Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Before I start, apologies that this has taken a week and a half since leaving Adelaide to happen. Besides being really busy bodyboarding some of the best waves of my life (which, incidentally, by local standards are, and I quote, "rubbish" and "not worth going out"), Internet access has been scarce. I am currently staying with the Riley's in Nowra, NSW. It's gorgeous up here; two of the highlights are undoubtedly being in the water, waiting for the next set at Shoalhaven Heads and seeing a pod of dolphins about 80 metres away (I would, if I had more time, tell the story about how I saw a fin and panicked, etc. etc.) and visiting Hyam's Beach today - it claims to have the whitest sand in the world!
Melbourne was awesome. Highlights definitely being my toilet stop in the 35th floor of the Hotel Sofitel, my lunch at an awesome Italian restaurant and watching SA vs. Victoria at the MCG!
So, despite some pretty awful journeys (Melbourne to Nowra was 12 and a half hours!), which really aren't too bad as I can sleep, this trip is amazing. My bodyboard is superb, and tomorrow, after a surf, I will head up to Bondi Beach, Sydney, for my Christmas celebrations!
It is bloomin' hard getting in the Christmas-sy mood here in forty degree heat and with parrots and cockatoos flying around, but as long as I can get mince pies, which, albeit miles below Granny and Mum's impeccable standards, I can, I think I will manage. Here's to a Christmas Day surf in boardies and a rashie (no wetsuit at all!!!), though the forecast rain should remind me a bit of home!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
We're aiming for as much as we can (obviously), and thanks to some very generous donations, reckon we can do it!
For those of you who have donated, thank you very much. For those of you who haven't, please do so HERE (and remember, Aussie Dollars are about double British Sterling...).
If that hasn't worked, this is the address: www.au.movember.com/mospace/94191
Have a cruise round the site and see what its all about - I will be doing this next year and will need team members!
9-8!!! Get in!
Anyway, many apologies for the lack of any news or contact in the last few weeks, I have been incredibly busy, even more so than when running the PE department a few weeks back (which I got tickets to Adelaide United for)! Since Ross has left my workload has effectively doubled at school, leaving me exhausted and wanting to do no more than sleep when I get home. On top of that I am currently preparing boys for the end of year exams, which involves plenty of revision timetables!
I moved into Ross' room last night. I gave it a shuffle about furniture wise, and a much needed hover and I am now pretty settled in. Admittedly it was literally just across the hall! I need to get a few things, including some hooks for some towels and maybe some multi-adaptor-plug things but otherwise all is good.
The weather has cooled down somewhat and is now absolutely glorious: blue skies, sunshine, perfect temperature - wonderful spring time weather! But it's very strange being November and like this. My head is telling me I should be playing rugby and wearing at least four layers!
There is not too much else to report... my 9B's finished the term undefeated, probably by ignoring everything I told them to do, and being a tutor is pretty awesome.
Everyone is getting really excited about summer now, and I can't wait. I am off to buy my bodyboard and Editors CD this weekend, should be about all I need!
I'll try my hardest to keep this more updated in future weeks. I'll post my itinerary for Christmas up here soon too!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Last week we got an outright win (bowling them out, then batting, then bowling them out again before they make our score) in the C-Grade cricket, earning us up to 10 extra points. This weekend, I'll probably be playing for the D-Grade in the one day competition as it is Ross' last game and we should be seeing him off with a good group of guys in that team.
So yes, the end of an era. On Tuesday next week Rossco leaves! Between now and then there will doubtless be copious amounts of... Subway and Iced Coffee as we send him off in style. Paul Ryan has kindly agreed to giving us the day off to take him to the airport, so we should see him right on to the plane!
There's not much else to report; life has been very busy, essentially running a school PE department for the last week and learning how to do full day duties for when Ross leaves!
Did I mention it was 39 degrees today? I am sweltering!
Oh, and there have been four shark sightings off the South Australian coast this week!
I hope life back in Blighty is treating everyone well, and don't worry, I am staying quiet about the rugby!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Aside from that, I should also apologise (again), I keep thinking of things to put up here then always forget them...
