Published: January 27th 2008January 27th 2008
home sweet home!!
the front of our house, browning street!
Ok, so here goes Byron Bay…..
Most of the peeps we traveled with on the surf course left the day after new year, so our group was kinda split up.
Gem and I decided it was time to stop scrounging for dollar coins in the bottom of our bags and find a house and a job!
We spent the whole of the next 2 days looking, and to be fair, it was horrible…!
To make an already bad situation worse, it was not just raining but absolutely tipping it down, we had a cyclone and all I wanted to do was get out of there!!
I wondered into a café on the 2rd and asked if they had any vacancy, the lady said all they had was pot washing..!! Desperate for a job (and, to be fair, I think it was the thought of super noodles for a 5th night running which spurred me on!) I left my number and didn’t really think any more about it.. however, that evening when me and gem were mooching around trying to make our last tea bag last as long as possible, the woman from the cafe rung me and asked
mine and gems room
(dad.. note babar chilling on the satin pillow cases!!)
if I could work that night, and did I have a friend I’d like to bring as well… of course this made the job sound a lot more appealing,!!
I rocked up to the café (Cyprus tree) at 6:30 and gem joined me at 7:30 and we basically stacked the dishes in the dishwasher for 5 hours!! It was quite fun as we were doing it together.
Just in case you haven’t heard of the “Goodlife”, it’s a TV programme where Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie are sent to do weird jobs, like mucky work on a farm, and we felt like exactly like that, doing something so random and minging!!! As we stood in our marigolds, our hard earned degrees forgotten… we wished we had a camera crew with us too!!
It was fine until the kitchen closed but then they literally piled heaps and heaps of pots and pans on us, and expected us to scrub the cooker, floor, microwaves.. not so fun!!! ;-)
We finished about 1 o clock and I vowed I never want to work in hospitality again!!!
So on the 3rd we were getting desperate, it was still raining cats and dogs and
I must have walked literally miles! I spotted an advert for ‘happy houses’ so we traipsed in the pouring rain to check it out. To be honest, it was a laugh or cry situation… I was as wet as if I had just jumped in a swimming pool, and we haden’t a clue where we were going, but the tears never came.. in fact we had pretty good fun jumping in all the puddles!!
We met the happy house guy ‘James’ and he showed us to a house. All the bedrooms were separate, and the room he showed us even had our own front door! The bathrooms are shared, as is the kitchen and living areas. On first thought we wern’t too sure, but when we went back to the hostel and realised they had no room for us to stay another night, we decided to go for it!
Typical us.. it all works out just at the last minute!!
So we moved into our house on the 4th. We arrived at the house, and the first random thing we had to do was help James carry another bed round from the store room… not so bad but imagine
when he lifted it up this 2 foot lizard ran out, and remember, it was still pouring with rain!
So anyway, bed mission accomplished, Ill describe the house in a bit more detail, and ill put lots of pictures up! Ok, so we share a room, which is pretty big… we have our own front door, we also have a fridge, microwave, that kind of thing. There is also an inside door which leads to the utility room, washing machine, tumble dryer, and then on to the ‘lounge’. The lounge is really a big space, sort of inside, sort of outside, with a big TV, DVD player and sofas. Off the utility room is the kitchen, which is ok, it’s a bit manky because there's flies and stuff but its not too bad (in a student / squatter / homeless person kinda way!!)
We quickly made the bedroom our own though, I went and got loads of posters from the video shop, and bought new bed covers and pillows etc. so our room is now looking lovely! (yes, they are pink and girlie!! I also bought 2 new pillow cases, which turned out to be satin.. all purple and shiny…
now, James gave me the money to get all these so god know what he’ll say if two big burly blokes move into the room after us!! He he!!)
Josie (Swedish girl from the surf course) stayed with us for a couple of nights, as there was no hostels available in Byron at all, so we had some girlie nights which was fun! We went to the cinema one night and saw ‘atonement’ which was an awesome film… though it did make me cry my eyes out .. I tried to hold the tears back at first, but when I looked round and saw there wasn’t a dry house in the cinema, I decided to go for it… !!
Job wise, I had left my CV in a few places, there is not much call for any work, apart from in hospitality, but I decided I really didn’t want to work in a bar or restaurant again. I had an interview at ‘tribal travel’ a travel place which sorts out tours, local trips and packages for people travelling all over Australia.
And lo and behold I got the job!!
It’s a cool place, there is only 4 of
us working there, plus a few people handing out flyers, so I started on Tuesday the 8th and started to learn the ropes, the money is good and I get commission for everything I sell, so that’s pretty sweet! Im really enjoying it at the moment, ive been working a lot of hours, and its really exciting to finally clench a deal worth thousands of dollars!!
