15th November 1998 - London to Brisbane

24 hours in a plane.

16th & 17th & 18th November 1998 - Brisbane

Nothing much has changed, same people, same places, same attitudes and way of life. Hired a car at the airport and headed over to Jim's place. He's bought a lovely Queenslander since I was in Brisbane last. Plenty of space, large deck, some spare rooms, even has room for a pool table. I spent the next couple of days touring around Brisbane revisiting places I like in Brisbane and catching up with as many people as possible. Took a river-cat up and down the river. Drove up around my old house, headed down to Queen St Pier and the Botanical Gardens. Spent an hour or two on the South Bank and wandered the shopping malls. In the evenings did all the old favourites. Paddo Tavern, City Rowers, Storey Bridge Hotel and Dooley's.

19th November 1998 - Around Brisbane

Headed up the coast to my old haunts. Drove up the Sunshine Coast it is such an idyllic area. Mile after mile of golden sand, wide open space with no one around. I love the sea and around here it's just perfect. Next over to Alma Park Zoo to hangout with the kangaroos. I love 'em. Such improbable animals bounding around with their Joeys hanging out of their pouches.Finally on the way back to Brisbane I headed up to Mt Coo-tha for the sunset over the city.

20th, 21st and 22nd November 1998 - Australia v England

At the Gabba for the first three days of the 1st Ashes Test. The Gabba was a building site with one stand missing which took away from the atmosphere a bit but we head fun. England flattered to deceive as always. They had Australia 178-5 and Steve Waugh and Healy were given life after life, the worst of which being Alan Mullally getting his hand in the way of a wicket bound throw which would've run out Waugh when he was still in the 20s. Anyway the cricket was just a sideshow. For us it was beer, pies and banter and of course betting on anything and everything. We had Michael Parkinson sat a few rows behind us and I managed to get my photo with Ian Botham as he walked around the boundary to do the teatime report.

The most exciting thing to happen on the cricket field was the storm that hit at teatime on the 3rd day. The sky turned a very dark green and there was the most amazing storm. Thunder and lightening. Within minutes the whole ground was under water, thankfully being in the member's area we could taken refuge in the bar and watch the fireworks. I couldn't believe that they started play at 9:30 the next morning.

23rd November 1998 - Around Brisbane

As the test looked like it was heading for a draw I decided not to go to the Test Match but spent my last day here hanging out in the city. Nice lunch, some sun bathing, some shopping. Nice.

24th, 25th and 26th November 1998 - Kota Kinabalu (Sabah)

3 days just north of the Equator. Back in Malaysia, flew into KL and then straight out again to Kota Kinabalu (KK). I didn't get to do the things I wanted to do because no trips coincided with my visit. So I didn't climb Mt Kinabalu and didn't get to get white water rafting. But I still had a great time. A day to check out the town, a day on the beach on a nearby island and a trip up to the Mt Kinabalu National Park.

The day at the beach was just what I needed after all the rushing around a day to myself to relax. Mt Kinabalu National Park is spectacular. I did a local bus trip with some amazing food included. Red Snapper, sizzling fish, squid, lobster salmon and crab, amazing.

27th and 28th November 1998 - Kuala Lumpur

2 great days in KL before heading home. Hotel in Chinatown, right in the heart of the city, easy to get everywhere. Spent Friday looking around KL. Through the markets and up the Petronas Towers to the highest McDonald's in the world. The towers give a great view of the city. I finished the day in Little India having dinner at a street hawker stall. It had a Tandoori Clay Oven and everything. Tandoori Chicken, beef curry, rice and naan all for 10 Ringit. On Saturday I did a 1/2 day taxi tour. Went to a Jade House, Royal Selangor Pewter Factory, a batik factory and the Batu Caves.

KL is a great city. Busy, but not overly so, it doesn't feel over populated. Lots of impressive buildings. The city is mostly very cheap, it's friendly and there's a lot of English spoken. A perfect end to a fantastic holiday. Packed so much into 2 weeks. It seems like months since I was at work.

29th November 1998 - Back to London

Home again.