Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
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.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
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!
Monday, November 28, 2005
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
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.
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!
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
Jason, making it look really easy!
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.
One of the little shops
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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
Monday, November 14, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
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
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 fiancée 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!!!
Monday, November 07, 2005
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.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
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
Monday, October 31, 2005
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!!
Friday, October 28, 2005
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
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
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!!
Friday, October 14, 2005
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!!
Monday, October 10, 2005
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.