So, standing here in the lounge in my pyjamas with the ironing board and a mountain of clean but crumpled laundry filling the room. The kids are on the computer thingy, demanding bacon and my husband is ankle deep in paperwork, just a normal Sunday really, only it isn’t. For tomorrow we are off to AUSTRALIA!!!

I am beyond excited and more than a little apprehensive.  All those hours on a plane? Really? I am planning a strategy that involves movie watching and lots of wine.

I am ashamed to admit to an appalling level of ignorance when it comes to Oz. Every image I have in my head is conjured from the stereotypical and clichéd.  Barbeques – Beaches – Dame Edna (who I think would make a superb monarch when the queen abdicates) – Cricket (not that we will be mentioning THAT!) – Rugby (or THAT either!) - Koalas – Shane Warne’s forehead – Ayers Rock and of course the pocket sized beauty that is Kylie.

Don’t judge me. I grew up in inner city London in a large, chaotic family and our idea of a holiday was a sticky fingered fish and chip suppers in our coats and scarves while sitting on the wall at Southend-On-Sea, followed by a night, still in our coats and scarves, in me nan’s dripping caravan.  Yes, it’s was as glamorous as it sounds. Now since I’ve been a grown up, a fact that I don’t like to admit, I have of course done a bit, The West Indies, Europe, The US of A and of course my beloved Bermuda. But the other side of the world??  Not until now.

Geography is not my strong point; in fact other than writing books, I have very few talents of note. A friend of ours was moving to Oz, Cairns to be specific and I sent his details to an acquaintance in Sydney, suggesting it might be nice to hook up for a coffee to make him feel welcome… My friend in Sydney replied by sending me a map with two big fat red X’s on it, showing that coffee was highly unlikely as they weren’t even in the same time zone! Who knew?

I know there is a beach in Sydney, which simultaneously fills me with dread and excitement.  In most lights, I am more Rebel Wilson than Elle Macpherson.  This isn’t really a problem living in Blighty – although in fairness, we have had a wonderful summer it was August 14th between 11.30am and 3.45pm. Oh we went crazy! I made ice in the fridge and drank my milk on the patio; I even rolled up the sleeves on my cardi.

SO, Australia bound and very excited, what to pack? Do they have Starbucks? Asda? I shall let you know.