Thursday, December 14, 2006

the gang's all here

My parents are visiting for 4 nights from NZ, it's so nice seeing familiar faces, hearing all their news and showing them our new place.

Mum went off shopping today and managed to make it into the city and home again in one piece. Dad had a quiet day at home as he is currently wearing a moonboot to help heel his torn achilles tendon but he was well entertained by Loki.

I've been well organised too and had Italian meatballs in the freezer ready to simmer in passata and chicken stock for tonight's meal. Fantastic when you get home from work at 6pm to have something that only takes about 20 minutes to cook but is a filling, tasty, healthy, impressive meal that does include meat. Unfortunately Luke doesn't consider vegetarian food to contain enough protein and as he can't eat nuts he may have a point but it does mean we eat a lot of meat sometimes I long for a simple vegetarian pasta dish or curry.

Tomorrow night we head out to Bar Italia for a cheap and cheerful Italian meal, the service may not be flash but it has a charm all of it's own.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The first Noel the angels did say

well it's been a while since I posted, I've been a bit preoccupied with the newest member of our family.
Sorry for the scary red eyes in the photo but the red eye fix won't work.
Loki is just adorable, he's very good, no accidents so far and it only took 4 squirts of the spray bottle to teach him to mostly leave the Christmas tree alone. He is having a little bit of a problem with the whole 'nighttime is for sleeping' thing but he's learning I hope.

Apart from that we're just getting ready for Christmas, we put up the tree and put out the nativity set. I'm plowing through the Christmas card list and we put a wreath on our front door. We've also started Christmas shopping mostly because my parents are arriving in 10 days and we need to have the NZ gifts bought for them to take back for us.

I find it really strange how Aussies say 'chrissy' as in buying 'chrissy presents'

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Right about now I'm wishing I held out for airconditioning

It's soooooo hot. I slept very badly last night because of the heat, it was worse today and it will be even worser (hee!) tomorrow, getting up to 38 degrees. What did I do to deserve this?

Well actually during the day as long as I'm at work it's not too bad because of the airconditioning and as long as I catch a new train and bus home with airconditioning that's ok too. We're also planning not to open the blinds tomorrow to cut down on the heat entering the house during the day and tonight we're trialling sleeping with a damp top sheet and the fan blowing on us to hope cool us down. Sounds pretty nasty but as I sit here at 10.40pm at night and it's still about 27 degrees it sounds like heaven.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

We're back...

Finally after weeks of waiting we're back online and so much has gone on since I posted in October.
We went to visit our new kitten in Blacktown and on the way discovered Westies are the same wherever you go. We also finally came up with a name for the kitten, he's now Loki after the Norse trickster god. You can see the photos of our visit with him here. We get to take him home on the 25th November and we can't wait.

Also our furniture arrived. This was the cause of much jubilation and one the of the first things I did was connect up the washing machine and put on a load of washing then sink into the couch ahhhh! You don't realise how much you miss these creature comforts until you have to do without. I don't think I would have been a very good pioneer. Without my washing machine, a hot shower and the dishwasher I'm not a very happy camper. We still have a few boxes to unpack but most of the everyday stuff has been unpacked.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hello am still alive

should be online at home soon in next couple of days and will update them
Hen xxx

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I feel like I've had a limb removed

Not having internet access at home and very limited access at work is driving me crazy. Presently I'm sitting in an internet cafe inside a bookshop at 8pm at night, we haven't had dinner and my very patient husband is reading book while he waits for me.

But it's probably the least of our worries really. Not having any furniture or a fridge is more concerning and as yet there's no sign when Customs might release our stuff.
Sleeping on an airmattress is not fun, eating every meal out is fun but pales after a while and having to take your clothes to a laundry to be washed and wondering if you've got enough panties to last the week is definitely not fun indeed.

As Luke pointed out though these are the stories we'll tell our grandchildren about coming to live in our new country and they will probably wonder at the deprivation of it all.

