Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Me, Mum and Jason met up with Steve and Lisa for dinner last night. We went to Lure on Taylor Square for a seafood feast (well done for the recommendation Al!). We had a really nice evening and the food was great and really reasonably priced. I had Pokey (or hokey or something) and chips, I got to try some snapper too which was yummy...will definitely go back there again.
We're just about to move back to our flat for the next few days until we fly off to New Zealand next Monday.

Monday, December 26, 2005

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
Had a great evening on Christmas Eve, Jason and I met up with Steve and Lisa down at the Clovelly Hotel. It was absolutely heaving there, and it looked like a lot of the people had been drinking all day. Luckily it had cooled down quite a lot from the daytime and it was bearable again. We had a few drinks down there and lots more of our friends turned up for a couple. Most people tho were only out for a little while. The pub closed about midnight, so we caught the courtesy bus to Coogee where we went to one of Steve's old haunts, the Palace on Coogee beach (he used to live in Sydney about 7 years ago). It wasn't so busy in there, but we still had good fun. We stayed until about 2ish then went home.
Me, Jason, Lisa and Steve
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Steve doing his Liam Gallager!!
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Christmas day was really nice, we got up suprisingly early and had some breakfast and went back to our flat to swap presents with Todd and Lilly. Mum nor I didn't feel like it was Christmas day as it was so hot, we found it very weird! After we'd opened our pressies and watched a bit of TV, we went back to the flat in Clovelly and had Christmas lunch which was baked potatoes and salad! Then I had a big urge to go swimming in the sea...you can see the sea from the balcony here, so I suggested we go down to the beach for a bit before we headed off to Sue and Grants. We drove past Coogee beach which was absolutely packed, so we decided to go to Clovelly beach, which was a lot quieter.
By the sea
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Jason and I went into the sea for a swim, it was absolutely lovely.....I can't believe I've been swimming in the sea on Christmas day....I just had to do it whilst I'm here!!
Jason and I in the lovely water
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It was a really quick dip tho as we had to get over to North Ryde for the evening, I could have stayed in the sea all day.
We arrived at the Taylors at about 4.30. It was great to see everyone again, and Mum hadn't seen Grant (they are cousins) since I was christened (yes, that's a long time ago) so they had a lot of catching up to do. We watched the kids all open their pressies, then we had a lovely buffet dinner there, lots of salads and grilled prawns, ham and turkey too.
Opening the pressies
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It wasn't the same as I'm used to, but I was really pleased to be able to take part in a proper Aussie Christmas (well, it was really a Kiwi one as they are mostly from New Zealand). Christmas day was definitely an experience (especially swimming in the ocean). After dinner we went for a walk up the road so I could show Mum and Jason the houses decorated with their Christmas lights, they were really impressed.
One of the lit up houses (I still need to sort out the night time feature on my camera, it was so much better in reality!)
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After a bit of a photo shoot.....Grant wanted lots of family pics, it was highly entertaining...we left for home, we were all pretty shattered.
Boxing day we had a bit of a lie in, then I had to go to the airport to change one of my flight tickets. After that we drove to Palm beach (which is where they film Home & Away). I've been there before, but I really wanted to show Mum, it's a fair way from Sydney, it took us about 1 hour. It was pretty busy when we got there, so quite hard to find a parking space. The beach was looking lovely, we took a walk to the Summer Bay surf club where we had to get our photo taken with the surf club sign.
Mum and I outside Summer Bay surf club
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Mum on the pathway they all walk down to the famous beach
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After that we dumped our bags on the beach and jumped in the sea. It was bliss, but the waves were quite high and the current strong, so I didn't last too long in there, I was getting dragged all over the place. We had a bit of a sleep on the beach, then drove back.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Met up with Lisa and Steve (who are over from Munich) on Thursday night. It was great to see them both again, they looked really happy and they're obviously enjoying their travels. We had a great night, they caught me up on all the gossip from Munich, I can't believe it's almost a year since I left there.
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We drunk far too much (well I did anyway) so yesterday I wasn't feeling the best, it took me a few hours to get myself prepared to get out of the house!! Mum and I took the bus into the city, we walked through the botanical gardens and over to Mrs Macquarie's chair where there is a really good view of Circular Quay. We then made our way back through the city and had some lunch, then walked down to Darling Harbour to listen to the carols being sang around the tree (I needed something to make me feel Christmassy....it didn't really work though!!) It was nice to show Mum around there anyway, it's a really lovely place. After that we just caught the bus back and watched some TV.
Mum and I at Mrs Macquarie's chair viewpoint
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I was dreading waking up this morning, the forecast was for 38 degrees. I woke up about 9.30 and had to shut the windows cos of the hot air blowing in from outside, it helped a little. We had to venture out eventually though because we had to find some prawns to take around to Sue and Grants for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The shopping mall was packed out, it'd been open for 32 hours for the Christmas rush, it took ages to get a parking space. Eventually we did and made our way to the supermarket. It wasn't actually too busy and suprisingly there were loads of fresh fruit and veg (this was at 1pm, in England everything has sold out by early morning) so we were quite impressed. So we got our prawns and some other bits then came back to the flat. I'm feeling a bit sick now cos of the heat, it's been so hot and humid, I can't really cope with it when it's like this. Luckily now it's cleared up a bit and we've been able to open the windows as there is more of a fresh breeze...let's hope it stays that way!!
Off out again tonight to meet up with our friends for Christmas eve. Lisa and Steve are coming over, Todd and Lily, Linn and Martin, Sean and Gemma and Garry (who we went to the races with the other week) so I'm really looking forward to it. Going to take it easy though as I don't want to feel bad tomorrow!!
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've finally found 5 mins to update my blog!
So Mum arrived last Thursday, her flight was a bit delayed, so I was hanging around the airport for ages, I was a bit nervous, but excited about seeing her. She finally came through the gates and we had a big hug. She looked really well, especially considering she'd been flying for 24 hours. We took her back to the flat where she met my flatmates, I guess it must have been a bit hard for her after the long journey to meet lots of people when she was knackered, but she coped well.
The next day we went for a drive to show her a bit of the city. We drove over the Harbour bridge and she saw the Opera house (I think I was more excited about that than Mum was!!) Then we went to Watsons bay and had some fish and chips and ice cream. Then we took her to Bondi, to show her the famous beach, I hadn't been there for ages and I must say it is very nice. That evening when we got back, we had to pack our stuff for Melbourne so we didn't go out.
Mum and I at Bondi
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Next day we had a leisurely drive to the airport for our flight. The flight was pretty bumpy to start with, so I was holding onto Mum's hand as hard as I could, she thought it was very amusing!! Luckily the flight was pretty short. We landed about 1.5 hours later and we really noticed the temperature drop from Sydney, it was really cold (well about 20 degrees!!). We jumped on the bus to Melbourne which took us about 50 mins. I was really suprised that Melbourne isn't really as big as I thought it would be, and the surrounding land is nothing much at all, just farmland. The taxi driver finally got us to our hotel, he found it after a lot of looking in the map! It was a nice place, we went for the self serviced apartment in the end, so we could cook our own meals (saves a bit of money!). After we'd settled in, we took a walk to Fitzroy Gardens, which were very beautiful, they reminded me a lot of the gardens in Sydney. Then we found the city circle tram line, which is a free service that goes right around the city, we jumped on there so we could have a look around. After that we went to the supermarket to pick up some food and went back to the apartment for some dinner and an early night.
The streets of Melbourne
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Next day we had a bit of a sleep in, then went to the Queen Victoria market, which was huge, we didn't really buy much there though, mostly fruit and veg! As the weather wasn't so good, it was raining on and off, we thought we'd have a proper shopping day. We walked to a big shopping mall, and I managed to spend Mum's money for her, she bought a couple of tops there. Then we went to the exhibition centre as they had a big warehouse sale on, we didn't last long in there though, it was huge!! Then we went back to the city, I saw a tour office with an advert for Great Ocean Road day trips, we tried to book on one, but everywhere had sold out, gutted!! We were trying to hang around until it got dark so we could see the Christmas lights, so we decided to eat out. Mum is very fussy, and there wasn't much open, so we had a struggle to find somewhere nice. I thought we'd go to Chinatown cos at least Mum could have some rice and veg, but it turned out they put this horrible sauce on it, so we didn't really enjoy our meal at all, what a waste!! When we'd come out it was nearly dark so we went to look at the Christmas tree on Federation Square....not much going on there though, so we decided to go home....we were both knackered, we'd been walking for 9 hours!!
Christmas tree at Federation Square (obviously not taken at night though)
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Next day, my legs were killing me, I'd felt like I'd done a work out at the gym! First stop was the outlet shops, not much on there though, mostly really young fashion. I wanted to try and get on the Neighbours tour, so we went to the tourist info office, but guess what...that was sold out too :-( I couldn't believe it, normally I'm so organised with my trips, but cos this trip just crept up on me, I hadn't really done a lot of preparation, never mind. We then just took a river cruise on the Yarra river, which was really nice (I have to say, not a patch on the scenery in Sydney though). That took us an hour, then we had a sleep in the park (we were still shattered) then guess what...we went shopping again!! Mum bought a few more things, then on the way back to the apartment we had a quick look at St Patricks cathedral, which was very big and beautiful, then it was time to go home and cook a lovely stir fry with the veggies we'd bought the day before.
Melbourne skyline
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Mum by the river
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Tuesday was our last day, so after we'd checked out, we got on the tram to St Kilda beach. It was really lovely there, the beach wasn't the best, but the little street nearby was great, they had loads of cafes and restaurants there, so we had lunch and some more ice cream.
St Kilda
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We had a couple of hours there, then we took our time walking back to the hotel to pick up our bags and then made our way to the bus station to get to the airport. The flight was another quick one, a bit bumpy again, but not too bad....I must get back to the doctors to buy some more valium!!
We are now staying in Clovelly (they've got broadband, so I'm able to catch up on all my mails!) Yesterday, I took Mum to Randwick, we both bought some shoes and some hairstuff and then went to the supermarket for food. We'd taken longer than we'd hoped and we had to rush back as we had to be in the city for 7pm to meet John and Liz (John is my ex-colleague from Munich) they are over to visit their kids, who live here, so it was really nice to see them all.
John and I
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We had a nice dinner with them, then I took Mum for a quick tour of Hyde Park and my old house I used to live in, then we got the bus back. We gave Chris a ring in Slovakia, we won't be able to speak to him over Christmas, so we had to say our greetings then, was lovely to speak to him again, it'd been ages!
Today, I've just been busy trying to sort out changes of flights and lots of other stuff, we're just off out for a walk now. I think Mum is a bit tired still, her feet haven't really touched the ground, she's almost stopped falling asleep randomly throughout the day, so that's something!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's Wednesday and I've had 2 days work this week. Yesterday I was covering reception at a music company near Darling Harbour, and today, I'm covering reception at Sue's work, they've all gone out on their Christmas party so it's pretty quiet.
Mum is arriving tomorrow night, I'm so looking forward to seeing her again, I can't believe these last 10 months have gone by so quickly, it's pretty scary stuff!! On Friday she'll have a day off to try and recover from her flight, and then I'm dragging her off to Melbourne on Saturday, I think she's going to be shattered. She's staying with me in Coogee (I recently found out that Coogee is Aboriginal for rotten seaweed....nice!!) for a few days, then a couple of friends in Clovelly have kindly said we can stay at theirs whilst they're in New Zealand for a week. It'll be a lot more peaceful than staying at our place, as there are already 4 of us living there.
It's going to be a strange Christmas, I'm still not feeling Christmassy at all, it just feels to me like it's the middle of June, not December. I just can't get into the festive season and I'm finding that quite sad as normally I really love Christmas time. I so miss Munich and England and all my family and friends, and all the Christmas markets and the cold weather and the shopping....I'm feeling like I'm missing a year or something....very strange. So I'm sorry if I haven' t been sending Christmas cards or Christmas greetings.... this festive season has just crept on me!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

