Neighbours talking over the garden fence

Growing up in a house in the middle of a field on a farm in Ireland I remember seeing neighbours talk over the garden fence on American TV shows…Darryl and his neighbour Phil reminded me of an American sitcom. Suburban life looks pretty good in Rozelle, especially on Springside Street! This was one of the last views I had before leaving Darryl and his family to start my first official Couchsurfing experience in Paddington.

Thank you to Darryl, Caroline, Melissa and Piper for showing me unending warmth and understanding, especially as I fell sick or “crook” as they say in Oz, when I was there. On the second day of my week long visit in early January, I’d taken Darryl out on his first Sydney Bay 7K run (even though he’s lived beside if for years) and that afternoon I got hit pretty bad with a mixture of Bali Belly and cold virus…so I was more than glad to be in the comfort of a family home rather than stuck in a hostel in Kings Cross of the like! I’m sure I registered somewhere on Caroline’s multi-levelled scale of “annoying” ;o) but all the same, being a midwife and nurse she couldn’t help but care for me…thanks for all that Olive Leaf extract which helped to get me back on my feet

I will be visiting my brother Alasdair and his wife Shelly in New Zealand soon and have more family to drop in on whilst over on the land of the long white cloud so watch this space for more kiwi action!

Cousin Darryl & baby Piper

My mother emailed me whilst I was in the Blue Mountains to let me know that my cousin from New Zealand was living in Rozelle, Sydney. It turns out we had watched the New Year’s Eve firework display around 500 metres from each other! I got in touch, told them about my project and got invited to stay with them which was really special for me due to the family connection. They’d visited Ireland 17 years ago and met me when I was 15 years old. Darryl says he remembered me kicking around a football on my grandmother’s lawn. I remember the story of him and his now wife Caroline who met briefly and although the lived five hours from each other in New Zealand, flew regularly to see each other for over a year and kept their flame burning until their jobs allowed them to live in the same place in New Zealand. That was in New Zealand many years they are happily settled, including being Australian citizens, in beautiful Rozelle on Sydney Bay, with two gorgeous daughters Melissa, 5 years old and Piper 5 1/2 weeks (above, in Darryl’s devoted arms). The posts following this one show highlights of their life, over 7 days in Inner West Sydney. They say you can chose your friends but not your relations…well I’d happily chose The Drown family and I’m glad they are my relations!