Its also great because ive learnt so much about Australia in terms of the background of the places, history and local knowledge, plus I get a few bonus and free trips so that’s cool!
Gem hasn’t found a job yet, but she’s done her RSA (responsible service of alcohol), which you need to work in bars. We’ve got quite a little domestic routine going, bless us! Last Friday I got home from work and gemma wasn’t in, so I cooked dinner for us both and got a glass of wine and DVD ready for when she came back, and last night I had a really long day at work, and came home to find dinner (and a bottle of cider) ready on the table!! Bless us! Often we go down to the beach after
the front of our room...
... our own front door and little bench where we sit with a cuppa and watch the world go by!
work, or sit on the grass verge above the beach and discuss how cool it is to be here … its like being married!! ;-)
The next few days we settled in and got to know people, our housemates (Ryan, Jodie, Hayley, Jazz, Kelly , Ellie, Mitch and Nick) are all cool and me and Lucy, the other girl I work at Tribal with get on really well.
Our house is quite open, the lounge feels like its half outside, as does one of the bathrooms, so we have a few more housemates that expected. The other night we were all in the lounge watching a DVD and a movement caught my eye, I turned the light on and a sound not dissimilar from a scream you hear in a horror movie came out! It was a huntsman! Scuttling down the wall! Now, I know I am a bit of an exaggerator but it was massive, at least 2 foot wide!! Ha ha! no, about the size of a side plate!! I know they are not supposed to be dangerous, but it certainly looked as if it could eat me in one swift bite!! Luckily Jodie wasn’t
across the road!
the view whilst sitting on our bench!!
too scared and picked up the folder of DVDs and beat it up!! Woo!!
As I mentioned earlier, we have one ‘nice’ bathroom, and one spidery one. Gem braves the spidery shower, but as im a wimp, I always go in the ‘nice’ one. Now you may wonder why I am putting ‘nice’ in inverted commas.…. Its because its not so damn nice any more!!!!!! I was in there and happened to glance up to the ceiling, to see a small black spider, with a red hourglass shape on its back… ahhh.. I promptly dropped the toilet roll in the toilet (later to regret as it was our last one!) and went squealing back to the lounge!! Again Jodie came to the rescue, and between the three of us we hatched up a plan to kill it!! we got an aerosol can of bug killer spray and a match, pointed it at the spider and light and sprayed and firebombed it from the ceiling!!! (I only hope its wife and kids wern’t watching and waiting to get there revenge!!!)
Gem came home to find a lizard in our room one day (!) and so I bought us a present of
a fly squat each so we have a bed time routine of squatting anything that moves in our room!!! (I don’t mean a fly squat to get the lizards, don’t think they’d bat an eye lid, and they’re cute! but it works pretty well with spiders and mosquitoes! God we are all so bitten by them, and its not just in our house, everyone who comes into work is covered…its kind of a fashion statement to have big red lumps all over your body!)
Anyway, I had my first day off on Monday 14tu and sods law… I got a cold!! How that happens in sunny Australia god only knows! (Oh yeah, by the way, the weathers cleared up and is back to its muggy, sun burning status now!!)
But still, I made the most of it and we went out on Sunday night. “Sunday sesh”, its by far the biggest night of the week over here in Oz!
I had previously, and very randomly (long story involving an Irish guy collapsing on the beach!) met some drunk ozzies (who proceeded to get banned from every bar in Byron!) before meeting up with Lucy and a bit later Gem.
Monday, my first day off… guess what we did… went to the beach!! Yay! Me, gem and ryan, along with 2 of ryans friends (Heath and Anthony) went to the beach and hired surf boards, good idea in theory, but the waves were mental!! They broke close to the shore and they wern’t nice rolling waves but seriously dumping ones!! I have some serious respect for the ocean now I tell you.. I could hardly stand up in the undercurrent.. it just drags you sideways and trying to get out past the break without a nice little rip to help you along was torture!! But we managed it and I rode a few waves… but then tragedy struck.. (ooo.. how dramatic am I making this sound!!)
I was floating along, just laying on my board next to Heath waiting for a wave, and we were watching this guy surf behind us, he looked pretty good but then all of a sudden, his board turned and he came straight towards me… I had no time to react and he literally surfed right over the top of me!!!
His fin went right over the back of my calves (and ill apologise
me and becky!
if I swore a little bit!!) an old guy behind me shouted “are you alright” and by the look on his face, I literally expected to turn around and see the sea turning red, or one of my legs floating in the water… but no, they were ok! I couldn’t walk for a bit, but got to the beach and had a little sit down… I don’t bruise easily at all, but straight away I had big black strips across my calves and it really hurt!!! (just for the record, I spent a long time trying to photograph and thus document my injuries, but the pictures just didn’t do the pain justice!! ) Fin slash, as I later found out is pretty common and it seems I was actually lucky! Every ozzie has scars or stitches in the back of their legs (or knows someone or someones friend who has, etc, etc!!)