We are very lucky really, at least we could afford to buy a portable dvd player to keep us occupied at night and there are amazing cafes and restaurant's within walking distance.
On Saturday we visit our kitten, we both are so excited about it we can hardly wait!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Who's a clever girl then?

I went for an interview today at the Douglas Piper Library at the Royal North Shore Hospital in St Leonards, it was for a two month contract position as a reference librarian and later this afternoon I got the call that they want me to start on Monday.
I'm a bit astounded really, I felt I babbled too much in the interview and I wasn't specific enough but never mind it should be an interesting job, they seem like a good team and it's a nice library.

After Luke got home this evening we went to visit our house. He hadn't seen inside at all (he's a bit trusting really :->) so he had a good look through and I took a couple more photos of the outside this time. I also took some photos of the room at the backpackers so you can see the tiny cage we've been living in.

After the inspection we toddled off down the road to the Italian Forum. Leichhardt is a very Italian area and down a shop-lined lane off Norton St is a big open area surrounded by shops on the upper level and restaurants around the square. There's a fountain with a statue of Dante and the public library among the restaurants. From what I've heard the forum is pumping on the weekend and there's a market on Sundays.
We had dinner at Sapore and very nice it was too and the Italian waiter called me darling :-P

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen we have a house...

We went to the real estate agent's office this morning and signed our lives away for 12 months. Luke then went to work and I went to our new house. I spent the morning checking out which key went with which door and taking photos of our new place. Have a look, I've tried to set it up like a tour so you can see where we'll be living.
Unfortunately we got "lucky" and were chosen by Australian Customs for random inspection so at this stage we won't get our belongings until Tuesday next week. This means we have to buy an airmattress and go camping in our house for a couple of days as our last night here is Saturday.

There's also new photos of our kitten who currently goes by many names. He got nicknamed Mozart by a friend of the breeders although they normally never name their kittens. Luke wants to call him Mayhem and my idea was Bijou. We're waiting until we visit him before we choose a name so he may end up something completely different although it seems likely he will be Mayhem Mozart Cartner at the moment.

Friday, October 13, 2006

it's hot baby!

We got up to 37 degrees today and it was incredible! It's like being on the footpath when a bus goes by and you feel the hot blast of its exhaust pass you by except it doesn't pass by it's just what the air is like outside.

I went for a walk at lunchtime and was very glad to get to the airconditioned mall. I can see why people go shopping or to the movies when it's hot. Apparently it was 15 degrees over the average temperature for October.

I like it though, it's hard to think that 2 months ago I was wearing a thick woolen coat and shivering in the cold.
Here in the city it's green but apparently inland drought situations are bad, a sobering reminder that not everyone enjoys the heat.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Night Noodle Markets

Last night we went to the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park. Probably the closest thing to compare it to is the Lantern Festival in Albert Park except it is open Mon- Fri for most of the month of October and it is all about the food! A blog I discovered recently does the overall experience far better than I could and with amazing photos too.

We had a good time marveling at the organisational skills that see the tents pop up ready at 5pm each day and the huge selection of food. I had utterly delicious Honey chicken and not so great Pad Thai and Luke had his generic favourite sweet and sour pork and a steamed pork bun. Can you tell he misses eating pork at home?

The highlight of our evening was the freshly squeezed lemonade and the dutch pancakes with fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup. Dutch pancakes are made with a griddle shaped like mini muffin tins that are heated producing round puffed pancakes - related to me by Luke as I was guarding our table.
This was followed by an examination of the Archibald fountain in the park, then we were homeward bound with very full bellies.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

oh what a busy day

this Richard Scarry book used to one of my favourite childhood books, you can never find it any more :-(
But we have had a couple of busy days. Saturday we got up early, for me anyway, and visited the growers' market at Pyrmont Bay. It was very interesting, lots of different produce and products such as fresh blood orange juice, butter and marmalade, olive oil, cut flowers including waratahs (NSW's state flower), waygu beef, lots of handmade sausages including goat, and even snails although they didn't have any snails this month, they'd sold out. It's a once a month event and we'll definitely be going next month and will try to turn up earlier than 10.30am. We bought a jar of Japanese sesame sauce which is great on steamed veges or bbq steak.