But honestly, not much has happened!
So until next time, when I'll try and put something random and interesting up, you should check out Nick Bryant's blog on the BBC.
Friday, October 16, 2009
- (And most important) Granny likes my blogs and I haven't emailed her enough (Sorry!).
- Neither have I emailed my Mother enough.
- Australia can be very cold, and is not sunny and nice all the time!
- Australia is HUGE.
- Australian's, especially anywhere other than Queensland and New South Wales, aren't actually very good at rugby.
- Australian's drink a lot of not-very-good-beer.
- There are several different variations on a "pint" down under.
- Its O.K. for a male to order a class of wine in a pub!!!!!
- I am more likely to be a Padre than I am a teacher (and given the extreme unlikelihood of that, again, sorry Granny, the chances of me being a teacher are extremely slim. As I heard one boy put it "the vending machine is more likely to fall on me").
- Iced Coffee is the greatest drink in the world.
- I understand why Mum likes her 0.9 or 0.8, or whatever it is, teaching.
- Australian males are all sports mad, but don't all have blonde hair and perma-tans.
- Kangaroo's don't hop around everywhere but do taste nice.
- As do camels.
- Monopoly City Streets is quite possibly the greatest Internet game ever invented.
- P.O.M. stands for "Prisoner of Her Majesty", which now means I really do take offence to it.
- Most Aussies don't know the difference between England and Britain, and think Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (if they know there are two) are entirely separate countries.
- The financial crisis will strike here in about two years time - they are quite a way behind in everything!
- Not knowing who Kevin Rudd is is a good thing and entirely understandable.
- The Red Centre really is Red. Very Red.
- Did I mention they drink a lot of beer?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Despite a minor drama involving Tom being breatho-ed (because his Dad's car is not registered as being on a provisional license...), I got to the airport in time for my flight up to Alice Springs. After a Coffee and a Sfogliatelle, it was on to the plane. After a quiet flight reading Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" and sleeping, I touched down in Alice Springs. The jumper was off, expecting scorching outback heat, but was nearly straight back on - it was no where near as hot as I thought it would be! After grabbing my luggage, it was on to the airport shuttle and a short hop to the Heavitree Gap Outback Lodge. After a chill by the freezing pool, a bit more reading and a few piccies of the Wallabies at sunset, I headed up to the Tavern to listen to Chris Callaghan, and have a look at Rex's Reptiles, all whilst enjoying a ten dollar roast (which included roast camel...) and a few "imperial pints" (in Adelaide a "pint" is only 350 mls!).
I headed to bed early, in anticipation of a quarter to six pick up! An Iced Coffee and an Uncle Toby's bar which I had got at the supermarket the day before made it that but easier though! After meeting Lisa, our tour guide, and picking up the rest of the group, we headed to the Adventure Tours office in Alice Springs to pay our Park Entry and sort out sleeping bags and what not!
The three days that ensued are well and truly some of the most memorable of my life and ones that I shall never forget. Impossibly, I feel that it is hard for words to do justice to! But I'll give it a go!
After a bit of an epic journey, in which I rode a camel and nearly got fooled at "Fooluru", we arrived at our campsite in Yulara, very near to Uluru. After lunch we took a short drive to Kata Tjuta. This was absolutely stunning. A sacred Aboriginal Men's Shrine, it is still used for initiation ceremonies. For this reason, we are only allowed on the pathway. It is still stunning. The "many heads" - the literal translation, relating to the Anangu's creation stories - tower in the desert and, in my opinion, are far more dramatic and impressive than Uluru. Having said that, after our walk that afternoon we drove back to Uluru for a true "once-in-a-lifetime" moment: champagne and a beer at sunset in the middle of the outback with "The Rock" in the background.
That night, too, was pretty cool. After Kangaroo steaks and Camel sausages, it was marshmallows on the campfire before we went to sleep in swag (an Australian institution that was actually invented by a German) under the most incredible night sky.
