Friday, 15 May 2009

Plans for the weekend.........


The last couple of days have been fun. On Tuesday we went out and visited the Sydney Observatory and then went wine tasting. It was a really good day, and the wine tasting is a great idea, it's self service and we both left a little tipsy!! Here's a picture of Kelly, firstly at the telescope and secondly sampling the delights of Australian wine:

After that it was time for her to navigate us home while drunk................

Well, it's Friday, the sun is shining and all is well. I am just back from an interview which I think went pretty well, so fingers crossed on that.

Tonight Kelly and I are going to Darling Harbour with friends for a few drinks and to watch a firework display by people on Jet Skis. Sounds like a recipe for disaster if you ask me, might see some explosions!! :-)

Tomorrow we're moving to stay with my mate Matthew up in Dee Why. It's a bit further up the coast, about half an hour from town. It's right on the beach so it will give Kelly a different perspective of Sydney which is good. I can't wait to get back in the surf, the water is 23 degrees at the moment!!

So expect some more photos and stories after the weekend!!
Have a good one everyone, and hope everyone at NU gets what they want on Monday in terms of redundancy or keeping jobs etc.


P.S. Dave, your comments about Rangers on the previous blog instantly incurs a two week ban from blog comments!!!!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Hello all,

Firstly I suppose I should apologise for the lack of blogging over the last couple of weeks. I have spent a lo of the time job hunting which I didn't think would be that interesting, and then when we do exciting things, we're too busy doing them to blog about it. It honestly takes quite a while to put a blog together, especially uploading all the photos!! I'll try and get one on every other day from now on. :-)

So, since the last time I blogged we have been up to quite a lot actually. There was Anzac Day, there was a trip to Melbourne for a couple of interviews, we drove the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide and there was the trip back to Sydney.

I’ll try and do this blog in sections so you don’t get too overwhelmed and bored by it as I reckon it’ll be a big one as I try and catch you all up.

So, here goes, first thing’s first:

Anzac Day:

Just to give you guys back home who might not know what Anzac Day is a bit of an overview, it is essentially a day where all Australians get up early for the dawn service to remember their soldiers who were lost in battle in Turkey about 90 years ago. Following that, everyone heads to the pub to spend all day drinking and playing ‘two up’. Two up is basically a pretty straight forward game where a circle forms around a guy throwing two coins in the air and the people bet before there are thrown on whether they are going to land on heads or tails. It’s a game of 50/50, which does make me wonder why I never win!! It was a great day with a load of our friends while the sun was shining. Here are some photos from the day………..


We flew to Melbourne and spend a couple of days down there while I had two interviews to do. We stayed in St. Kilda which is a really nice part of town, full of funky little bars and nice restaurants. On the first night we went out for a great Mexican dinner with a guy called Bruce, and his partner Victor. Bruce works for Norwich Union here in Oz, and I met him last year while he was over in the UK office, and it was great to be shown around by a local!! I also met up with Jose, a guy I met in Airlie Beach (right up the east coast of Australia) about 4 years ago, which was really cool too.

The next day we went round Melbourne on the tram and saw all sorts of weird buildings and art. The Melbournians (not sure if that’s what they’re really called!) are really into their funky colourful buildings and modern art, so it was cool walking around the city and seeing all those things.
Kelly also managed to get me up the Eureka Tower, which has amazing views right across Melbourne, but it's amazingly scary up there! The lookout is on the 88th floor, which is just unbelievably high. There are some photos below, but they don't really do justice to how high it was, or how scared I was!! Even Kelly wouldn't go right to the edge of the floor and that's saying something.
We finished the day off by going to the casino and playing the pokie machines and Roulette. I turned $10 into $50 playing Roulette, and then lost it all. It’s true, the house always wins!!

The Great Ocean Road

We picked up a hire car in Melbourne and drove down to Torquay. We stayed down there at a really nice B&B over looking the ocean before setting off to drive the Great Ocean Road. This drive is right along the coast of Victoria and it has some spectacular scenery along the way, including Bells Beach (where some Surfing tournaments are held), Lorne, The Twelve Apostles and the Loch and Gorge. It was lovely to spend the day driving between all the little towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay and seeing the sights along the way.

We got to the end of the Great Ocean Road by around 7pm, but decided to drive a bit further as we wanted to get to Adelaide early the next day. So we drove another 200Km and got to Mt. Gambier for about 9.30pm. It was pretty scary driving in the dark with all the Aussie wildlife up and about. I saw a Koala slowly crawling across the road and we saw a couple of Kangaroos hopping around at the side of the road. We spent the night in Mt. Gambier before setting off the next day for Adelaide.