After the market we returned to our room and dropped off our purchases and in my case changed into sensible shoes. We caught the tram to Lilyfield which is the end of the line then walked to our new house to measure the distance from the tram station. It is a good 20 minute walk unfortunately, we had hoped it was a little closer. I think Luke will continue to take the tram to work but depending where I end up working I might take a bus.
Luke had a look at the outside of our new place, it's apparently still occupied although it's mostly empty it seems and then we walked back up to Norton St to check the local shops. We stopped for a bite at SGB (Sydney Gourmet Burger) then walked back to the tram. For the most part it's a very pretty walk past amazing gardens and a park.

We got got back to our room then decided to go swimming at the local pool. Not sure exactly why as I was exhausted by this point and I'm a poor swimmer but the cool water seemed appealing and we're living in 1 cramped room, there's only so much Devil May Cry 2 being played on the Playstation I can listen to. The pool was nice, it's at the end of Glebe Pt Rd, an outside olympic-sized pool. When we got back I had a nap and we had Turkish kebabs for dinner and watched the new Dr Who.

Sunday we were both awake at 5am, we went to bed too early and in my case had a nap the day before. We went to church at St James on King St at 11am. It was a choral Eucharist which was beautiful but very long and made for little congregation participation. It's rather high church with lots of incense which Luke found irritating to his sinuses but afterwards we both enjoyed meeting some of the congregation and they had wine and cheese as the post-service refreshment. I met 2 librarians and learnt a little more about Sydney.
We then trotted over to the Noodle Bar in the David Jones Food Hall for lunch, bought some fresh pasta by the individual piece for dinner then headed home.
All in all a successful and busy weekend.

Friday, October 06, 2006

whew exhausted!

Had my interview my the recuiter today although the contract position had gone :-(
Nell the recruiter is lovely, she's a kiwi and was extremely helpful we had a long chat about culture shock. I'm keen to do a few temp or contract roles to get my foot in door and pick up some experience.
The interview was in Chatswood on the North Shore so it was an experience to take the train over the Harbour Bridge. Afterwards I wandered around the city and had lunch before catching the monorail and tram back home stopping off at the Fish Market for some prawns for dinner tonight.

Last night I emailed Trilian Cattery about a Siamese kitten. They only have the 1 available - a blue point boy nicknamed Mozart. We discussed it and decided we wanted him so I've emailed the owner back to reserve him hopefully. See his photo, he's just adorable!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Arrggghhh I hate living without internet access. The connection here has been down for over 24 hours and has finally come back up. I've caught up with Mum and Dad on Skype and managed to do a few other things including find the rail timetable for my interview tomorrow. I have to go to Chatswood with is on the North Shore I think, to meet the recruiter. She has a job for me starting on Monday - 4 days a week for 4.5 weeks. Sounds perfectly really.

Everything is working out very well as we have the house I was keen on too. The rent is a bit expensive but it should be ok and best yet they're fine with us having a cat so kitten owners here we come!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


it looks like we'll only have to sit a theory test to get our NSW driver's licences, I tried it out online and I failed! There's some odd signs here so seems we need to buy the road code. Did you know if you are a learner driver the max speed you can do on a 110 kmph highway is 80 kmph?

Not doing much today, I had a big day yesterday, did 3 loads of washing while viewing a house, buying shoes, and getting a job interview. That plus the fact I have to walk everywhere made me very tired last night. The job is 4 1/2 weeks sole charge at a mid tier law firm. I'm a bit worried at my lack of experience with Aussie law but it's 4 days a week and pays well so it's worth taking.

We've filled in an application for the house I viewed, it's nice, 3 bedrooms, dishwasher, lots of wardrobe space. Apparently there's already 1 application in so I hope we get it - fingers crossed!

I've published some photos of our weekend on my Shutterfly account - take a look