Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bye, bye Adelaide...

...and hello Melbourne. And Nowra.

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!

Bon Noel!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just for Bampa

Friday saw me venture to Adelaide Oval to watch a bit of cricket. Day one saw the Windies bowled out for 450 odd and today and yesterday the Aussies struggled and were bowled out for around 50 less. Should be a good final two days!

Here are some pictures I managed to take before I found out you weren't allowed camera's:

The legendary Adelaide Oval scoreboard.

Mitchell Johnson walking back to his mark as Shivnarine Chanderpaul
adjusts his pads at the strikers end.

"The Shiv" clipping one off his legs to bring up the half ton.

Sunday, December 6, 2009



Just thought I would share a few pictures of my lovely new bodyboard in prep for my epic trip over Christmas! Might be testing it out down at Victor Harbour this week, will take some pictures and let you know how it rides!

So here are some pictures, enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


My attempts at growing a mo' for Movember have gone pretty badly. BUT, there are some VERY impressive efforts out there (Uncle Gary would be proud).

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!


The end of Novemeber and the beginning of... Summer!?

Before I start...

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!

Pj xxx

Thursday, November 12, 2009

All sports practices today are cancelled...

No, not because of rain, but due to heat. As Adelaide registers its first ever November heat-wave, school sport on the weekend has been cancelled! Meaning I get a lie-in on Saturday but unfortunatelty also meaning my 9B's can't complete their demolition of Sacred Heart (we bowled them out for 151 last week and reached 123-2 by the end of play).

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

Summer Sessions

Hello all.

Many apologies for the rather lame last blog. I felt I owed you an update, but if I am ever in such a predicament where nothing has happened again, I shall be sure to comment upon the weather and perhaps shed light onto some of the strange differences between English and Australian cricket (not least of which, too much cricket was lost last year to heat so the cancellation rule has changed to 42 degrees Celsius).

This afternoon was a very pleasant one, indeed an extremely pleasant one. After being told by Frankie (one of the tutors) about a lovely pub up in the hills that just so happens to serve one of, arguably, the top three pints of ale available to man, we made our mission to head up there one afternoon. So, with Ciaran, Jess and Adelle in tow, we headed up to the hills. After a thoroughly enjoyable pint of Bombardier in the glorious spring sunshine, we then headed to the Bird in Hand winery for some wine tasting. A fantastic way to while away a glorious afternoon in Adelaide. In fact, life cannot get much better!

I have the dubious honour next week of, effectively, running the PE department whilst Sean is away, I will be sorting all the fixtures and faxes and all that entails. Should be an interesting one! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! The week after that, before which I shall hopefully have updated this again, Ross and I have been asked to play in the Staff vs. 1st XI soccer fixture!

As for the cricket, we demolished our opposition yesterday - in what was meant to be an eighty overs game, we bowled our opposition out for 37 and proceeded to knock off 200 in a mere 49 overs. Next week we'll whack them in to bat again and see if we can win outright. Meanwhile, my 9 B side have a 100% record, recording their third win of the season yesterday. With two matches (a 'two-dayer' and a 'one-dayer') left, things are looking good!

So life here is well, though psychologically I am struggling with 36 degree heat in November, and have realised just how much I miss rugby. I am going to make full use of being British in the next month by rooting for all four teams in what I am tipping to be a thoroughly disappointing Grand-Slam tour for the Wallabies (though I admit, with a slight twinge of guilt, if I were a betting man, I would put money on the Scottish game being a low scoring and boring success for the Aussies).

Lastly, please check out our "Mo-vember" page. Despite the potential likeness to the title of a dodgy 70's B movie (at least that's what Dad reckons), it is for a great cause and something really worth while, though I doubt my attempts will be too good! Anything that could be spared would be much appreciated!

au.movember.com/mospace/94191 (I'll be plugging this all throughout Mo-vember!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A rather meaningless update

Really not much has happened, it's just been business as usual and trying to save up for what is going to be an epic summer trip (details will be posted here when it is all confirmed).

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

Week 13 or A Quarter Done or Three-Quarters to Go or Month Three

As my mother took great delight in telling me last night (repeatedly) I am now a quarter of the way through my time here. Yesterday (Thursday 15th October) marked exactly 13 weeks, and today marks exactly three months. So either way, 52 weeks, or 12 months, the last two days have covered that quarter of a year milestone.

