Life in Brisbane

Ups and Downs

By Susan

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride since getting to Brisbane. I guess the most significant thing for me has been getting to know the workings of the Royal Brisbane Hospital pretty well. I’m doing fine now and it wasn’t too serious but for a while there the hospital was the bit of Brisbane I was most familiar with.

My visa situation entitles me to medicare which I appreciate enormously and the health care was second-to-none. I also had lots of caring medical professionals around me when I wasn’t at the hospital, which was fortuitous. Sam and Nicky, two good friends, are both doctors. Sam’s, dad, also a doctor, was on the phone to me regularly. Mireia, a nurse from Barcelona, moved into our block of flats at the same time we did. They helped me to know the right questions to ask the doctors and I’m very grateful to them.

Six weeks on from surgery I’m on the mend and almost back to normal.

Other than the excellent health care here in Australia, the main things I appreciate about being settled in one place are cooking our own food and having plants to water. We have 2 little balconies and they are slowly being filled with plants. I’ve also been staggered by the beautiful trees, plants and flowers that grow everywhere in the city. It’s an absolute joy to walk down the street. Brisbane is a really green place with lots of space given over to parkland. You’re never too far from some greenery.

It’s been just great to get to know Pete’s friends and family a bit better. We can now go to Sunday evening dinners with Tom, Jack, Annie, Dave and Geoff, instead of Pete calling them from England for a chat.

When we arrived in Brisbane it was hot hot hot, but it’s starting to cool down now. The peaches and plums are past their best, though I enjoyed them thoroughly while they were with us. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to March, April and May being autumn. Even at that the leaves don’t really fall off the trees, They’re green all year ’round I think.

I’m happy here and making the most of it I reckon, but I miss everybody back in Europe – my family and friends in Ireland and friends in England. I carry you all around with me all the time, so, infact, you never feel too far away.

It’s almost a year ago to the day since we left Leeds and Dublin on our trip. It’s been a fantastic year. We didn’t kill each other and in fact we’re closer than ever – quite an achievement if you ask me. Now we’re ready for more adventures…

We have a spare room amid Brisbane loveliness for anybody who can come visit. We’d love to see you!!!

Almost 4 months from touchdown

By Pete

It’s time for some closure. We always intended to finish our travel blog with an entry for Brisbane – describing our arrival and the start of the whole settling down in one place thing. We just never got around to it until now…

It’s been an eventful few months. In some ways it’s been just as eventful as when we were traveling. Maybe even more so. But we’re slowly starting to feel a bit settled and ready to make the most of our time here.

Coming back to Brisbane after 6 years makes me really appreciate the place. I love all of the great parks, the riverside footpaths, the fantastic variety of trees (Susan keeps pointing that one out to me), the flying foxes at night, the city cats (ferries), the odd cafe breakfast here and there, the painted traffic control boxes, the skyline, the Story Bridge, the Southern Cross, the weather, the friendly people, the bus drivers, even the sound of the loud birds and crickets… And that’s just what I can think of right now. It’s a great place. If you’ve never been, come and visit.

Of course another great thing about being back is the proximity of friends and family that I haven’t seen much of for so long. Don’s literally just around the corner which is great (and not just because he has a washing machine and we don’t). Some of my friends now have families which is awesome to see and be a small part of. I’m seeing my own family regularly which is fantastic – they’re a great bunch of characters and I missed them loads. Susan’s already starting to feel at home with everyone and she’s starting to make friends of her own… The Old Crow Medicine Show even paid us a visit! What else can anyone ask for?

We’re living in a really trendy part of town – New Farm. It’s walking distance from town (along the aforementioned riverside footpath) and from Fortitude Valley where the young’uns go out and party. There’s loads of cafes and bars close by and there’s a supermarket within a five minute walk. All in all it’s a good place to live for a while. Although the location is pretty trendy, the flat we’re living in is quite the opposite. I always thought the 70’s could do no wrong but alas that’s not the case… Let’s just say we’re enjoying it here despite the 5 varieties of gaudy brown tiles and clashing patterned curtains.

So anyway, this is the last entry of our blog. Thanks very much for following along. And to those of you on the other side of the world, we already miss you loads and look forward to seeing you again – either here or there or any which where.


  1. Hi Susan and Pete,
    I really enjoyed your last blog, sorry it has come to an end. It’s really great to see where you’re living now too. See you soon!

  2. Just stumbled across your website again and really happy to see that you’ve made a recent post. Brisbane sounds like a wonderful place… enjoy!

  3. I’ve just spent a lovely while re-reading some of your posts and looking at the photos and listening to those evocative soundtracks. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    Susan, I am so glad you are well and enjoying sunny Brisbane. Pete, one of those friendly bus drivers is my cousin from Uruguay (he drives an artic).
    Looking forward to seeing a photo of a balcony stuffed with plants!
    Much love to you both,

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