It's a Beautiful day!!!!
I'm so excited today, I've managed to get tickets for the U2 concert in Sydney next March!!! I can't believe I got through on the phone, I was jumping up and down at home this morning I tell you!!!
Anyway, as promised, here are some pics from the Races.....
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Had a great day yesterday, Jason and I went to another of his works Christmas parties. We went to the races at Rosehill. I had the best time and met some really lovely people. Everything was paid for, it was held in a marquee, we had a 2 course meal and free drinks all day, as you can imagine everyone was making the most of it!! We all dressed up, I wore a dress for the first time in absolutely ages, I even put my hair up for the occasion....everyone goes all out for it. Basically, there are 8 races that go on throughout the day and in between them, you eat and drink and decide which horses to bet on. When the races were on, we all went outside of the marquee to watch them. I won a couple of bets, I was so excited about it, even though I only won $20 the first time (I couldn't afford to put on any more!) and a measly $2.75 the second..... everyone thought it was really funny that I was so excited, but it is new to me. I can see how people get addicted to it, it's such a buzz!! I would have won the last race too, but I listened to Gary who told me to bet a boxed quinella, whatever the hell that is....that's definitely for the hardcore gamblers, so anyway, I lost, gutted!! The day was beautiful as well, we had to put loads of sun block on!! After that we went down to another few pubs..... considering we started drinking at 11am, we all did really well to keep going. We went down to Darling Harbour for cocktails, and the to the Rocks, I think we got home about 2am or something....not feeling at all good today!
I've got some photos to post, but I forgot to bring my camera, will update again soon.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I just had to come back and update my blog....I've just seen the most amazing scene! I'm staying at Grant and Sue's now, Grant said earlier I should go up the road when it gets dark and have a look at the Christmas lights. I've just got back....what a sight....all of the houses down this road have the most amazing Christmas lights and decorations, there is one with a big windmill and lots of reindeer on the roof and even a full on nativity scene in the garden!! I've never seen anything like it, Mum, it puts the house on West Way to shame!! The road is full of families having a look, and cars driving by, and there's even an ice cream van there for all the visitors.... hilarious!! I only wish I had my camera with me!! It's just given me my first feeling of Christmas this year (it's not right that it's hot this time of year, I just can't get used to it!)
So, after 2 mind numbingly boring days putting statements into envelopes, I've now got 2 days work on a reception desk for a printing company in North Ryde. I had to get up at 5.45 this morning to be here at 8.30, it's miles away, but this is how desperate I am for the money! Luckily, it's near where Sue and Grant live, so they kindly said I can stay there tonight, good job cos I'm knackered! Today is ok, there is noone here, they have a 2 day Christmas party (yes, 2 days!). I'm manning the reception, and I've just been packaging up Christmas gift boxes for their clients which has made the day pass a bit quicker. I forgot to mention last time that I had a request to go back to a reception job I worked a couple of weeks ago, but as I'd had an extra days work yesterday, I had to turn it down....but it's nice to be wanted. I must say, I have absolutely had enough of this temping lark the past four weeks, I hate waking up each day not knowing whether I'm going to get a job, or where I'll be sent and what I'll have to do, but then again on the upside, it's done a lot for my nerves and confidence, I've been to so many different jobs, I haven't really been getting nervous before going to them, not like I would have done before anyway. I just have one more week of this, then Mum gets here, so I won't have to worry too much. I'm really looking forward to seeing her now, I can't believe in a week today she'll be here, then we're heading off to Melbourne next Saturday too, I had only just realised yesterday morning that we're off next week, things are really creeping up on me...is it really only 2.5 weeks til Christmas????!!!
On another subject, Summer has definitely arrived here now.....how unbelievably hot was it yesterday....I'd been working all day in the air conditioned office, so I really didn't expect to feel how I felt when I walked out the door, it was like walking into an oven, I'm not joking....I could hardly breathe it was so hot, it actually made me feel sick. I had the longest bus journey ever on a non airconditioned bus with the tiniest windows, and the most people in it, I thought I was going to suffocate!! I finally made it home where it wasn't any cooler inside, there was just no getting away from it, I think it was about 39 degrees yesterday. We went around a friends for a bbq later in the evening, and it didn't really cool down until about 10pm, the heat had also brought out all the cockroaches, she killed about 20 of them on her balcony, there were some really mutant ones there too!! I'm dreading going outside after work today, who knows what it will be like, I just hope it's not always that bad in the summer, cos I really won't be able to cope with it!
I forgot to say, last Friday when I was at the pub with Dave, I saw another one of the guys that was in Big Brother, he just put his head inside the pub door, shouted something, then ran off....how mature!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I had a job today, and I am going back tomorrow, wohooo!! It was pretty brain numbing and tedious though, but it's really easy money. Basically, we're sending out all the monthly statements from a financial company, so all we had to do was put these statements and leaflets in enveloples for 7 hours....interesting huh!! Can't wait til tomorrow!!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

