The Pig Yard

November - The majority of this month was spent on the other side of the planet, sunning ourselves in the warmth and magic that is Australia. We shall not speak of the venomous snakes and spiders or the deadly jelly fish and estuarine crocodiles that regularly wreak havoc on the unaware or too stupid to care.

Our holiday didn't get off to a good start when our lift with Martin & Kate to the airport turned into a potential nightmare when their car broke down, sadly it proved terminal. Jane was expecting Steve to have a panic attack but he stayed remarkably calm. We had left home with plenty of time hence the eventual arrival at the airport was within the two hour timescale.

During the three weeks we were away we learned to relax and take things as they came - no worries.

We spent the first weekend in Melbourne and then travelled by Virgin Blue to Tasmania to stay with Jane's sister Ruth and her husband Roger. For more pictures click here

The second part of our adventure was spent with our very good friends Dave & Lucie who are temporarily living on the edge of the Hunter Valley in a town called Cessnock. Hunter Valley is renown for its wine making as illustrated in this picture at the Rosemount Estate vineyard. For more pictures click here

From Cessnock we flew for three hours north to Cairns and then travelled for a further hour to our luxury hotel, Radisson Treetops Spa and Hotel, in Port Douglas. This was the most expensive hotel we've ever stayed in and it proved to us that luxury is not our lifestyle. We get better, friendlier service when we stay in a bed & breakfast in Stratford Upon Avon.  For more pictures click here

After a weekend we flew south to Brisbane to stay with Ian & Sue. They emigrated to Australia over twenty years ago and are now embedded in the culture.  For more pictures click here

Moan of the month: Cheap airlines

Why can't Ryanair and Easyjet take a leaf out of Virgin Blue and allocate seats on check-in. This would avoid the uncivilised rush to grab a seat that we regularly witness when we travel by bargain airlines.