It was another early start so we could get to one of the most impressive sunrises I have seen. The stars were even better when we woke up, and the drive across to Uluru, after Vegemite on toast (see here for details on "the Vegemite scandal" that is threatening to destroy the brand....) was definitely worth it. Though I'm not quite sure it actually did turn pink. After a nice stroll round the base (not only was the climb shut, but given the cultural and religious significance, not to mention a bad dream the night before, I didn't really want to. Plus, Lisa did a great sell that we shouldn't!), which included some amazing rock paintings, basic geology lessons and some fascinating Anangu creation stories, it was back to the campsite to pack up, have a quick swim and head to King's Canyon (named after a bloke with the surname King, not the King).
Another sunset and another night under the stars. Just as stunning, though with less viewing owing to tiredness! Another early start so we could beat the heat and do what was quite frankly the best hike/walk that I think I've ever done. It was awesome! Amazing views and incredible scenery. Not too mention that we were there on one of about five days in a year that it rains. Not much rain, but rain out there is rain! We then packed up and climbed back on to the bus for the trip back to Alice. After an awesome shower I headed back into the town for a brilliant five dollar meal at Annie's place. So that was that. What an experience, and I knew words couldn't justify it!
The next morning I hopped on the plane to Perth, watching some of the Blues Brothers, until my iPod threatened to run out of battery, and sleeping! It was a pretty chilled out time in Perth; going to an awesome Japanese called Taka, chilling at the beach and watching Carl Riseley at the Ellington.
Overall, a pretty awesome week. And on Monday there was Parklife. But it is now definitely bedtime. I hope this post quenches the thirst of many of you, until tomorrow though, I must say good night. And a massive thank you to Ben and his brother Gideon in Perth. Legends.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
That aside... actually before I go further I should also mention Kit-Kat Chunky Cookies 'n' Cream. Awesome. That and an Iced Coffee... wow.
Now to the point. Nothing much has actually happened recently, hence the lack of updates on the blog. Though I now feel I should at least have to courtesy to let you know that! And perhaps while I'm at it I could have a good ramble and things...
This weekend was fantastic. Friday night we had the Quiz part of the School and Allen Challenge and on Sunday we dressed up as netballers to take part in the orienteering half (see below!):
We acquitted ourselves brilliantly and came first. Though we're not allowed the prizes so it sucks a bit.
In between that (Saturday), I went to watch Matho play his Grand Final footy. Both the A Grade and B Grade were playing Walkerville at Richmond Oval. It was a brilliant day (and night, though I have no idea how I ended up drinking out of the trophy), and despite a loss for the A's, the B's won by a goal and secured it with one after the siren.
I enjoyed it so much I'm seriously considering playing footy next season....
That's pretty much all from me. Except I should be a lot more relaxed come Thursday - I've decided enough is enough and am ordering a coffee machine.
Besides from that, there really is not much going on. Till next time, g'day.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
So we landed in Perth at midnight on Friday - so Saturday morning. We had nowhere to stay and were winging it a bit. So we caught a taxi into Northbridge (a bad move in retrospect: 15 dollars each) and went to a hostel. By this time it was around one and we were told we could check in to the hostel at 5 for one day. Not wanting to spend 15 bucks for four hours sleep we decided to see if we could hang around for four hours. We managed, but only just.
We headed to Northbridge, which is party central, and were extremely scared. So we got a Nando's and went to this awesome jazz club and had a beer. So it turned out pretty good, except we still had two hours to go. We decided to buy some Internet time and managed to get into the room half an hour early. So all was well.
After 5 hours sleep, we got up and had our free breakfast then headed into Perth. We thoroughly abused the CAT - Perth's free transit system - and saw the WACA and the Swan River. After a brilliantly nutritious late lunch, we headed back to our hostel, got changed and made our way to Claremont, where Ross' friend is working at Scotch College for the year.
After meeting everyone, getting our faces painted green, hair sprayed and drinking traditional South African drinks, we headed to the Subiaco Oval for a brilliant game of rugby.
