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Mary Rose

I'm getting to know Penrith more and more.

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Foolishly driving to work this week, nevertheless, I've been exploring the area a bit each night on the way home. Went to Castlereagh on Monday evening, and on other evenings, I've taken different routes towards the city, along the Great Western Highway, then onto the Motorway.

 

It's not a bad spot. If I was just starting out on my career (instead of being at the other end!) I think I would consider moving there as property prices are very reasonable.

 

55 kilometres from Surry Hills to Penrith, easier to get the train to be honest. I just felt like taking my car but I've filled it twice already this week, done over 500 K since Monday. Got to know various main roads (none of them what I would consider to be on the scenic route) - Great Western Highway, Western Motorway, Woodville Road, Hume Highway, Parramatta Road, Silverwater Road, Liverpool Road, Henry Lawson Drive.

 

A nice little place about two kilometres from my office would suit me.

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Wow! I'm loving walking home from Surry Hills to the Eastern Subburbs and taking little roads home... Had to take the bosses car out with a resident earlier and he took me down little side roads as we went the wrong way, all the joys of finding new places out!

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I wish I could walk home to Surry Hills from work! I like to think there are no wrong ways to go, just new ways to find your way around. I am OK on the main roads, but as soon as I turn off, I often get lost, as there are no direction signs and often not even a street sign!

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Hi Mary Rose, We moved to Penrith from Scotland almost 4 months ago and chose to move to here because we got a good feeling about the place and loved all that it had to offer us and our 2 young children. There are loads of things for us to see and do as a family so we are definitely happy with our decision :) We still love our visits into Sydney though as nothing can compare to the view of the harbour!Enjoy exploring :)

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Over the two years that I have been working there, I've done a little bit of exploring. I like the fact that Penrith has a 'High St!' (under threat from Westfield?) I like those little arcades that run off on either side. Last week, I drove up to Castlereagh one day, another day round by USW and ?Clairemont Meadows?. Another day past the Panthers Stadium. On the day I went to Castlereagh, I also had a look on the northern side of the railway in Penrith where there are few old homes. Noticed a little row of Paddo style terraces up ?High St? Opposite a church. I think I could handle living there but I am settled in the inner city at Surry Hills now. I should sell my unit there and buy one in Penrith and maybe have a couple of hundred over??!!

 

Lots of the people I work with in the ATO building on Henry St live in the Mountains, some as far away from Penrith as I am but the other way.. Looking out of the train, I see quite a bit of countryside which makes me feel a bit homesick for England. I miss 'proper' hedgerows, country lanes, copses, footpaths over a 'common', somewhere I can ride a bike safely.

 

The Blue Mountains train is very good from Penrith to the City - just 50 mins. I went into the chocolate chop/cafe opposite the cinema tonight after work and bought two 'spoon o'choc' or whatever they are called for the two barmaids in the Royal Exhibition hotel by Central (Sandy and Rulla) & got a hot chocolate to drink on the train. I see some nice streets of homes from the train too.

 

Four months you have been here? Are you settling in OK?

 

Yes that view of the Bridge and the Opera House is something that you have to pinch yourself to believe you are really there!

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It sounds like you've done a fair bit of exploring ;) I sincerely hope that the High Street isn't under threat from the Westfield as the mall is large enough and there are some hidden gems on High Street that wouldn't suit being part of a mall.

 

 

 

Castlereagh is lovely, as is the drive there. We took a drive to Warragamba Dam on Sunday and enjoyed seeing the rolling fields and hedgerows en route; it really was beautiful and reminded me of when we used to drive down to the Lake District. Good memories! We love the drive/train journey to the Blue Mountains as the views are just spectacular. I think we are going to take my parents-in-law to the Blue Mountains when they are here for Christmas as it's one of those "must see" experiences.