I've finally managed to get to an internet cafe again, when I'm not working it's so hard to keep my blog updated.
Thursday evening we went round a friend of ours, Sean's, for a barby. It was a lovely evening, and I met a few more Poms, they really are everywhere! I managed to get another days work for Friday, and I actually really enjoyed it, it was working for the Dept of Correctional Services. I had to phone up applicants for a job and arrange interviews and make up folders, it wasn't very challenging, but it kept me busy and was a lot more interesting than the reception work I've been doing. After work I met up with Dave, it was so lovely to see him again, we hadn't seen each other for about a month, so we had a lot to catch up on. Mike came along later on too for a bit, I had a few too many drinks and ended up dragging myself home at about 11pm.
Next day was up early for the Homebake festival. It was an all day event for Aussie and Kiwi bands. I was a bit dubious about going as I'd only heard of a couple of the bands, but it really was a good day, the weather was great, very hot though, we had to put loads of sunblock on!! The Rogue Traders played there, they played their Voodoo Child song, I'm guessing it was out in Europe too? and the last act were the Finn brothers who you'd probably know from Crowded House. They were excellent, they played a lot of stuff from Crowded House, and also Split Enz who were really big over here in the 80's. The festival finished at 11pm, so we all went off down the pub for a couple before home-time.
here are some pics......
me and Jase
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some of the gang
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The Finn brothers on stage
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at the nativity scene on the way home....can you spot any intruders??!!!
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I'm shaking a bit at the moment, the girl next to me just told me there was a cockroach on my shoe and I just freaked out and everyone was laughing at me, I think she felt a bit bad that I was so scared.....bloody things are everywhere, what with the flies around and getting bitten to death from all the mozzies it's a nightmare!!
Anyway, to carry on my weekends happenings, Sunday day Jason and I went to the Highland games at Hyde Park, Sean had a stall there, so we went to show our support for a bit, there wasn't really much going on there, just a band playing the bagpipes, we'd actually missed all the caber tossing etc. Later on I met up with Sue, we did a bit of shopping, well she did, I just wished that I could! Then we went to Hyde Park again and had a gossip for a while. After that, I went home and had an early night. I spoke to Mum on the phone, I'm really looking forward to seeing her again, I can't believe it's come around so quickly.
Still no news on the job front, nothing came up today, I'm desperately hoping for something tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It’s been a busy old week so far. I woke up Monday with yet another sore throat, typical. In the afternoon, I had to go into North Ryde to sort out something at my gym, when I was on my way Sarah phoned and told me that her and Ady were actually going to leave Sydney on Wednesday (which is earlier than they’d planned) so they wanted to meet up with me that night to say goodbye. Unfortunately it meant there wasn’t any point in me going home and getting ready to go out beforehand as it would have cost me too much in bus fares. Anyway, as I was waiting for them at Circular Quay, I can’t believe I bumped into yet another couple of familiar faces, turns out that Lise and Rich from Munich had a one night stopover in Sydney on their way to a wedding in Brisbane. We were all really shocked to see each other, fancy bumping into them in a huge city in Australia!! Such a small world! It was great to see them, although I looked a right mess, I hadn’t done my hair, had no make up on, so when they get back to Munich and people ask them how I was, they won’t be able to say, she’s looking really well…. never looked better!! So anyway, Sarah, Ady and I had a nice evening, but it was sad to say goodbye again. I’ll miss them being here L
Yesterday morning, I got up early as I’d heard there was a vacancy for 5 days at a sandwich shop down the road. I spoke to the owner, but it turns out that they needed someone for 5 days a week, not just for 5 days, which is unfortunate cos I can only do 3 weeks work, so that was a waste of time. After that, I did a bit of shopping and I saw one of the twins that won Big Brother here this year.
Last night I went to the Oasis concert. I wasn’t that bothered about going to be honest, but I’m really glad I did, they were excellent. I got a bit scared at one point tho, I was in the middle of the crowd just before they came on stage, I thought I had a really good spot, but as soon as they started playing, everyone started jumping up and down and pushing forwards, most of them being big lads, so I had to try and fight my way back even more so I was a bit safer!! They played loads of their older music, which I loved and a few tracks from their new album. Sometimes I even managed to see them on the stage….I hate being small!!
So anyway, yesterday I got a call from an agent with one days reception work for today. The job was ok, there was noone at all in the office in the afternoon as they’d all gone to their Christmas party! When I first got there, I saw who I thought was a guy from one of my first jobs here in the city, I tried to say hello, but it was a bit difficult as I was being trained, anyway, I asked the receptionist if there was a guy called Matt Duff working here, she said no, but we have an Anthony Duff, I asked has he got a twin brother, so she asked him, and of course he said yes. Apparently he often gets mistaken for his brother when he’s walking around town…how funny, I’ve now worked in places with both of them!
I’m hoping to get a quiet night in tonight, I’m going to give my Mum a call as it’s her Birthday today…Happy Birthday Mum!!!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Still not much luck with work, I really didn't expect to be having so many problems getting any as previously there was always work. I managed to get 5 hours work last Friday, which I'm sure won't go too far towards paying my rent...oh well. I'm getting up early again tomorrow to go into an agency for the breakfast temping, I hope there is something, I went last week, but just hung around for 2 hours for nothing!
I had a really good weekend. Sarah came over to Coogee on Friday night, Ady was a bit poorly, so she ended up coming on her own. There were quite a few of us out, Sue came over and a couple of Kiwi guys we met at Lilys party a few weeks ago were out too, so we ended up having quite a laugh. It was a pretty late night though, so Saturday daytime I didn't get much done!
Then Saturday about 5pm, Jason and I went to his works Christmas party at a restaurant on Darling Harbour. We had a really good evening, it was all free so everyone made the most of it. I didn't actually end up eating anything though, I really didn't like the food I was given, which was a shame. We had another late night and yesterday I just lazed around watching TV, it was really nice to relax for a change.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It’s been a really busy week, so this may go on a bit!
Last Thursday Jason and I met up with Sarah (my friend from England) and her boyfriend Ady. As soon as Sarah and I saw each other we started screaming and hugging, everyone in the pub must have wondered what was going on!! It was really great to see them both, we had loads to catch up on. They were telling me about where they’d been on their travels, and I was telling them my stories too. I can’t believe Sarah has actually done this trip, I’m so happy for them both, they’re really having an amazing time.