Much of what followed was a blur of hectic awesomeness. All I will say is: B-52s, elevated dance floors, darkness and a crazy Chinese dude at four in the morning. The latter, by the way, is the answer to the question: who changes the adverts in bus stops.
Sunday morning saw us up bright and early, checking out of the hostel. After a dash into town, we headed back to Claremont to regroup. We then had a great guided tour round Perth including Cottesloe Beach, Kings Park and Fremantle. We then got the train back into Perth, hopped on a bus and got to the airport. Where we waited for five hours.
Landed in Adelaide at six in the morning and we both got to work for half eight.
A great weekend was had by all! Big thanks to Ross, the Springboks, Janu and Tiger Airways!
For a full write up of the game click here - the BBC can do a report so much better than I can.
For pictures of the weekend, check out Facebook. Otherwise, a selection will appear on here shortly.
In other news, we (Old Collegians), have got our semi-final against Brighton on Saturday. Should be a great match and I'm really looking forward to it. Otherwise, not much else to report, except to say a belated well done to Kiddo for her results, and everyone else who did GCSE's!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
But I’m relaxed. I mean how good is this? I’m in
This isn't to say I don't care; I did loads of work (well, some) and really want to go to Durham. But it really isn't the end of the world if it goes pear shaped. It's also not to say I'm not nervous either - who wouldn't be. But... well it's hard to explain. I just hope Mum and Granny's mind is at ease.
Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback about the ironing, really useful, though still pretty hard. I'm sure I'll get there though. Also, big thanks to everyone reading this blog. I hope you're enjoying it, I've got to say I'm having fun writing it.
Watch this space for some more detailed posts, and photo's of animals beginning with "K", soon...
Till then, G'day.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Firstly, I've booked tickets to South Africa vs. Australia in Perth on 29th August, so in precisely two weeks and three days I shall be leaving Adelaide to go to the most remote city in the world (thanks for that Ross) to see the Bokke kill some Wallabies!
I've also been pretty busy... socialising. I need to get to know the locals, don't I? Life at school continues in much the same vein, though my workload, which is admittedly a lot more than I anticipated, will be reduced tomorrow when Godden starts working.
Had a very nice time in Adelaide yesterday afternoon with Lucy; its very strange that on the other side of the world I'll meet up with a school friend for a burger, beer and an incredible waffle. We're talking absolutely amazing. She then was an honoured guest at the Tuesday night film and pizza session in the flat, although it severely lacked pizza due to funds last night.
Trying to think of what else I can put on here that's happened, and is fit for family consumption, since my last post... OH! I did some ironing this morning. Took me half an hour, maybe even forty minutes, to iron two shirts and some trousers. Badly. Suggestions and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or on a postcard to:
St. Peter's College Boarding House,
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Matt Godden, the new Gappy, arrived yesterday and has settled straight in. He started working today and is coaching hockey. Seems like a good lad.
One thing I was dubious about upon arrival (along with Vegemite) was Aussie Hip-Hop, but, it's asctually surprisingly good. The country who have given us Empire of the Sun (who are playing at Parklife on 5th October), have a massive music scene and its hip-hop, despite varying standards, is actually pretty cool. Even if it is a bunch of white blokes rapping. Make sure, if you're interested, you check out the local Adelaide group; The Hilltop Hoods.
Anyway, should head off now, Ross wants to play table tennis.
One more shameless plug though - check out www.myspace.com/runfasternow123. They've got a superb new track.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Just thought that I'd let you all know that I've been won over by its salty appeal. I tried my first bit within the first week and dismissed it, but yesterday there was no peanut butter to put on my toast and since then there's been no looking back!
Its been a pretty hectic weekend. We played another Rugby match yesterday, and I scored my first try for Old Collegians. However, that didn't help us going down to Southern Suburbs 24-14 in an atrocious game where we controlled possession and dominated territory. It doesn't affect our bid for a semi-final spot but re-enforces the need for us to go to training!
I went to indoor cricket with the boarders today which was great fun. I got a Subway this evening after Chapel and sat and ate that watching the cricket - bliss.
Tomorrow is Founders Day which involves a Cross-Country run; it'll be interesting being on the staffing side for a change!