The drive into Adelaide was through some great countryside, and wineries. We arrived mid-afternoon and found somewhere to stay on Hindley Street, which is like the red-light district of Adelaide, but pretty tame. Just lots of people and lots of fairly seedy bars……….think bars with cheap drinks and mechanical bulls!! It was fine though, we were on the corner of the main road in Adelaide and just a 2 minute walk from Rundle Mall where all the shops are.

We went out with my friend Deb (see below) on Saturday night in Stirling, which is a little village about 30mins on the bus from the centre of the city. The pub was good fun and we ended up getting pretty drunk! We got the 10pm bus into the city which was FULL of 18 and 19 year olds all drinking and heading into town for a night out. It’s pretty safe to say that Kelly and I felt old on that bus ride! Mind you, we did end up going out until about 2.30am before stumbling back to our hotel room!!
The first picture below was the first I took in Adelaide, I had nipped to the toilet in the hotel room, and when I came out I found Kelly standing on a chair, eating an apple and watching TV. As always, she had a reason for her bizarre behaviour, but it's still pretty weird! :-)

The next day was spent recovering and having a wander around the centre of Adelaide (see the Pig in the bin above!!). We also thought we would be pretty touristy and go to the museum, which was interesting - lots of information about Aboriginal culture and what sort of horrible things are in the ocean over here! An early night was had as the next day we had a road trip back to Melbourne so we could fly back to Sydney.

The Road Trip

We were up fairly early to set off on the 500Km trip towards Melbourne…. We drove for about 100Km before getting hungry and stopping in a little town where we found a pie shop. But not just any pie shop, this was an award winning pie shop!! There was a 67 year old Aussie bloke running it that loved to chat, and he told us all about making pies etc etc. He was a nice guy and his pies certainly were good. There were loads to choose from and I opted for a ‘bloody good pie’ – which was aptly named to be honest. It had steak, mushrooms, bacon, sun dried tomato’s and a few other things, and it’s safe to say it was the best pie I’ve had since I got here. I asked the guy if he knew anywhere we could see Kangaroos and he told us there was a place just 2mins away, so we drove round to this field and saw loads of them, I went to turn the car while Kelly tried to sneak up on them. As readers of the blog will remember from the Kyoto blog with the squeaky floor boards, Kelly’s not the most stealthy of creatures!! She did manage to take some photos from her first experience with Roo’s though, and here they are:

Just after our pie stop, we reached a town called ‘Keith’. Kelly found this hilarious and made us stop to take lots of photos of shops and signs with the word Keith in the name. It was pretty funny, and here are some of her favourites:

After that it was full steam ahead to Ballarat…………or at least it was until I had looked more closely at the map. Ballarat is right on the way to Melbourne and the Airport, however I noticed with a slight detour we could head up to stay in a place called Bendigo. My motivation for doing this was because on the map I spotted the ‘McIvor Highway’!! I couldn’t believe it!! So we headed up that way while Kelly looked through her book of motel accommodation (that she liberated from the previous motel) and found that there was one on ‘McIvor Road’. So we promptly headed for Bendigo, got booked into the hotel on McIvor Road and headed to the pub next door for some cracking food. The next day we set off down the McIvor Highway towards Melbourne, however not before I stopped and took a few photos while Kelly sat in the car and cringed at me and moaned that I was stopping every time I saw anything remotely connected to ‘McIvor’………..I didn’t care though, I was on a mission, and I think you’ll appreciate some of these photos:

See the poll to the left for your chance to vote on the best McIvor sign. :-)

So after all that excitement it was back to Melbourne, flight to Sydney, and we are back here now. We had a night out on Friday where we got a little drunk and ended up and my mates Nathan and Kacey’s until about 4am playing guitar hero. We had drunk a LOT of redbull so there was quite a lot of spectacular guitar and drum playing going on.

Then on Saturday night we went out for my mate Matthew’s 30th birthday, which was good, although I think the best thing about the night was going to the pub to watch Rangers beat Celtic and go top of the league……….beautiful!! Now we just have to win our last three games and it’s all over…..

OK, there you have it, that’s our last couple of weeks wrapped up into a quick blog. Thanks for all the emails and messages asking where the blog had gone, I didn’t realise so many people were reading it. I’ll make sure I keep it updated more often, however you may have to put up with some pretty mundane stuff while I’m job hunting.

We are fine over here, hope everyone back home is doing well.

Talk soon.


P.S. Thanks for all the comments on the last blog. In response:

Tom: I wanted to go on the Ramsey Street tour and 'meet the Neighbours', but I wasn't allowed.
Rob: Yeah, my attention span sucks, I know it was you that posted! ;-)
Luan: We're both fine, York races is good, but after much discussion on the matter, we're going to stay here.
Anonymous: Worst comment on the blog ever! :-p