Had it pulled out yesterday (It took 2 people 20 minutes to wrench it out) and now i have an infection which is proofing just as painful. Joy.
Response: Are you dead yet?
From Bea
Loved the sunset - your next challenge is to find an even better one! Have you started using "Ozspeak yet? We have just bought a laptop computer - I think I am too old to go "mouseless"!!. Keep supplying the photos to keep an old lady happy! Love Old English Rose
Response: My voice is already raising at the end of each sentence as if I am asking a question even though I am not!
From Paul
Glad you're all having a top time. Bronte is going to have experienced more than I did by the time I was 20! Quality! Look after youselves and keep enjoying every minute.
From John The Lillie
If you let me know what time your flights get into the UK I'll come and pick you up! After all, we can't have you relying on public transport if you're going to get back in time for The Bonanza 2006!

PS - I think my invitation got lost in the post!
Response: I told you it was at Acacia street, some people
From Rob
I have been up that tree in Pemberton - its a fab view from the top - you should have climbed it you wimps!
Response: You'll go up anything though
From Rob
Hey guys, sounds lke you're having a great time you lucky b*******s!!!! Whilst you are over in the West check out the Pinacles - the best night sky in the world fact! Planning to come and see you in Sydney late next year so you better have a good list of pubs ready for when I get there!! I would insult Leeds but under the circumstances I don't think that its necessary!!

All the best,

From Jamie
Its always a joy to get your blog update in my inbox on a Monday morning. Nothing beats that Monday morning feeling more than hearing just how good a time somebody else is having.

Good old Dennis Wise always was a likeable chap and I'm sure he will be a complete sucsess at Leeds. Lets just hope you don't miss out on the chance of playing the Geordie no marks next season by getting promoted.
From Chris, Lorraine and
Welcome aboard JJB! Good to see you have got some nice weather in Perth, its been raining for the past 2 weeks in Sydney! No doubt you have decided by now to move into that house 6 doors down from us - in return for this and babysitting favours I promise to buy PES 6 and get a redback beer fridge installed (if you get foxtel)! Looking forward to seeing you Eastside, homeboys!
From John The Lillie
The medical opinion is I'm beyond help and alcohol is the only way to reduce the effects of my minor mental issues!