I wandered through the local supermarket a few days ago. Firstly, I was astonished by its size – easily four times the size of our Supermarché. Secondly, it was astonishing to see the abundance of items that we pay a fortune for at the Australia Store in London. The rows of cordial (grenadine in all the flavours of the rainbow), Milo (malted powder that never properly dissolves in cold milk), Weet-Bix (vastly superior to Weetabix breakfast bricks), and the wide array of TimTam chocolate biscuits.
I bought Hayden a small jar of “my first Vegemite” to try on his first birthday. Though Adrian says that the reduced salt will detract from the true Australian experience.
There are some downsides to shopping in Australia, though. This is the extent of the foreign beer selection:
And if one takes a close look at a bottle of Stella:
It’s made by Fosters.
Last week Hayden flew up to Newcastle to meet his grandmother and great-grandmother for the first time. In the home where I had spent many of my holidays as a child, we relaxed to the sounds of kookaburras, tawny frogmouths, and chirping frogs. He was the first baby in the house for ten years, so he was showered with attention, spending the whole day moving from one lap to another.
Every morning, mum and I would take a walk to the beach, strolling along the boulevard and watching the fierce waves crash against the shore. With oil tankers dotted across the horizon, the surf lifesavers would scout the tides every morning to determine the safest place to swim – “always swim between the flags” was one of the anthems of my childhood.
We were also able to spend some time with my Nana, Hayden’s great-grandmother. Hayden loved to watch her clap her hands, and I was able to hear her stories of raising five children while working as a journalist. With a single wriggling baby in my hands, I have no idea how she managed to balance it all, especially back in the day of cloth nappies and no dishwashers. It was so fantastic to be able to spend a week relaxing with mum Nana and Hayden playing together, and to show them our adorable baby boy.
1 Comment »
Posted by: Lydia in Australia, tags: Baby, flying
We are spending a few weeks back in Hayden’s passport country to introduce him to his grandparents, great-grandparents, and other relatives. Many people have asked us how Hayden travelled on his long flights over to Australia. We had two night flights, and he was fantastic. We had bulkhead seats which meant that we could stretch out our legs, as well as easily access the overhead luggage and the bathroom (though the seats were narrower as the tables were stored in the arms). We could board first and get Hayden all settled in. For takeoff and landing he had to be strapped to my seatbelt, which was fine as I breastfed him anyway to help his ears with the difference in pressure.
Once we had stabilised, the flight attendants brought out a 70cm-long basinette for him and bolted it to the wall. It was just perfect. He slept very happily in it, for nearly six hours in a row on both flights. If awake, he was content to just gurgle and play with his hands, which meant that we had room to eat and stretch out too. KLM made us take him out whenever the seatbelt light was on, but Malaysia Airlines had a zip-up top on their basinettes that meant that we could keep him in there throughout the flight.
Until he is two, Hayden costs 10% plus taxes to travel with us. If he continues to fly as well as he does now, I look forward to taking him on many more international adventures.