Australia Day Dee WhyMiddle age has arrived in earnest with this month’s birthday, and I find myself at the beginning of a new Chapter having moved the family from England to Sydney at the start of 2014.

The sunshine wasn’t the only warmth to greet us – across my travels I have never before encountered such a cosmopolitan culture. I see this influence everywhere: in the flavours of the fantastic foods, the generous stories of the people, and the festivals celebrated. In the last month alone we’ve been captivated by the Ashes Cricket Series (well done to the ladies!), the Tennis Open, the Surf Championships, Chinese New Year dragon boat racing and the Mardi Gras.

The self-deprecating sense of humour is delightful, and yet Sydney’s people aren’t the only species here to enchant; without moving from the glorious Northern Beaches I’ve seen possums jumping trees by my balcony, watched my children feed pelicans with still warm wet fish from the Ocean, and this morning I did my morning run alongside a very acrobatic crab!

Amid the celebrations this culture embraces their “no jog, no grog” lifestyle. I have officially fallen in love with Long Reef: a striking 3km track around a spit of land which hosts its golf club, tennis club, boat ramp, wildlife walks & talks, fishing basin, stand for gliding….and the list goes on, and Sydney’s people live and breath them all.

So my middle-aged brain, and English-cursed freckles look forward to turning the pages for this Chapter.