On another note, I need to mention a couple of things. Firstly congrats to Ava and Pat on reaching the 12 month milestone (If you don't know Ava, I met her at Durham and she's a legend). Secondly, I'm talking to Ellen who, like Vegemite, is awesome.
On that note, I'll sign off and head to bed - I need it. Till next time: G'Day.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The notes, yes, are very cool. Despite only having the Queen on the 5 Dollar one. But aside from the exchange rates, the coins are horrendous. Seriously. 2 Dollar coins are the size of a one pence thus more likely to be lost.
The logical thing to do would be to make more important coins with more value bigger. But no. Not in Australia. Fifty cent coins are the size of my fist. Huge 12 sided 50pence like things. And 20 cents are nearly as big and definitely much bigger than a Dollar coin. And the ten cent coins are the same!!!!
It is horrendously annoying.
Especially when you have 17 dollars and 40 cents worth.
Sorry for the rant but it needed to be said.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The weather has been a serious issue for me. In fact it has been rather comforting to know that Australians don't have perma-tans and blonde hair (at least not all of them). They are however, all sports mad. My attempts at learning to kick a "footy" are improving and I'll hopefully get a game for Saints 3rd XVIII soon! I'm thoroughly enjoying playing Rugby (despite a loss on Saturday we're still on track for making the Semi's of the U-18 League), and the weather has meant a gradual introduction. Although blazing heat and hard ground on Saturday reminded me where I am.
Life here really is incredibly chilled out though. No pressure to do anything, organisation is a trait that has been greeted by my flatmates with bemusement (yes, they think that I am organised) and everyone, without exception has been extra-ordinarily welcoming and kind. I do need a coffee machine though - its getting tough. Though there are some nice coffee shops in town, including a remarkably good chain called Cibo, the walk in this weather is something best saved for the pubs in the evening. Of which there are many, although you will be disappointed to know I lost the inaugral Monday Night Pool at the Hackney against Ross.
Two things to finish this collection of thoughts as darkness (and as I possibly hear a roll of thunder) approaches:
- I'm about to ring a very cool bell.
- As tea time approaches I'm conscious that its only breakfast back home and I'll be eating my meal the other way up to you.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Firstly apologies for the delay in getting this thing set up, I'm now pretty much settled in here and actually in the middle of my first duty...
I had a fairly pleasant trip over here, despite a two hour delay whilst the pilot's chair got fixed in Heathrow.... strange I know. Though actually pretty good - no idea what I'd have done with five hours in Chengi Airport. Even with three: there's only so much sushi one can eat and beer one can consume whilst flying! Although it was in a most pleasant out door bar on top of the airport, even if it was a little muggy.
I was greeted at the airport in Oz by some ridiculously thorough customs officers, and a friendly sniffer dog. Having got through that, Matho, my flatmate, met me with a ridiculous sign (pictures to follow). And then it was... Macca's. Then to my new home. After watching One Hour Photo (a good but disturbing thriller with Robin Williams), I unpacked whilst Matho and Ross went back to bed. The afternoon passed in between snoozes and footy (Aussie Rules, which incidentally is pretty good, though not quite as good as the Aussies think). In the evening I experienced my first Schnitzle and beer though it was somewhat forced down as I had no clue what time it was! Then it was back to the flat to finsih watching the Hawthorn v. Collingwood game. Which was followed by a solid 12 hour sleep.
Can't really remember Sunday... more footy and food I think. As well as seeing Adelaide a bit. Monday is when work and stuff started, I got to know Paul Ryan, the Deputy Head and some of the staff I'm working with, mostly the PE lot. Had my first Rugby session yesterday and our first match is tomorrow. I'm also playing for the local side Old Collegians RFC with my first training session tommorrow night.
I hope anyone reading this has found it interesting. Much of what I put here will be for the benefit of friends and family. Feel free to email (email@example.com), or just comment on here. I hope you enjoy this page. I'll try and keep it updated fairly regularly and will let you know when I put some photo's up. In the meantime, check out Facebook.