Jason, Ady, Sarah and I
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So after a few hours and a few drinks, and a really good night, we had to head home as we had an early start the next day for our trip to Narooma.
The plan was to leave about 7.30am on Friday, but by the time we’d got all our stuff sorted out it was gone 8. It was supposed to take us 4-5 hours to get there, but in the end it was about 7 hours, we had to stop off on the way for a snooze in the car as Jason was feeling sleepy. We also stopped off for lunch at Berry, which is a small pretty town about half way there. It was worth the wait to get there, Narooma was beautiful. We were staying just outside of town in a place called Mystery Bay, at Mystery Bay cottages, I was really pleased with our choice of accommodation, ours was one of 6 cottages in the middle of the countryside, it was just what I wanted. The cottages themselves were huge, with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen, we had a large terrace, and when you opened the back door, all you could see was countryside and a few horses grazing, it was gorgeous.

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They’d even provided bird seed for the bird table outside, I put some out and straight away these brightly coloured parrots appeared for a snack. I still find it hard to believe these birds are wild!
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After we’d settled in, we took a walk to the beach, it was only a few minutes from the cottage (we definitely had the best of both worlds, countryside and the ocean). The bay wasn’t very big, and it was very secluded with only one other person there. We had a look at the rock pools, then headed back to get the car so we could go into Narooma and have a look around there. We stopped at a couple of view points, on one of them we saw Australia rock, which was cool.

Me struggling to get up there
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Jason, making it look really easy!
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We drove past Narooma's famous golf course, it’s on a cliff right by the sea which is pretty spectacular. By this time we were getting hungry, so we went back to the cottage to get changed, then went out for dinner. We found a lovely little Italian restaurant where the food was really great, we were both stuffed after our meal. We then just went back to the cottage and watched a video, we were both exhausted after the long day. I have to say, I had the best sleep I’ve had in absolutely ages, it was so peaceful there right in the middle of the countryside, I didn’t wake up once which is not like me!

Saturday, we were up early again so we could make the most of the day. First stop was the historic town of Tilba. It’s a tiny little town with the most beautiful brightly coloured little houses and shops, I really loved it there, it was so peaceful.
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One of the little shops
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We sampled some cheese at the cheese shop and had to buy some sundried tomato cheese, yum! Then we found a little sweet shop that had the biggest selection of sweets in jars I’ve seen in a long time, it was like going back in time, they had cough candy twists, flying saucers, rosy apples, lemon sherbets, we bought some strawberry and lemon bon bons! After that we drove to Tilba Tilba, which was an even smaller town, there wasn’t much to see there but it was pretty. I wanted to go into the gardens which are supposed to be beautiful, but Jason wasn’t really bothered so we just had a look at all the lovely flowers and plants in the nursery outside. We didn’t really have much time anyway, as we’d booked a boat tour on the Wagonga Inlet (an estuary) for the afternoon. So we found a lovely beach (beach 1080) to eat some lunch, it was really off the beaten track, so again we hardly saw anyone there. Then we headed off the marina to meet our tour guide, we had the boat all to ourselves as noone else had booked a trip, which was great for us. We had a 2 hour tour of the estuary, it was quite informative, we learnt a lot more about the area, it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon in the sunshine, cruising around.
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When we moored the boat, the sky started to cloud over, we were a bit disappointed as we were going to go for a swim, but it had got a bit chilly, anyway, we had been really lucky with the weather up until then, it was gorgeous, so we weren't complaining too much. While we were there we wanted to try some local seafood, but because I’m on a bit of a budget, we decided just to get some fish and chips. We both chose John Dory, and it was absolutely lovely, really fresh and really tasty, can’t say the chips were all that great though, they do try here, but you still can’t beat good old English chips!! It was another reasonably early night, well for me it was, I was falling asleep at about 9pm, I was shattered. Unfortunately I didn’t have as good a sleep as the night before, I had a scary nightmare, and then at one point I was woken up to what I was sure was a horse cantering past our cottage!
I really didn’t want to get out of bed the next day, but we still wanted to do a few things before the trip back to Sydney so I didn’t have much choice. First we did one of the tourist drives around the Wagonga inlet. We saw a fair bit of wildlife, loads of birds, including some more brightly coloured parrots, then as we were just finishing the drive we saw a little wallaby in the road, I’m not surprised they get run over as much as they do, it was just sitting there for ages... oblivious! On the drive down there I saw 2 dead kangaroos by the side of the road, it must be a fright if you knock one of those things over! Talking of wildlife, we had a quick stop at a public loo, I went inside of the cubicle thinking they were quite clean for a public toilet, I just closed the door and I had the fright of my life, I saw a huge huge Huntsman spider, now, I’m not the type to scream when I see a spider, but this one, well, yep, I screamed!!! Jason came in and took a photo of it so you can see for yourself….I should have put my hand next to it so you can see compare the size, but I wasn’t putting my hand anywhere near that thing! Mind you, I’ve not done bad, I’ve been here 9 months and that’s the first thing like that I’ve ever seen (and hope it’s the last!!)

