Work work work


It’s been a couple of weeks since we arrived in Sydney, and a couple of weeks working for me! We’ve tried out a couple of the districts to see which one to call home for the next few months, and no surprises that Bondi Beach won! The photo is the view from the rooftop pool, the beach is in the background. The other contender was Newtown, set to the west of the city near the main uni it has a young and vibrant feel, but alas no beach! It was also a bit closer to the IBM site I spend most of my time at, West Pennant Hills. It’s a leafy suburb on the outskirts of Sydney with the office set in a forest with Kookaburras and Gallahs chirping away, not to mention massive lizards (30cm IS massive when it’s a lizard at your feet!).
For a change of scenery, or days when the bed is just a wee bit too comfy, IBM Darling Harbour comes to the rescue. Based in the CBD*, with the treat of a ferry ride for the first visit, it’s only later that I realise the station is only 500m away, but that’s boring! Working on the 12th floor and doing lunch is actually great fun, and a new experience for someone who’s never worked in a city before. Having a commute is also a novelty, and actually quite relaxing, plenty of time to read, play and email.
The final work topic is Caroline having found a job as a nanny (i.e. playing with kids all day…), just for a couple of weeks as she continues to collect the required mountain paperwork to allow her to teach (thanks for posting it Dad, I’ll let you know when it arrives!).
As for the sightseeing, it’s slowed a bit compared to the first few weeks. We’ve mostly been walking around markets, along beaches (ferry to Manly, Bondi etc) and eating fish & chips, or chish & fips if you’re in Coogee. Today was a nice sunny day down at Bondi, people out surfing, sitting on the beach and playing catch with their dogs along the front – bearing in mind it’s still essentially winter here, makes you wonder what the summer is going to be like!
*CBD – Central Business District, in case you didn’t do that in Geography…

The Koala Park


Well today I decided to venture out to Si’s work to meet him for lunch. It meant that I got to sample his daily commute to work – its far!! 2 hours after setting out from the hostel I eventually arrived at the Koala park (10mins away from his office), I don’t know how he can do that twice a day (but then the DS doesn’t have the same appeal to me). After a brief lunch Si left me to the Koalas. Soooo cute. I did see some koalas last time I was in Oz but my memories of them were of cute cuddly things way up high in the trees where you couldn’t really see them. Today was completely different, as you can see from the photo, today I was up close and personal! They were all a lot lower down in the trees and there were even some awake. There were also some very cute young koalas in the nursery. At feeding time the park attendant managed to pry the sleeping Kody off the tree and we all lined up for our cuddle and obligatory photo. They are fascinating to watch and seem completely focused on food or sleeping. I was lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of a baby’s foot peeking out from its mummy’s pouch. Despite staring at the poor mummy for a long time, a foot was all I was allowed to see.
Other wildlife I saw at the park included, kangeroos (obviously!), a joey!!!, wombats, echidnas, sheep(!), fairy penguins (sooo cute!), wallaroos (I thought they were making it up, but apparently not!), flying foxes, lots of birds and an odd turkey type bird who followed me around for a while.
It was a lovely day out and made a change from the beach!

Beach Bum


Well we’re here in Bondi now and back in the land of civilisation (which basically means internet access!). Thank you to everyone who posted a comment in response to our news, it was really great to hear from you all. Thank you Debbie for spreading the word at school – I won’t let you all forget about me just yet!
We have been living in Bondi for a week now and during that week Si has been very busy working and I have been very busy sitting on a beach and chilling out ( I mean looking for a job, obviously!) Bondi is just as you might expect – lots of surfer dudes and lifeguards running baywatch style in their red swimming costumes (with Bondi written on their bottoms (hee hee)). It is technically winter here which just means its like a Scottish summer (ie. perfect beach weather for me!). We were a little distressed when we first got off the plane and were greeted by rain – that was not what we signed up to! But luckily that is not common around here, I think there is some statistic which goes along the lines of Sydney having the most days with sunshine in them per year – I can certainly live with that! I have managed to get a little beach action in most days, although I haven’t actually ventured more than a toe or two into the water (my scottish hardiness has
been softened by living in the south of England for 7 years! Or maybe just by enjoying the warmer waters of Rarotonga and Fiji for the last couple of weeks!) I particularly enjoyed watching the surf school, watching people wipe out and get soaked is always good for a laugh! We have talked about trying it for ourselves (that really would be good for a laugh!) but Si wants to wait til it gets a bit warmer. Jessie! I have also been enjoying running along the coast path (are you impressed Emily?) – there are just so many lovely beaches to admire on the way. Australia also seems really set up for fitness, you meet so many people out jogging at all times of the day and there are even exercise stations along the path should you feel the need to stop and do some bench presses (maybe work up to that one!)
It might not sound like it but I have honestly tried to sort out some work. I have! However, unfortunately I didn’t realise that I would need my birth certificate and a transcript of my grades from Uni in order to be approved by the NSW authority, so, alas, the whole process has been delayed while I try to get hold of them. What’s a girl to do?
P.S Thank you Jackie for your comment – really no targets for improvement? How will I ever pass the very important performance management process? Maybe I will just have to set myself some targets, lets see; try to see some Australian wildlife, see the sights of Sydney, check out some of Sydney’s other beaches, that ought to do for starters. Enjoy school everyone 😉