Kate and Becky (mates from uni) had now come to Byron, so they met me on the beach so it was wicked to see them again! As soon as I felt that my legs had had an adequate amount of sympathy, one of the lads took me
the stage that changed the world!!
out body boarding. Now, I always though body boarding was a bit of a sissy thing to do, but actually its amazing fun!! He taught me to do it properly and when to catch the wave (slightly later than a surf board) and because the waves were so high it felt like you were flying on the water, but then, because the waves were really short and crashed down quickly, you had to hold on really tight and get bombed into the whitewash! I managed to hold on most of the time, but did get absolutely completely stacked too!!
I think, whilst im still learning to surf, body boarding will be my new sport, for one, the boards are a lot smaller and lighter to be lugging around, and whereas surfing can get a bit disheartening when the waves aren’t right, body boarding is just fun, fun ,fun!!
So after our exciting morning, me and Gem went for a drink and some food in the beachy, (our favourite haunt, a massive open air bar, with glass all round the side, right by the beach and live bands playing all the time).
The next morning, we went and bought
he he he!
sorry the photos a bit blurry!!
our own body boards, they’re so cool!! Mine is florescent pink, its sweet as!! (as well as loving the colour, its also very practical as it can be seen for about a mile away and so I can be easily saved- I hope that’s reassuring for you dad!!) unfortunately, I had to go straight to work after getting them, so it just had to sit in the corner tempting me!! But the next morning, and desperate to try them out, we got up at half 7 in the morning and one of the guys drove 5 of us (locky, ryan, dan, me and gem) down to the beach. The tide was right in and as well as the waves being massive tubes, the rips and undercurrents were horrendous!! We caught a few good waves though, it was great fun! At about 10, we got out the water and sat on the rocks above the beach watching the surf and drinking coffee. We then headed home for a bit before I had to go to work at 12, its great when you go surfing early, for one, it wakes you up a treat, and then you also have the whole day
some of my housemates
chris, nick, locky and ryan in cheeky monkeys!!
left in front of you!
On Wednesday night (16th Jan), we decided to have a house party slash barbecue!! We started the drinking games at about 7 o clock and you can imagine the carnage!! ;-) kate and becky came round to see our house at about 10 o clock so all my housemates went out to greet them on the street.. lets just say, there were a few bright moons out that night!! He he!!
We then went to cheeky monkeys (a backpacker kinda bar / club, very near to our house), which by the way Gemma now works in!
The next day, Thursday, my cold had gone.. miracle!! I had a nice relaxing morning (well deserved as it was my day off) and then in the afternoon, went for a wonder round town, and actually bought my first new article of clothing for weeks!! And then went for a swim in the pool. The swimming pool is right by the beach, and its open air, so that was pretty cool! Gemma came and met me when I got out and we had fish and chips sitting on the beach! Scrumptious!
We wondered back to our
house and got ready to go out as we had tickets for “puppetry of the penis”. The show was in a pub called ‘The Northern’ and we had quality seats on the edge of a step!! Firstly a woman came on, who I thought was going to introduce them, but she kept talking and talking, telling jokes and being rude etc… after about 15 minutes, we realised that we were the only two people not laughing and it suddenly dawned on us, that whereas we had been expecting a willy show, maybe it was just a fancy name for a comedy act!!!
Oh dear!! So, feeling a bit foolish, we paid a bit more attention to her, and it was actually quite funny! But then to our relief, she stopped and two guys came out in big shiny cloaks…!! These cloaks didn’t stay on very long and very soon these two oldish men (in their late 30’s / 40’s) were standing on stage stark naked, with a video camera showing their genitals in extreme close-up on a massive screen behind them!!!
They proceeded to make their willies into wind surfers, hot dogs, dinosaurs, loch ness monsters, snails, kentucky fried chicken
and then disappear completely!!
…Yes, yes I know that all you boys want to know how these were done and try them yourself, (I certainly did!!!) So you’ll be pleased to know I bought the DVD!! Im going to send it home shortly, so anyone who wants to see it, just pop round to my house… mum is guaranteed to be watching it on repeat!!! ;-)
He he! So yeah guys, life in Byron is great, its lovely to have our own place and be able to surf / body board every day and its actually nice be a bit settled somewhere and to be able to finish a days work at 7 and still head down to the beach! I must admit, searching my bed for spiders every night is an annoying and time consuming process, but its better in the long run rather than to wake up in the morning spooning a black widow!!
Lots of love and enjoy the puppets!! ;-)
x x x
There are more photos below