It’s been a long couple of years especially those of us separated from those we love…

For me it’s been centred around my daughter Sam and my fiancé Judy.

As you know Sam is studying at the University of Waterloo which is about an hours drive west of Toronto.  She’s now in her third year (of five) and studying Computer Science and Fine Arts.

Quite the mix, but once you understand that Sam has an equal measure of both left and right brain, you’ll understand why he’s taking this eclectic mix of subjects.

After deciding last minute not to pursue architecture it seems fitting that she’s slowly finding her way back to something that she loves – design! ❤️

I got Sam a ticket to come out to Australia in the very short window between her final exam in April and when she starts her next co-op term in early May back in Toronto.

At this point I will take any time I can get to see and spend time with Sam.  I’m hoping that once she graduates, she’ll come to Australia for an extended period.

My fiancé Judy has been stuck in New York, and so we’ve also been separated for coming up on two years.

During our time apart I’m glad we had the ability to have a video call each day, but I won’t be sad to not have them any longer, as nothing is the same as physical touch.

I know I’m far from alone when it comes to being separated from family… indeed every living soul has been impacted in some way…

The pandemic has been particularly cruel on those who have lost loved ones (my brother Gary in October, although not Covid related per se) and even though I’d been back in Australia for almost a year I wasn’t able to see him before he died due to border closures and restrictions.

There had been rumours floating about for some months that the Australian border was going to re-open for vaccinated international visitors.

I’m not sure if it was because our vaccination rates got beyond 90% for the entire Australian population or if the announcement was a PR stunt (the federal election is looming) and the Prime Minister wanted to pick up some brownie points with his electors.

Whatever the reason as soon as the date was announced for re-opening (February 21st) I immediately booked Judy’s ticket out to Australia. ❤️✈️

She leaves New York’s JFK airport in New York City on Monday February 21st, and is flying via San Francisco before arriving into Sydney (still no direct flights into Brisbane from North America) on Wednesday February 23rd.

I plan to fly down to Sydney to meet her from her trans-Pacific flight and then fly with her to Brisbane.


Fast forward to Saturday February 26th and Judy has been here in Newport since Wednesday.

So amazing to finally have her here… ❤️

Judy’s mother is Korean and her father from St Lucia in the Caribbean, although she was born in Queens, NY she grew up on Long Island.  After completing her undergrad and two graduate degrees at Hofstra and NYU she worked in Manhattan for many years.

Moving to Newport in Queensland is a long way from the bright lights of New York, but I’m sure she’ll adjust in time.

These first few days were not what I expected as I had planned to take her to Woorim Beach on Bribie Island for a long beach walk, or perhaps go for a hike in a rainforest or National Park nearby.

As we know the best laid plans don’t always go as expected…

Seriously, the rain has not ceased for a single moment in three days.  I’ve even considered going to the Bunnings (lumber store) to get the wood to build an Ark!

There has been so much rain that the main reservoir that supports Brisbane which had been at 56% capacity until Wednesday is now at 100% of its capacity with water having to be released which unfortunately is exacerbating the flooding downstream from the dam.

Here in Newport, we’ve had just over 650 millimetres (26 inches), or just over our annual rainfall in a three day stint.  This has left many roads completely flooded and impassable… so much for endless sunshine.

I guess she can now rib me as to my “fibs” about the weather here in beautiful Queensland.  Oi vey!!

Of course, these are all first world problems what can I say. ❤️

We went shopping at the Asian market this morning and so this afternoon she’s busy making Bulgogi sauce to marinate some beef for tomorrow nights. BBQ.  She’s also preparing some pan-fried oysters that we picked up at the local seafood market this morning for dinner…  Yum!!!

I’m already thinking that I need to go workout and we’re only in the first week.  The best part is that we both love to cook so it’ll always be a shared experience.

Until next week