Another duty done this afternoon, and not much to report. A game of indoor soccer tomorrow, and umpiring/coaching my Year 9 B side tomorrow morning. Unfortunately all grades of cricket have been cancelled tomorrow afternoon by the ATCA, which gives me sleeping and ironing and relaxing time. And saves on my subs. Though is still overall a bad thing!

So anyway, what I have I learnt since I've been here? Here are some thoughts, hopefully for your general amusement and entertainment!
  1. (And most important) Granny likes my blogs and I haven't emailed her enough (Sorry!).
  2. Neither have I emailed my Mother enough.
  3. Australia can be very cold, and is not sunny and nice all the time!
  4. Australia is HUGE.
  5. Australian's, especially anywhere other than Queensland and New South Wales, aren't actually very good at rugby.
  6. Australian's drink a lot of not-very-good-beer.
  7. There are several different variations on a "pint" down under.
  8. Its O.K. for a male to order a class of wine in a pub!!!!!
  9. 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").
  10. Iced Coffee is the greatest drink in the world.
  11. I understand why Mum likes her 0.9 or 0.8, or whatever it is, teaching.
  12. Australian males are all sports mad, but don't all have blonde hair and perma-tans.
  13. Kangaroo's don't hop around everywhere but do taste nice.
  14. As do camels.
  15. Monopoly City Streets is quite possibly the greatest Internet game ever invented.
  16. P.O.M. stands for "Prisoner of Her Majesty", which now means I really do take offence to it.
  17. 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.
  18. The financial crisis will strike here in about two years time - they are quite a way behind in everything!
  19. Not knowing who Kevin Rudd is is a good thing and entirely understandable.
  20. The Red Centre really is Red. Very Red.
  21. Did I mention they drink a lot of beer?
I would say that's a pretty good list. And sums up my time here quite nicely!

So I'll leave you with a few photo's from my first three months or so here...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two weeks of many, many interesting events, continued...

Week Two:

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.

Two weeks of many, many interesting events.

As promised folks, here is the low-down on the last two weeks and a bit, in two, juicy, action packed editions!

Week One:
The last week of term approached with great excitement, although I admittedly didn't really know why. This accounted largely for my lack of an update - at the beginning of the week not much happened and I left it 'till later. Then, BOOM! Thursday hits and I've got no time! Thursday was the Achilles Cup which is the local boys schools' Inter-collegiate cup. Officiating there (in the hammer-throw) was a great day off work (and earned me a fair bit of cash), and also saw Saints win the overall competition!

Thursday evening is what everyone was excited about though. It was the School and Allen House Dinner 2009. It was a fantastic formal evening, with a good guest speaker and a fascinating insight into some of the... finer aspects of a boys boarding house! The pub afterwards was great too, though did make work on Friday morning a little harder than usual, but luckily being in the library... well it was easier than it could have been! And it was only a morning!

After all of that, it was the 2009 "Blue and White", that evening. A huge, American high school style school dance basically... There was free ice-cream, free soft drinks, a DJ all night, LOADS of camera people, lots of dancing and a very good time had by all! Like the Commem ball, but on big, nasty American steroids!

Saturday saw the Australian sporting event of the year. As Geelong triumphed over Saint Kilda in an excellent game, I was on the barbie (at least for a bit) for my first Aussie BYO barbecue. Awesome. After an excellent curry with the Coupers (three-fifths, at least), it was back to the boarding house to pack for my early start.....


Hello All,

It would appear I have a somewhat fervent and beloved following on the ol' Bloggeroo... So I apologise sincerely for my lack of recent activity.

I do, however, have a legitimate reason that I hope you will understand. Since 15th September I have been incredibly busy:
Firstly, the last week of term (21st-25th September) was packed with all manner of activities, including the "Blue and White" and School and Allen House Dinner. As well as all manner of other end of term activities which combined to leave me with little time!

Secondly, since leaving for Alice Springs on 27th September, I have barely been near a computer, let alone had to time to write a Blog post detailing all my amazing activities! Needless to say though, there is plenty to say!

Including a much needed and long overdue congratulations to the Big Bloke, who successfully completed his Big Bike Ride on 30th September 2009. Well done, Dad!

After cricket, which is where I am going now, expect a few fuller Blogs explaining and detailing my epic adventures.....

For now, though, here's a little teaser:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Greatest Drink in the World!

