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 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 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 it really only 2.5 weeks til Christmas????!!!
On another subject, Summer has definitely arrived here 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 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.