Don't look at this Mum!!
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After that drama, we went to the Tilba Winery, I had just to go while I was there. It was a lovely place set in the middle of the ‘bush’. We tasted a few wines, and to be honest I didn’t like any of the whites, they didn’t taste like anything I’ve tried before. We decided to stay there for lunch and even though I wasn’t that fussed, I did order myself a large glass of Chardonnay….well, you just have to don’t you!! They had live blues music in the garden (actually one of the guys looked like Ozzy Ozbourne!) it was a great chilled out way to spend a Sunday afternoon. After an hour of so, Jason had to drag me away as he wanted to get on with the driving. Big mistake having a glass of wine, practically as soon as I sat in the car I fell asleep…not the best company for Jason!! Anyway, he ended up having to stop again for a sleep on the way back too, we’d done so much we were shattered! We decided to have a quick stop at Kiama on the way back, there you can see the famous blowhole. I was lucky go get a good shot of it in action!

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I had the best weekend, it was so nice to relax and just do our own thing, I really loved the place, I can’t describe how lovely it was, the countryside was gorgeous and it was so peaceful, I’ve lost count of how many times I said to Jason ‘I could just live here, it’s beautiful’!! I really wish we’d have stayed an extra day, it just went by too quickly, but like all holidays, it had to come to an end :-(
Now it’s back to reality. It’s Tuesday and I still have no work, I’m starting to get worried now, I’m constantly on the phone to the agencies, but they just have nothing. Tomorrow I’m going to one of them for their breakfast meeting, so if any companies phone up needing a temp, at least I’ll be one of the first choices. Actually, I’m quite glad I didn’t get anything today, I went out with Sarah and Ady again last night and they fed me lots of wine, so wasn’t feeling on top form this morning! We had another fun night, we met at Circular quay again, we were going to watch the Australian Idol final which was hosted at the Opera house (not that I’d watched any of the series, but we thought it would be fun) but we got there and it was absolutely heaving, so we just went to the Opera bar instead. It’s so nice to go out with them both, I can’t get used to the fact that they’re here though!! We had a really fun evening, and Sarah was really pleased as she got to see fireworks at the harbour (she’s disappointed that she’s not here for NYE) they were really great fireworks, although my photos didn't come out that well unfortunately.

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They’ve gone off to the Blue Mountains today. I hope they have a nice day, looks like they’ve got the weather for it. We’re meeting up again on Friday night, we’re going to the Cushion bar for half price drinks again so it should be a good night.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Well, I did manage to get some work this week. I really hate this temping lark sometimes, on Monday I was on tenterhooks not knowing if I would get a call to go to a job, then Tuesday again I was up early and dressed just in case. Anyway, I did get a call for 2 days reception work at a small IT firm in Redfern. I have to say, they were the longest 2 days of my life!! The phone rang probably about 4 times on both days, and I was just literally sat there bored out of my mind...I guess it's easy money, but I do like to be kept busy. So I just hope something comes up next week so I can work up until my Mum gets here.
Sue and I went to belly dancing again last night, we had such a laugh, I really enjoyed it. The teacher brought in some veils, so we all learnt a dance using the veils, it was hilarious, I looked so unsexy it was funny, she keeps saying to practise at home, maybe I'll give it a go!! After the lesson we just had a couple of drinks and a catch up, all the pubs were packed as the World Cup qualifier between Australia and Uruguay was on, we managed to find a quieter one. I caught the end of the extra time when I got home and I watched the penalties, I really wanted Australia to win, it is the first time in 31 years that they qualifed, and the last time was when the World cup was in Germany.
Jason and I are going to Narooma tomorrow morning for the weekend, it's about 4 hours drive south of Sydney and it's supposed to be really beautiful. I just hope the weather is ok, the last couple of days it's been blowing a gale and been raining loads, today seems to be a bit better, so fingers crossed.
I'm meeting Sarah and Ady tonight, they arrived in Sydney yesterday, I'm really looking forward to seeing them again, I haven't seen Sarah since just before I left in February, it'll be weird seeing them here.
I've also just had a mail from Lisa (from Munich) her and her boyfriend Steve are in the Cook Islands now, they're getting married there next week. They've managed to get tickets for the New Years Eve party we're going to, it's at Lunar Park which is right underneath the harbour bridge, should be cool!