Not for no reason does Farmer's Union Iced Coffee out sell Coca-Cola in South Australia (I'm reliably informed its the only state in the world where it does).

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

A Slow Recovery.

Only now, on Wednesday, am I really recovering from the complete madness that was a weekend in Perth with Ross. Though not just any weekend, one where I was an honorary Springbok at the South Africa vs. Australia game!

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

A Week On

Following the jubilation and hysteria that was results (!), things have calmed down somewhat. Sorry that there was no "the Day after Results post", I didn't really do the "Day Before..." one with the forethought of another, just seemed like a good idea at the time. Preparations have begun in earnest for our trip to Perth at the weekend and the normal working week has provided little distraction. Though we don't actually seem to have done that much except change our status' on Facebook...
Nonetheless, we're mad keen. Probably grossly under prepared and, seeing as we're taking no luggage (the joys of Tiger Airways - the Oz equivalent of Ryanair, but worse), and taking the red eye flights at incredibly unsociable hours, greatly under-estimating the scale of what we're actually doing. Still, should be an adventure. Check here at some point next week for more info!
In the meantime, as mentioned, the usual working week has resumed. Last week was crazy with all the Intercollegiate matches. Our neighbours, PAC (affectionately known as the Poufs Around the Corner), beat us in everything but the debating. But what a week - loads of cheering, school spirit and banter. Brilliant. And the Basketball was a great finale; check out this last second three pointer to win the game. No joke, what a shot.

So after that all settled down, amongst the heartache and the pain, we had a fantastic win at Elizabeth on Saturday, with me scoring another try - equalling the amount I scored in my last two seasons at school in four games at Old Collegians. With the 60-0 thrashing we handed out we secured third spot, lining up a semi against a very beatable Brighton side a week Saturday.
Don't think much else has happened really. Except a spectacular run-out! Yes, I am still enjoying it. These Aussies are so bitter. The chap next to me just said it "wasn't that good"... Its so much fun reminding them. The best bit is, apart from the Autumn Tests, which the Wallabies don't really look like doing that well in anyway, there is no major sporting contest between us this year, so I can enjoy it till June! Even if England do lose (a definite possibility), I handily explain the benefits of being British and support Scotland, which gets me off Scot free (no pun intended) as they're never expected to beat anyone. Speaking of rugby, if you're in Adelaide and want to watch a game, go to the Coopers Ale House - it will be on.
I've seen some Aussie Wildlife too:

So with that I'll sign off. Best of luck to all those who have GCSE results today (the first generation to be educated entirely by Labour - you are historic!) and a well done to all my A-Level buddy's. Have a great first year! Glad some of you are still enjoying reading the blog even though it may be very sarcastic (sod off Ross!).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wenesday, the day before Results... (I couldn't think of anything good to put as the title)

Finished work at school at half past eleven this morning. So, one Italian BMT, a free cappuccino, an amazing white chocolate, Snickers and Oreo ice cream (for cheap because Tom knows the lass who was working at the Cold Rock) and an espresso later and I’m sat in the office coming down from a caffeine and sugar high.

But I’m relaxed. I mean how good is this? I’m in Australia, working for a year and having an absolutely incredible time (not to mention an insane afternoon). Who gives a stuff about exams? I mean seriously, it’s not the end of the world is it? This place is so chilled, I love it! If worst comes to the worst I re-apply, or stay here or something. It really isn't a disaster.

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

It's been a while

Many apologies for the delay in updating things on this! Hopefully this blog can go some way to informing you as to the reason for the delay!

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 psk@stpeters.sa.edu.au or on a postcard to:
Peter Skinner,
St. Peter's College Boarding House,
Hackney Road,
St. Peter's,
SA 5069


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Musical Musings...

Just coming to the end of another duty and a lovely Macca's. In the gap between duty (or dooty as Ross has taken to calling it, with regards to my accent) and roogby I thought I'd do another blog.

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


...is amazing. Full stop.

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

Australian Money

...is incredibly annoying.

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

28th July

So... I'm coming to the end of my first proper day as a Gappy here. About ten minutes left in the first duty of the day which has passed uneventfully. Just a bit of Facebook, getting my news fix on BBC Online, and trying to keep warm.

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:
  1. I'm about to ring a very cool bell.
  2. 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

My First Post

Hello all,

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 (pjskinner@gmail.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.

Cheers, Pj