Fiji! (Paradise II)


After the Cook Islands, Fiji had a tough act to follow, and they have definitely done well! We headed out to one of Fiji’s 300 odd islands, the ferry takes you most of the way, with little dingies coming to collect you for the final trip to the beach side resorts. After checking several times with the ferryman that we were getting off at the right stop, we arrived at the beach and got a few blank looks as we were around the corner from where we needed to be. $40, and a life threatening (well, baggage threatening) wet ride later we arrived at the Bay of Plenty, greeted to our new “home” by some of the friendliest hostel owners ever. The Bay of Plenty lived up to it’s name and we had loads of food (there are no shops, so the hostel gives you 3 meals a day, woohoo!) The hostel is across the bay from the Blue Lagoon, and site of the film “Return to the Blue Lagoon”, we had some tremendous snorkelling there, and saw Nemo (Clown Fish), blue starfish and squid, it was like swimming in a fish tank!
After a couple of days we’d done everything there was to be done (and there was no one else there either!), so moved on south to Coconut Bay, where you could literally stumble out of your room onto a hammock and watch the world go by on “Fiji time”, a very relaxing approximate time keeping affair. The evenings entertainment was hilarious, reminiscent of the New Zealand Haka, with 5 young men strutting their stuff in grass skirts (along with Britney, otherwise known as Steve). Followed on by us doing the Bula dance (think Macarena, but more cheesy!), and then musical statues, with a partner! (Caroline got Britney 🙂 ) We then had a sample of Fijian culture by going to the staff Kava drinking session, it’s a strange muddy drink that has the same effect as a strong strepsil, making your tongue and lips a bit numb, and is meant to make you sleep well, and the locals prefer it to beer (it’s ok Dad – I’m sticking to beer…). True to form we slept well that night, but that could just be the alcohol!
Final night on the Fijian Islands was on Kuata, another stressful time sitting all day in hammocks!



For the last 5 days we have been in Paradise. Otherwise known as the Pacific island of Rarotonga. It’s got everything you would expect of a tropical paradise island; lush sandy beaches, turquoise sea (perfect for snorkeling), palm trees, happy, smiley islanders (wouldn’t you be happy if you lived here?), pina coladas. Everything! We are staying in a lovely ‘hideaway cottage’ otherwise known as the “luv nest’ which is lovely except for all the wildlife – we are being eaten alive by a whole manner of insects in the evenings and very rudely awoken by a mexican chorus of cockerels who can’t tell the time in the mornings.
Anyway it has been a perfect beach holiday, we have made good use of the accomodation’s kayaks to sail / paddle to little islands, we have had bikes to explore other beaches (and then concluded that ours was the best!), we have been snorkelling and generally just doing the things you do on a tropical beach island (sunbathing, reading, swimming, drinking cocktails, going to nice restuarants). Sorry to all those people who are at work!
It has definetly been a very memorable holiday, made even more so by a little surprise that Si had planned. On our second day here we took the kayaks out to a deserted little island called Onorua, I had just sprawled out on the sand when Si surprised me with a ring and proposed!! Of course I said yes so we are now engaged!!! Yay! It was the perfect proposal in a perfect setting and the perfect way to make this stage of our trip perfect (have I used the word perfect too much?) Fiji has a lot to live up to.