Monday, November 14, 2005

I met Sue at the Rocks after work on Friday night, it was a really good night. We had a look around the market stalls, but there were so many people there we gave up in the end and headed to the bar. It was absolutely packed there. After a while a well known Aussie singer came on, Johnny Diesel, everyone started going wild, as you can guess Sue and I didn't have a clue who he was, anyway we enjoyed the music. After the band finished, we headed to a pub, they had live music as well, I think it was an Irish bar. After one drink there we left as Sue had to be up early the next day to go canyoning. I caught the bus back to Coogee, but everyone was at a pub in Randwick, so I stopped off there for a bit to meet up with them. On the bus journey 3 kiwis started talking to me, they were hilarious, they called themselves FOB's (fresh off the boat!) the guy sat next to me was camp as, it was very funny. When I went to get off the bus I was really embarrassed, the bus lurched a bit, and I ended up falling on top of one of the guys, they found that highly amusing...I just ran off the bus after that!!
Saturday night it was Rachels birthday, so a few of us met up around her flat for pre-drinks. Then we headed to the famous Slip Inn (where Prince Frederik from Denmark met his future wife) for a couple and then we walked to Home bar where they were having their 7th birthday party. It was absolutely heaving in there, it was a good night, but very expensive and too busy, I only ended up having 2 drinks because of this...and also of course everyone was on drugs too, so all you can really do is dance, it's too loud to talk to anyone as well (god I sound old don't I). There was a really good band on at one point, Sneaky Sound System, but that was the highlight for me, we ended up leaving at 2am.
Yesterday I walked down to the beach and sat there for a couple of hours with my book, it was packed there, almost like Bournemouth beach! I also went for a bit of a walk, it was just nice to spend a bit of time by myself chilling out.
So, today I still haven't found a job, I'm getting a bit worried now, as I really need the money, I hope something turns up soon...fingers crossed! I did actually get offered 3 months of work as a PA, which would have been fantastic, but I can't do it as I'm going to New Zealand in January...bummer!
Actually, I have some news about that, I've decided to forfeit my ticket back home in January, I've booked a flight back to Sydney from New Zealand so I can stay here for an extra 2 months until my visa runs out. It does mean I will miss out on going to Fiji and the States, but to be honest, I'd rather stay here and spend the money I would have spent on those trips on a later flight home. I'd been thinking about if for ages, and now I've made my decision, so I won't be back in England until at least mid March!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

I just had my last day at work today, I've eaten even more cake, they bought a lovely chocolate mud cake and I had 2 slices....what with that and the 5 doughnuts this week, my diet hasn't done well at all!! It's always a bit sad leaving somewhere and saying goodbye, I will keep in touch with them though, they were all really nice. I can't believe it's ended already, the last 2.5 months there have really flown by! I haven't got anything else lined up yet, I'm hoping something will come up quickly as I can't really afford to take anymore time off just yet, what with Mum's trip coming up.
The weather here has been very changeable, one day it's raining and muggy, then next it's bright (and muggy) Yesterday I came out of work and it was literally like walking into a sauna, it was 35 degrees, but today, it's really pleasant, about 24 degrees. You really don't know what each day is going to bring, it's so unpredictable.
I had a mail yesterday from my friend Sarah from England, I'm meeting her and her boyfriend next Thursday for drinks, can't wait to see them both!
I'm just off to meet Sue in a bit, they have a moonlight market on at the Rocks, they will have lots of food and a band on, it sounds like it will be fun.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Belly dancing was fun last night, it was a lot harder than the time I went before in Munich, I think that was because there were a lot of people there at different levels. When we went in Munich, none of us had done it before, so the teacher taught us from scratch. Sue and I are going to buy a 10 pass card so we will go every week. My hips are aching a bit today, so it must be doing some good. It was funny doing some of the moves, at one point I just looked like I was having a fit!!! I’m sure I’ll get better tho.
Actually afterwards we paid an impromptu visit to the comedy store as there was a British comedian on. The first half there were 4 comedians (comedian said in a loose sense of the word) Well, actually 2 of them were very good, but the other 2 were awful, one of them being American, he didn’t do his full set, I guess he sensed he was not warming up the audience. The main act, the British guy, was brilliant. It was a very observational style of comedy which is my favourite, a lot of it was about arriving in Australia, Sue and I thought this was hilarious as he talked about the same things we noticed when we first got here. He also talked a lot about Britain and of course, men and women’s relationships…hilarious!!! I’m surprised my belly is not aching more after the dancing and then all the laughing!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I went out for lunch yesterday with work as this is my last week. We had a lovely lunch then we went down the pub for a couple of drinks, needless to say I didn’t get much done after that, I felt really sleepy all afternoon and evening. I did attempt to do a bit of clothes shopping after work, I’m starting to get frustrated about my lack of clothes, it’s especially annoying as I have loads back in England. Anyway, I didn’t find anything, typical, I really miss the shops back home!
When I came to Australia I more or less had the impression that it was 365 days a year sunshine, but now I’m realising that it definitely isn’t true….it has rained loads the past few weeks, and there have been lots of storms. It gets quite humid here, so I guess that’s why. Apparently summer is the rainy season (even though it's not quite summer yet)….. and everyone goes on about all the rain in England, I’m going to have to stick up for my home country and say it’s really not that bad there compared to some other countries I’ve been!! (you might have guessed, but I’m feeling a little homesick at the moment!)
It looks like there are going to be quite a few visitors coming to Sydney over the next few weeks, my friend Sarah and her fiancĂ©e from England will be here in just under 2 weeks, then Lisa and Steve from Munich at the beginning of December (they’re getting married soon in the Cook Islands), then my Mum of course, a friend from my old work in Munich and I’ve just had a mail from another friend in England, her and her husband will be out for New Year, it’s going to be funny seeing all these people over here!! I’m looking forward to catching up with them.
Tonight Sue and I are going belly dancing…haha, should be a laugh! We’ve been wanting to do something a bit different for ages, so we thought we’d take up some lessons. I’ve actually done it once before in Munich for my friends hen party and I really enjoyed it, so it might be my new hobby, watch this space!!!
Actually, as another part of my last week at work, they took me down to Krispy Kreme this morning to get some doughnuts for morning tea. Felicity had one of these cards where you buy a box of 12 and get another box of glazed doughnuts free (bear in mind there was only 3 of us in today). So after eating 2 each in the park we walked back to work. I’m still actually feeling full up from eating them, and I’ve still got 6 more to eat, actually Jeff said we could have his glazed ones too as he had bought 2 big boxes for his family. So now I’ve got 8 doughnuts in my bag…Jeff and I were trying to find containers to pack them into…we were having a laugh about me looking really good turning up for belly dancing with a bag full of doughnuts!!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

I managed to get to Sue and Grant’s last Thursday without too much trouble, the traffic wasn’t too bad as it was before 5pm. When we drove past the hole in the road where the block of flats had fallen in, everyone on the bus was gauping out of the window at it, it was quite funny! It was great to catch up with the family again, it’d been ages. We had a nice meal and watched a TV programme about New Zealand, they were telling me the nice places to go when we get there.
Friday night I ended up staying in and watching About a boy with Lily. Saturday I just did a bit of shopping, then in the evening we went to a Russian restaurant for Lily’s birthday (she’s from the Ukraine). I was a bit dubious about going, as it was a set-menu (and it wasn’t very cheap) and I know how fussy with food I am, but it turns out that it was ok, although not worth $55! The restaurant was really nice, it was very posh and it was packed, everyone was dressed up to the nines. There were about 10 different entrees we could eat, although most of it was meat, I think most people were stuffed after they’d finished those. In between courses there was Russian dancing, which looked more like something from the Moulin Rouge to me! The guys all loved that. We didn’t actually get the main course until about 2 hours later, and by that time, most people were so drunk they weren’t really thinking of food. I’d ordered the fish and was starving, so I ate all of mine, it wasn’t bad. Towards the end of the night, the music got really dire, so a few of us decided it was time to leave and go somewhere else. We’d met some really cool people actually, most of whom were Kiwis so we had a really good laugh, hopefully we’ll meet up with them again soon.
Yesterday I went out with Todd and Lily for a drive, we went to Vaucluse which is a really posh expensive part of the city, we took some lunch with us and then lay in the sun for a while. Then we took a drive to Watsons bay where you get the most fantastic view of the Sydney skyline. It was nice to get out and get some fresh air. Last night I just caught up with some phonecalls, spoke to my Mum again for a while which was nice.
It’s my last week working at Sydney Water, I wish I could stay a bit longer, I don’t really fancy having to start something new again, but I guess I have no choice. At least it will only be for a month until Mum gets here, then I’ll get another 6 weeks off yaaay!!
Some photos from the weekend......
Me on the bridge at Vaucluse
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Some expensive houses
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Todd and Lily at Watsons Bay
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Sydney skyline
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A really pretty tree
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

