Down Under Diary 4: Trapping Fingers, Making Friends and The Return of a Nemesis

Every time I sit down to write these posts, I am always astounded by how quickly the time here is going. We are on week 4 already… how did that happen?! But we still feel incredibly happy and feeling very, very lucky to be calling Sydney our home.


Our apartment definitely feels like home now thanks to most of the furniture arriving and Sydney still feels like on big adventure. I think it will for a while. There is always something to do or see here, a new place to explore and fall in love with. As someone who likes to keep busy, I am grateful for that.

This week we were blessed again with an extra day away from work for Jack as it was Anzac Day. Since I have arrived here, I have been pleasantly surprised by how frequently and openly soldiers here are remembered. Every place we visited on our travels had at least one memorial and the museums we have visited such as the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have been world class. Anzac Day is a big deal here and thousands of people attend the parades and ceremonies throughout the day. The sense of pride in people who have fought during the various wars Australia has been involved in is something you can really feel here.

Jack and I went into the city to experience some of the parades going on through the day. Lots of the main roads in the city were closed so that different regiments and groups could walk the streets and be cheered on by spectators. There were people of all ages marching, some who had fought in wars, some who had been injured and some who were in training. It was quite emotional to be a part of this experience and something I really appreciate being able to see.


Later that evening, we went to the Comedy Gala at the Sydney Opera House for the Sydney Comedy Festival. We have been wanting to go into the Opera House and wanted to see an act at the Comedy Festival, so to be able to combine the two was a lucky fluke!


We went for a drink at the Opera Bar which is underneath the Opera House and overlooks the Harbour Bridge. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest drink you will ever buy, it is a lovely experience (even when we went on Anzac Day and most people around us had been drinking all day!)


The interiors of the Opera House didn’t disappoint. It is stunning inside – there is simply no other way to describe it.

However, in true Jess style, I had a clumsy accident and trapped my fingers in the door of the toilets. I must be the only person in the entire history of the Opera House to do that, but where else has curved doors? I feel they were designed as a trap for awestruck tourists like myself who weren’t paying enough attention to what they were doing…


The Comedy Gala was a really fun experience. Joe Lycett hosted the show and 14 comedians from around the world performed, each having a five minute slot. As a Brit, it was great to see people I have always wanted to see live like Phil Jupitus but also to see comedians that I hadn’t heard of before like Tahir. We had hoped that James Acaster might make a surprise appearance, but we weren’t that lucky…

On Friday I met up with Katie who I had messaged from the Facebook group Girls Love Travel when she posted that she was moving to Sydney too. Having spent a few weeks in the bubble of our apartment, I felt ready to get out there and meet new people and I am so thankful that Katie is who I met!

We met at the Greenwood Hotel in North Sydney for lunch and a few drinks. To say I was nervous beforehand was an understatement – what if she didn’t like me? What if I didn’t like her? What if we had nothing in common and were forced to sit in silence whilst we ate our food? Going on a bad romantic date is one thing, but a bad friendship date can scare you off trying to make friends again for a long time.

Luckily, the opposite happened. I felt like I’d known Katie forever and treat her like I did too. I think she knows more of my secrets than anyone else in my life! It felt great to meet someone who got all of the hopes and fears of moving to the other side of the world – as well as someone who could understand my accent!


FYI, this food and drink was even better than it looks

The next day I met with Katie again. I promise I’m not her stalker, but Katie had arranged a meet up on the Girls Love Travel page for anyone else who had moved to Sydney and wanted to meet. We met in Manly outside Ben and Jerry’s. I was the one holding the sign (I’m starting to wonder if Katie befriended me early just so she didn’t have to be sign girl…)

The picnic was great! Firstly because of all the food people brought but secondly and most importantly because everyone there was lovely! I had been so nervous about meeting people, liking people and making friends before I moved but within five minutes of sitting on a blanket and chatting to everyone I didn’t feel worried at all. We have arranged another meet up in a few weeks and I am chatting to some of the girls and will be meeting them on my own. I almost feel silly now about being so nervous to meet new people. I think it goes to show that if you are brave and put yourself out there, good things can happen (and good people can come into your life!)


Jack and I had a quiet rest of the weekend due to me getting tonsillitis again. Tonsillitis is my nemesis! Thankfully, before I became bed ridden, we went to our local library and checked out a few books so I will be entertained for the next few days.

I get the feeling that next week’s Australia update may contain a lot of self pitying comments and poorly selfies though, so at least this one is a positive one to read!


  1. Boo to tonsilitus but yey to successful mate dates! Glad you had such a great week. Thank you for discussing Anzac Day too – I was curious what it was since you mentioned it on Instagram. Hope you feel better soon! x

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