I'm originally from England, Geina from Singapore, we met in Dubai, where we'd both gone to work in 1977, & we were married in England. We lived in Dubai for seven years, in 1984 moved to Singapore, then on to Australia in 1985, living in and around Sydney. I'm now Australian.
In '97 we moved to Terrigal, a small town on the New South Wales Central Coast. In October '05 we decided to move back to Dubai for a while and we spent six years there, coming back to Terrigal in August 2011.
Terrigal is about an hour north of Sydney, a beautiful area of golden beaches, lagoons, lakes, small towns & villages and typical Aussie countryside. From our balcony we see the whales migrating past each year, going north in June and back south in September. There's much more about Terrigal on my Travel Pages.
During our second time living in Dubai we lived in Dubai Marina, one of the fantastic new developments. We saw massive changes in the six years.
I've put a Travelogue called "You absolutely must see..." on a 'must-do' tour in Dubai, which you can reach here and there's plenty more in general about Dubai on my Travel Pages.
On my pages I try to avoid putting what you can find in tourist guides, they do it better than I ever could. I try to give a feeling for the places we've been, try to give some idea of the atmosphere. I find that approach is useful when I'm researching other members' pages for places to visit and I hope you'll find my pages useful for the same reason.
I only use photos I have taken (with a few exceptions and I have credited those).
Australia is a fantastic country to visit, but bushfires are something that travellers to Australia during our summer fire season need to be aware of. Most of the world doesn't experience anything like them and visitors have no concept of what they're like. You must be aware of the danger particularly if you're driving from town to town, camping or bushwalking.
Our worst ever fires were in February 2009 in Victoria with terrible loss of life. I've put a little more about these Black Saturday fires below.
But fires are a regular danger. The 2002/3 fire season was also very bad. On Jan 18 a catastrophic firestorm hit the federal capital, Canberra. Four people dead, over 300 injured, over 530 houses and a lot of infrastructure was destroyed, plus thousands of animals - farm animals, pets, wildlife. In the south of NSW and in Victoria there were also vast fires threatening resorts in the mountains, where whole towns were evacuated. Fires stretched two thousand kilometres from Queensland down to Tasmania.
In 2001/2 disastrous bushfires raged for more than three weeks over Christmas and New Year all around Sydney and even into the suburbs. 170 homes totally destroyed, over 1.5 million acres burnt, over 20,000 people on the front line fighting the fires, thousands evacuated from their homes. For three weeks we were at the mercy of the weather, but thanks to the incredible bravery of the firefighters - the vast majority are volunteers - damage was kept unbelievably low. One of the areas threatened was Wollongong and I've put the story there.