I’ve been gym mad this week, I’m really getting into it now…..although, I only seem to make it there Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays there always seems to be things going on. I’m trying to do this GI diet, it’s quite good actually, and you can still eat a fair bit. I still haven’t had a potato….it’s been 3 weeks or something, I did weaken on Saturday when I went shopping and bought some (I was hungover), but so far I haven’t touched them!!
I’m off to Sue and Grants tonight, I’m looking forward to it as I haven’t seen them in ages, will be good to catch up with them. Might be a bit of a nightmare getting there and back though, under the main road to get to North Ryde they are building a tunnel, but yesterday morning a part of it gave in, and half a block of flats has fallen down the hole! Apparently it was chaos yesterday.
I bought myself the new Robbie Williams CD from my favourite $10 CD shop, well it was $14, (that’s 5 pounds to my British friends) and it’s only just been released….what a bargain!! I’ve got myself quite a collection now…god knows how I’m going to get them all home!!
You’ve probably heard there has been a terror threat on Australia, John Howard has not mentioned specifics, but the general opinion here seems to be that it’s a ‘coincidence’ that it has happened at the same time he is trying to push through the new anti-terror laws (which are causing much controversy). You never know with these politicians.
Wow, I did change the subject there quite dramatically didn’t I!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Well, I didn’t win any money on the sweepstakes for the Melbourne Cup yesterday :-( We had a nice do here at work though, they laid on some food and we all watched the race here….I was quite excited at one point, one of my horses was in 2nd place for a while..but that didn’t last long! The horse that won was Makybe Diva, the favourite to win (why didn’t I put a bet on!!) It was actually the 3rd consecutive win of the Melbourne Cup for her and her jockey, and they have made history by doing it. The jockey was so emotional that they’d won again, it was really sweet. The horse has now been retired. On the bus home from work, we just caught all the people coming out of the Randwick race course (where all the Sydneysiders go to watch it) it was absolutely chocka, as always everyone was drunk and sunburnt too, it was very funny to watch! The bus driver didn’t even stop at the bus stops to pick any of them up, he was like, I’m not letting any of them drunks on my bus!!

Monday, October 31, 2005

This weekend flew by, I can’t believe how quickly the weeks are going by. I was talking to my Mum last night and it’s only 6 weeks until she comes out here to visit me!
The birthday celebration for Linn on Friday night was good fun, the bar we went to have a members night once a month, and all you have to do is show a members key ring and you get half price drinks. There was only 2 people in our group who actually had a key ring, so there were about 10 of us using only 2 key rings! They had some really lovely cocktails there, we all made the most of the deal by trying lots of different types. Needless to say it ended up being a pretty late night!!
Saturday was a great day, Jason and I went into the city for the Sydney Food and Wine fair at Hyde Park. There were loads of stalls there from some of the best restaurants in Sydney selling all different types of food and wine. We had a look around at most of them until we found something we fancied, I had a stir fry dish which was yummy, then we sat on the grass in the sunshine, chilling out with a glass of wine, listening to the bands, and watching the world go by, it was great. After a few hours of doing nothing the sky started to cloud over, so we took a walk to Darling Harbour to have a look at the 'Chalk the Walk' exhibition. There were about twenty pavement artists chalking their artwork on the Pyrmont walkway, some of them were really fantastic.
Yesterday was a really bad day, the weather was awful. I didn’t wake up until 1pm (well it would have been 12, but the clocks went forward!) I must have needed that sleep!! I spent the day cleaning and tidying up, not much fun, but it needed doing. I always feel like I’ve achieved something when things are looking really clean and tidy!!
Tomorrow is Melbourne Cup day, it's Australia's equivalent of our Royal Ascot, it's a big thing. They actually have a public holiday in Melbourne for it, and even here in Sydney there are loads of do's on. The racing season has been on for the last month or so, everyone gets dressed up to the nines and gets really drunk, we've seen a few casualties walking out when the races have finished, well I say walking....what I actually mean is stumbling, it's very amusing!! So, I'm going to put a bet on, well a sweep anyway....fingers crossed!!!
While I'm here, I've just added some photos of Cronulla where we went a couple of weeks ago:
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Friday, October 28, 2005

