Its been a while since I’ve written about us personally. We’ve both been busy enjoying the summer. Travelling to Spain and Portugal has meant that I have actually had a summer this year, and for Pete, a weekend by the beach was well needed. Back in the UK the weather hasn’t been all that bad. I’ve learnt to appreciate a 20 degree day and the comfort of hanging around in jeans and a t-shirt. 40 degree days and nights in Seville will do that to you!
A quick update
Pete is doing well with his job and enjoying new challenges. I decided to take a step back responsibility wise next school year and will be working 3 days a week as a casual supply teacher (CRT to us Aussies). Being a teacher is really full on in the UK and I am looking forward to having a bit more mental and physical energy to explore and generally just enjoy life.
We’ve been lucky to have visitors from back home to help keep us connected to Aus. We feel like we can enjoy being overseas more when we feel grounded to our friends and family at home. My sister has just had a little baby girl and whilst I was sad that I wasn’t there to see her on her birth day, like my two nephews, I can’t sing the praises of social media and Skype to keep us in touch.
We are really lucky to live in a part of England that is blessed with beautiful scenery. Many of you probably think that we venture out to exotic locations regularly, and well, we do moreso than we did in Australia, but we just happen to live close by to some really stunning spots. The warm weather and the long days has meant we can enjoy a nice evening stroll after work, or escape the house for a quick explore on a Sunday afternoon. We both loved doing this at the beach back in Altona. It almost makes you put the working day back into your distant memory!
Here are two places within 20 minutes of home that have become firm favourites.
Beachy Head / Birling Gap / The Seven Sisters
Move over Cliffs of Dover, and make way for the spectacular cliffs of East Sussex. Depending on where you stop, the cliffs have different names, however they are all part of the same formation. At Birling gap, you can descend out over the cliffs and then take a stair case down to the beach, which at low tide has sand (yahoo!). At Beachy head, you are at the top of the cliffs. The views are stunning and at certain times of the year the tide is so low you can actually walk at the base of the cliffs and go out to the light house. Lastly the Seven Sisters are the names for the seven peaks of the cliffs. You can best see these from the Seven Sisters park. This park also has a gorgeous meandering river and opens out on to a beach that also sometimes has sand (we have even seen a tentative sandcastle!)
The South Downs
The South Downs is a national park that runs across most of South East England. Unlike National Parks in Australia, the South Downs is made up of park areas as well as residential areas and towns. More like rolling hills than mountains, the downs are a great place for a walk and favoured by people for bike riding and with dogs. There are lots of walking tracks and public footpaths, which means that on occasion you will be climbing a turnstile to get over a fence or sharing a paddock with a herd of sheep!