Published: May 20th 2008May 15th 2008
View from Fisherman's Club
The road to Boambee Beach in Coffs Harbour. You can drive on the beach here but 4X4 only!
My laptop was acting up and the repair has wiped out my camera software so no pics this time except for some that Matt took on his phone. Hopefully I will figure something out for the next entry and be able to get the pictures off my camera. This also meant that I wasn’t able to SKYPE for the last few weeks. If you don’t have SKYPE (www.skype.com) - you should get it!!!! Then we can catch up on webcam for free!!
Here’s the low down on what I’ve been up to in no particular order…
Before I left Canada, one thing I was advised to do (by an Australian living in Canada) was to go to have a skin cancer screen at a local clinic. Although the possibility of me having anything to worry about was slim, I finally did go (results were fine) and it does really hit home the fact that the sun is very different here - there is no ozone and by the time you realize you’ve been out too long it’s too late. A bit of a difficult thing to grasp for a beachy girl like me …but important.
I have added
The Nissan Patrol
Serious 4x4s only on this beach!
a spider to my collection of “Spiders I’ve seen in person and not behind glass”…. the Sydney funnel web! Kath, look up funnel web http://www.termite.com/spiders/Funnel-Web-Spider.shtml) - you’ll love it! This is probably one of the most deadly spiders in Australia and we have a few that apparently hang out in the warehouse here. Someone brought this one into work hiding in her camera bag from home - YIKES!!
We celebrated ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) on Friday, April 25. Unlike the solemn Remembrance Day that we have, after the dawn ceremony and parade through downtown Sydney, all the veterans get together in pubs (especially in Balmain) and drink and play 2-up. I didn’t partake this year but I did watch a bit of the parade on TV and watched the movie Gallipoli (the original one, not the one with Mel Gibson) as my tribute.
By chance (someone couldn’t go at the last minute) I ended up at an Australian Chamber of Commerce networking lunch meeting at Luna Park (on the Sydney Harbour)! Although I couldn’t really contribute that much, the champagne was flowing and the canapés were fabulous. The guest speaker was an Australian Olympic
A Deserted Boambee Beach
The main beach at Coffs Harbour for swimming. A surf beach is on the other side.
Medalist, Shane Gould, and there were some presentations on Australia that were interesting. Afterwards, it was too late to go back to work, so we shopped our way up George Street and then to the Opera Bar for a Friday afternoon drink! Great way to end the week!.....during which I worked very very hard to make up for my afternoon off
Matt and I went to the IMAX showing of U2 Live in 3D - goofy glasses and all! It was awesome and if it comes to Canada, you should go. It felt like Bono was singing right to me….
One exciting thing was that I was very close to being on the Sydney Nightly News! One thing about driving a car that’s not really yours is that you don’t know it as well as you should. I had been avoiding getting my flattish tire (or tyre) looked at only because of the effort involved - everything is a project and it ranked under bbqs, shopping, other fun stuff. A couple people told me that my tire was looking flat (damn curbs on the left) so I pumped it up twice and thought I’d wait for the
service appointment in May. Unfortunately, I was coming across THE bridge (yes, the Sydney Harbour Bridge) when it gave out completely. I just kept repeating to myself “please let me get off the bridge, please let me get off the bridge, please let me get off the bridge”. As you can imagine, the traffic in Sydney would not be happy at all to have one of the very, very busy lanes of traffic blocked by my car - Canadian sticker or not! Luckily, I was able to put the hazard lights on and limp to the service station on the other side of the bridge, called the NRMA (CAA equivalent) who came in 5 min and changed the tire. When I brought the car in to get the flat tire replaced, he did comment that the wheels were quite beaten up. I just said “I’m Canadian and there was a steep learning curve”. He laughed, at me.
More news - Cath is moving out and closer to her new job. The only constant is change. - another good one I read somewhere! She will definitely be missed from the Manly scene and it just means we will have to
make more of an effort to ensure the good times continue.
Anyone looking to move to Australia and live by the sea??
On a more serious note, the events of the past month or so have caused time for reflection and a little less frivolity.
Sadly, Matt’s Father passed away on April 22, 2008 at home, in Coffs Harbour after a battle with cancer. I won’t go into details, as this is not the place, but it has given me yet another perspective lesson. Get out there and do what you want! Give up the excuses and just do it! It’s later than you think. (That last one is not an original thought - but I have no idea where I stole it from)
I did make a trip up to Coffs Harbour, under unfortunate circumstances, and it was beautiful. The weather was warm and sunny and we did some really nice walks: up to lookouts, through banana plantations (one thing Coffs is famous for is bananas - and The Big Banana). We also spend some quiet time down at the beach, which was amazing. The population is only 80,000 and since it was during the week, we had it all to ourselves. You can drive on it here and the water was clean, clear and full of fun waves. We had lunch at the Deep Sea Fishermans Club, which has a spectacular view, and had the 3 tiered Fishermans Platter (shrimp (called prawns here), calamari, oysters, crab, etc.) which was very yummy. I’m so spoiled!
I’ve realized that it’s my 6 month anniversary in Australia which has made me stop and think and make some decision.
People have been asking me, both in Canada and here, how long I’m staying. I’m thinking that the betting pool must be closing and people want their money. Well, for all of you who bet that I would stay on - YOU WIN!
Not a shock to anyone I suppose. I’m starting to figure out my next steps but the plans are in motion to make it possible to extend this experience. Top of the list is that my flight home for a visit is already booked for the end of August and I’m looking forward to lots of visits and can’t wait to see all of you!!!!