Bloody flies!!!
If it’s not moths... it’s flies!! The warm weather here (it was 32degrees and humid yesterday) has brought with it swarms of flies and they’re so bloomin annoying, everyone is walking around wafting them away with their arms, they call it the Sydney salute!!
I am a bit tired still today, we had a really late night on Wednesday. We went to the Basement, which is a really cool club near Circular Quay. The Esbjorn Svensson Trio, a Swedish Jazz band, were playing. The music was great, and it was all their own compositions. Our friends Lin and Martin who are also Swedish have seen them before, so they recommended to go and see them. I must say, I felt very grown up and civilised going to a club and listening to a jazz band, it was very enjoyable!
Got a couple of things planned for the weekend, tonight we are going to the Cushion Bar in Coogee to celebrate Lin's birthday, then tomorrow I might pop down to the Sydney Food & Wine fair at Hyde Park.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Feeling a bit tired today, I met Sue yesterday afternoon for coffee, and the plan was that we were going to the theatre to see a play. Well, we walked there to pick up our tickets, but the theatre looked really dodgy and we decided it was a lot of money to pay for somewhere that didn’t look very nice, so I hate to say it, we carried on walking and decided to go for a drink instead!! Plus it was a beautiful day…too nice to be inside. We ended up going to what I think must be the most expensive bar in Sydney…..$18 for 2 drinks, and surprisingly we stayed there for 4 each…so much for saving money! It was lovely to catch up with Sue again, we don't see each other as much anymore as she has moved to the North Shore and I'm in Coogee, its a fair trek now. Anyway, so that was Sunday. Friday night the lads all came around to the flat to watch the 2nd tri-nations rugby game between New Zealand and Australia….New Zealand lost this time. Saturday, Jason and I went for a drive down the south coast to Cronulla, it was only about half an hour away. It’s a really nice area, first we went for a walk along the seafront by the marina, there are some really beautiful houses right on the front, they must cost a mint. Then we took a walk over the other side along the beach front, it was really busy as there was a surfing competition on and there were loads of people sunbathing as it was a lovely day. After a drink at the Northies hotel we set off back home…by this time it had started to rain a tiny bit, then the next thing we knew it was absolutely throwing it down, so much so we could hardly see out of the windscreen, then it started thundering and lightening. I haven’t seen a storm like that in ages, and it was quite cool watching as the fork lightening struck really close to us. Saturday night we just ended up watching a dvd….exciting stuff!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The days are going by so quickly, I keep forgetting to update my blog! Well, I'm on a bit of a diet again, well summer is coming up after all! I've been to the gym Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, not today though, I'm feeling like I need a rest! I've given up baked potatoes too, it's been 10 days now and I really miss them (if you know me well, you know how hard that is for me!!) trying to do the low carb thing, so hopefully will get some rapid results!!
Last night we had a bit of a dinner party at the flat, Jason cooked for Rachel, Stu, Todd, Lily and me, we had some yummy food (a bit too much in my case) quiches, salads, garlic bread, cheese and biscuits...not good for my waistline, but I have been exercising loads, so I deserved it!
I was told today at work that I can stay there another 2 weeks, my contract finishes at the end of next week, but they want to keep me on a bit longer which is great news.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Drinks on Friday night turned out to be a big night. We met at a pub in Surry Hills after work, I don’t often get to that area so it was nice to go somewhere different.
Had a really good night, I met lots of different people which was cool. Later on we went to another pub where they sold wine by the bucket (well they were huge glasses, but they might as well have been buckets!) Ended up rolling home about 3am...... slightly merry, I must remember to eat some dinner next time I go out straight from work!
Saturday we went out for lunch with Rachel and Stu, had a big plate of nachos which made me feel better. Then Saturday evening we all met up again to go and watch the Tri-Nations rugby. The game was a good one, the score was New Zealand 38 Australia 28, obviously it was good that New Zealand won as I was with a bunch of kiwis!! I was wearing a New Zealand scarf to support them, but I told them that when they play Great Britain at the end of the month, I definitely won’t be wearing that scarf again!!
Yesterday I had a really quiet day, the weather has been pretty bad over the last week, loads of rain, so I just went to the cinema to watch Pride and Prejudice, which was really good. Todd was taking the mickey as I went on my own….he seemed to think that made me a loser…..I mean if I can travel to all these countries on my own, I’m sure I can go to the cinema on my own...it really doesn't bother me!!
I've also booked mine and Mum's flights to Melbourne in December, we're going to go for a few days as I still haven't been....more money!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Had a lovely evening yesterday and very cultural! Went for dinner straight from work at the Rocks. The Rocks is where mariners of the First Fleet stepped ashore on 26 January 1788 and British settlement of Australia was first established (bit of internet history for you!) Anyway, so had a nice Italian dinner and a big bucket of ice cream and then headed off to the Opera House. First stop was a couple of glasses of wine at the opera bar, it’s got to be the bar with the greatest backdrop in the world (or definitely one of them) We sat outside with the view of the Opera house and the Harbour bridge, definitely an Australia moment!!
Then it was into the concert hall for a night of 500 years of music (Beethoven to Elvis) from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (I told you it was a cultural night!). I’ve been in the concert hall before when I did the guided tour, but this was totally different. What an amazing evening, the orchestra were fantastic, I must say there was a lot of music that I wasn’t that keen on, it wasn’t very melodious and sounded a bit disjointed, a bit like the music you get on a horror film soundtrack! but on the whole it was very enjoyable. The lady sat next to me really enjoyed it…she was crying practically the whole way through!! We had a dose of opera, string quartets, a bit of dancing and a lot of singing. The singing was mostly in German and I’m embarrassed to say I think I only understood a couple of words out of the whole lot (but it is harder to understand when people are singing it!). I loved the opera, I will definitely go and see one there before I leave, and they do put subtitles up, so you know what’s going on! Towards the end all the lights came up and what looked like a random guy in the audience stood up and started belting out this song, then he went up onto the stage with 3 other randoms, they had the most amazing voices, so they sang for a while, then a whole load of people in the audience in the front balconies stood up and started singing too. It was fantastic, the singing was beautiful, and none of them had microphones on, that’s the beauty of the design of the Opera house, you just don’t need them. The acoustics were fantastic (running out of adjectives here) it actually really moved me listening to this…..I had another big Australia moment…wow, I’m at the Sydney Opera house listening to this…cool!!
So, now I’ll be going all the time, well, money depending…. I’ve really got the bug!!
Now I’ve got a busy weekend lined up, we’re going out for drinks tonight to celebrate a friends new job, then tomorrow night I’m going to the rugby at the Telstra stadium….yes, I’m seeing Australia v New Zealand (league) I’m going to be supporting New Zealand as I’m going with a bunch of kiwis!!
There was a bomb threat to the fire stations in Sydney on Wednesday, and the one in the city is only the next block to my work…scary stuff!! They had all the fire engines lined up on the road all day. It wasn’t really that big a deal here though, it made a brief mention on the radio and on the internet, but that was about it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Had another nice weekend....the summer is definitely on it's way now!
Friday I met Dave after work for a few drinks, he'd just got back from Japan, he had been on a business trip and he had a fantastic time, it sounded like a great trip, maybe one day I'll get there. It wasn't a late one like it normally turns out to be when we meet up...I was at home at 8.30 and in bed by 10! Saturday daytime, just did a few bits and bobs, then I met Sue for a girls night. We had a really fun night as usual and we had a lot to catch up on, so we were gassing all night. We went to a few different bars for a change, we went to the other side of the city, but we both felt really old, you should have seen what some of the girls were wearing (I sound like my Mum don't I!!). So we ended up in the old faithful Burdekin on Oxford Street...our local which we haven't been to in ages. It was really funny, we got chatted up by the most weirdest guy, well I say got chatted up, he didn't say anything really apart from you're really pretty (in a strange voice) and then he would just stare and grin at us....a bit freaky actually. We called it a night after a while, we couldn't get rid of him!!
Just got back from the gym....I'm really going to make an effort to go now, what with my holidays and being sick I haven't hardly been, and the summer is coming, better get it sorted.

Friday, October 07, 2005

some pics from New Zealand (see below for write-up)

on the drive to Wellington
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the weather slowly gets better
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on Mount Victoria (excuse the big hair...it was windy!!)
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Beach at Wellington
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on the drive to Napier
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The Mission (oldest winery in New Zealand)
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the vinyards
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