 

 

Yes, 4 months in and things are great thank you. We've had our ups and downs but we were advised that that would happen and I can count on 1 hand the number of 'down days' I've had. The kids are absolutely thriving here and we get to spend more time as a family now that I'm not working shifts. My husband sustained a head injury a few weeks ago which resulted in a late night trip to A&E and despite the stress, panic and 12 hour wait at accident and emergency; we didn't immediately want to catch the next flight back to Scotland. A negative experience turned into something positive for us. Don't get me wrong, we do miss our friends and family back in Scotland, however, we can have fun planning to go back and visit and they can come and visit this fabulous place aswell. It's a win win situation :)

 

How long have you stayed in Surry Hills? It's beautiful there too and yes, I think you'd most definitely have a couple of hundred over if you sold your unit and moved to Penrith ;)

 

How was your hot chocolate? We still haven't tried the chocolate cafe so will need to do that soon - I might just choose the hot choccie if you give it the thumbs up :)

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I've had my flat in Surry Hills since 1987, but I moved back to The New Forest for twelve years in 1996, and this is my second stint there. I actually moved there to be closer to my job at Garden Island because I did not like commuting by bus from Narrabeen. Now, I am commuting even further to work, 50, 55 kilometres, probably the furthest I have commuted in my life. It's a ten minute walk to Central, then fifty minutes on the Blue Mts train - a bit longer on the Western Lines trains.

 

That chocolate shop is OK, very popular. Funny but one of the permanent staff at the ATO did not even know it existed because they just drive into the underground car park and drive home again, whereas I walk round before and after work. It's not cheap that hot chocolate though, over $5 I think. It's a nice little strip of cafes and restaurants there.

 

I miss those fields and hedgerows. I did go to Warragamba a couple of years ago, funny place in a way because I think the original village consists of the homes for the workers who built the dam? (Is that right?) I don't think I'd like to live in Castlereagh. It's different to England (or Scotland!) big homes on large plots of land, but you can't really walk anywhere. Come to think of it, there are big homes on the roads of the New Forest where you can't walk anywhere, and you have to drive.

 

I've got used to Surry Hills, with everything in walking distance. Back to my senses this week, and getting the train to work, so my car stays in the garage.

 

I' ve never stayed in The Blue Mountains. That might be nice, Blackheath rather than Katoomba perhaps.

 

Glad you have settled in well. Where are you from in Scotland?

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Wow, you've been a Surry Hills home owner for some time then? It's nice that you liked it enough to return. :) How do you find the train journey to and from work? My husband's commute is 1 hour door to door and he loves it; he says it's his 'relax' time.

 

 

I like the fact that you choose to explore an area, even if you are just there for work; I am the same and like to familiarise myself with the surroundings. I still haven't visited the chocolate shop though and really need a chocolate fix!I think that you are right re: the village at Warragamba and I concur re: living in Castlereagh. I much prefer having the choice of whether to walk or drive and walking anywhere in Castlereagh would be pretty much impossible due to the layout of the roads.

 

 

We are from East Kilbride which is approximately 19k from Glasgow. We grew up in EK but don't particularly miss anything about our town because the open spaces here appear larger, are more unspoilt and accessible. We are extremely lucky and have made some lovely Australian friends and some ex-pats too, so that has really helped us to settle. My husband mentioned to me that he had had a nightmare about returning to Scotland and he woke in a cold sweat as he doesn't want to live there again. That did make me chuckle!

 

 

Hope you had a good weekend and I hope you get the chance to do some more exploring this week!

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The train, especially the Blue Mountains ones, are OK, as long as I'm in a relaxed mood. I never leave enough time to relax walking down to the station, left at 1208 for the 1218, so I had to run after I'd got my ticket. Once I'm on the train, It's usually pleasant. Even with a newspaper and my phone and my diary, I can spend the whole journey just looking out of the window. I've seen some kangaroos (or wallabies?) in the UWS grounds.

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I think my husband would agree with you about the train journey being pleasant as he can just sit back and reply to emails or just watch the world go by.There are kangaroos at the edge of the Jordan Springs estate which is amazing to see if you can get close enough without them running off! I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing the wildlife over here!

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I'm never blase about seeing kangaroos but I find that some of my Aussie friends are somewhat underwhelmed! Jordan Springs? I must Google that. It's in the UWS Penrith grounds that I see the 'roos.

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I find that that is the case too. I'm hoping that I will always be in awe of the wonderful wildlife that Australia has to offer!Jordan Springs is one of the newer estates just off of the Northern Road and is near to Llandilo and Cranebrook. It has its own lake now and a Woolworths is opening on 12th December so it's starting to take shape. Some of the houses are beautiful and are extremely affordable, hence why there have been numerous people camping outside of the sales office the night before a land release ;)

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I did Google it the other night. I think perhaps on the evening that I drove to Castlereagh and came back to Penrith on The Northern Road I might have passed through or by that area?

