I’m in AUSTRALIA!!!! Wooohooo! Arrived yesterday morning (I think) and it’s now the day after (I think) – I actually have no concept of day or time, but it doesn’t matter – I made it and after my initial 24 hour explore I am love with this city! I have loved places before and undoubtedly will again, but what I wasn’t prepared for and have rarely experienced, is that Sydney loves me back!

So, what has my first whizz around the city revealed? It’s full beautiful people. Seriously where are all your uglies? Is there an exclusion zone? A curfew? Everywhere I look there are leggy, clear skinned lovelies of both sexes, flashing perfect teeth and looking at peace with the world! In the UK, if 10 is ‘stunner’ I think realistically I hover around the 3 mark - on a good day. But here in Sydney – I’m reduced to a 1-2! 

I’ve worked out why everyone is so fit. The Oz coinage is big and heavy, Russell Crowe doesn’t work out, he just carries a lot of cash around, which would do it.

Highlights so far, the Botanical Gardens – stunning, manicured, but with signs inviting me to ‘smell the roses, hug the trees and picnic’ on the immaculate grass. What’s the catch? I have grown up surrounded by signs telling me the exact opposite! I must say as a bit of a rule breaker, it took some of the thrill away.

I’ve strolled along The Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo – marveling at the shiny yachts in the harbor and watching more beautiful people dining in elegant waterside restaurants.

We lunched at The Andrew (Boy) Charlton pool café, who serve the best thyme-salted fries with aioli and have breakfasted at the Goods on Crown Street where I munched on their delicious home made granola and fresh fruit, washed down with a generous, rich black coffee.  And then I joined a delightful couple I met from Birmingham ,UK (and a hundred camera bearing Koreans) and I stood at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and looked out. The difference was, while they 'oohed' and 'aahed' and snapped away – I flung my arms out cruciform stylee and shouted at the top of my voice,

‘I am in AUSTRALIA!!!!!’

They then started snapping me as I laughed, cried and jumped up and down on the spot, pointing at the bridge and opera house in the distance. Blame it on jet lag, slight hysteria and the fact that I was actually looking at the sights that I have only seen on the TV and at the movies since I was a little girl. It was beautiful.

In summary, Sydney has the elegance of Cannes, the majesty of Barcelona, is the foodie heaven of New York, with the pace of Bermuda. It is a city with many faces, each one of them smiling at me.