 

We have an open balcony by the canteen area in my office, which I like to walk out on to get away from the aircon for a moment on my breaks. Anyway, looking out yesterday I saw a magpie (I think.) perched for a moment on the rail. I asked a couple of the (Aussie) guys what type of bird it was and the consensus seemed to be a young magpie. What is the other black and white small bird? Peewit? Wagtail? One of the guys thought that is what it was. (I was also thinking of a kurrawong.) Then they started talking about being 'bombed' by magpies, something which I don't recall happening in the UK? I did poke my head around the door to the balcony to see if I could hear its song. Three short 'peeps?' Aussie birds don't really do 'songs' as such!!!! They squawk! None more so that those white 'parrots' which I call Aussie canaries! I'm only joking. I love the sound of the kookaburra, and, I think, the kurrawong. Which are the galah's? You don't hear that expression so much nowadays - 'Don't be a GALAH!'

 

I went out in a rush to work and forgot to take a cardigan. I did not actually need it but you never know with the aircon. It was hotter in Penrith (MUCH hotter) than in Surry Hills, and still the same when I left work. I briefly thought about going to the pictures to see 'Gravity' which started at 6.20 as I got in the foyer, but then I thought it might be better to see it in 3D. I asked one of the young blokes working there (with his box of 3D glasses) and he confirmed that it IS better.

 

The other odd thing that happened to me at work yesterday was that I got my times all wrong and at 5pm I turned off my computer, signed on (at 6pm) then wondered why there were still people in the office? We had a bush fire warning - Kemps Creek? Austral? - and I thought perhaps they were people who had chosen to stay at work. They all gave me puzzled looks when I asked them why they were still there? Maybe it was because I ate my sandwich at the 4pm break rather than the 5pm one.

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Yeah, you probably did pass Jordan Springs if you came back from Castlereagh that way :)

 

I too had never heard of people being 'bombed' by magpies until I moved here. I do remember though that when myself and a colleague were at work, we were patrolling the main street on our beat one early evening and got 'bombed' by a pigeon! We gave some members of the public a good laugh as we ran off from the crazy bird trying to attack us!! We think that it may have been a mother protecting her young so perhaps that's what the magpies are doing here?

 

I'm not too good at recognising the different breeds of birds here yet but you are right, they don't really 'sing', they squawk! I do know that the galah's are the grey birds with pink chests though. I would LOVE it if I heard someone say "Don't be a GALAH!" - it would make my day! ;)

 

Did you manage to go and see "Gravity"? I've heard it is superb!

 

And, have you tried to leave work early again? I had to giggle when you said it was maybe because you ate your sandwich a little earlier! :hilarious: Brilliant!

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I saw a magpie chasing mynah or is it minah or neither (good little unintended rhyme there!) There are two types of minor (sic) birds - native and Indian I think, the second being regarded as pests? A bit like red and grey squirrels in UK? I've never seen a red squirrel in the wild in the UK. I can remember hearing a frightening 'rustle' sometimes walking through a copse, and it would usually be just a squirrel, or maybe a blackbird. I still can't quite imagine walking in the US and coming across a bear! There are some large and frightening birds up Queensland way though? Cassovars? Something like that with nasty talons?

 

Still not seen Gravity, see it got five stars in Telegraph, four and a bit stars in MX. Might go on Tuesday as I'm not working and it's half price.

 

I meandered through St Marys last Monday, last time I drove - saw this big old house, right out of place, more suited to Stanmore/Petersham - also went to the RSL club.

 

No accidental early finishes!

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Like your little rhyme there Mary Rose ;) Yes, I heard that at the weekend actually regarding the 2nd type of Myna bird. Apparently they can attack cats eyes too; the feline variety and not the cats eyes on the road as my husband thought! ;) He had had a few beers at the time. Lol! They sound like pests anyway.

 

It definitely sounds as if you have done a fair bit of exploring. We still have more to do and think we'll take my husband's parents on a little tour of the area when they arrive for Christmas. We're looking forward to scouting out some new areas aswell. Hope you're well these days! :)

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