Australia - Brisbane - getting organised

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December 21st 2011
Published: December 22nd 2011
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G’day all!!

I’d just arrived in Brisbane in my last update and was about to be reunited with Drew, who I hoped was waiting for me the other side of Australian immigration and customs even though my flight was an hour early (would he have thought to check the times…?!).

Firstly I’ve got to say how much I miss home. I am so terribly homesick…Mum, Dad, Maff, Em, Gem, Geo, Cazzler, Joanne, Vix, Katie, Louli, Laura and so many other people I wish you were here! I really need some cuddles from home! I’m lucky I have Drew and Hannah here from home to give me a hug when needed!

Secondly, there will unfortunately be no pictures to accompany this update because 3 nights ago (19th December) my camera was lost/stolen, so all my lovely pictures have gone. It could have been worse, just sad you don’t get to see everything I’ve been doing (luckily Hannah and some other people were also taking photos so there are some on Facebook).

Thirdly...if you get bored before you get to the end...MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

BRISBANE, Australia

Monday 21st November 2011

Australian immigration was easy! I’d expected a few more questions as I was going on in a 12 month working holiday visa (they can ask for proof of funds, a return ticket etc) but they didn’t ask me anything. My bag must have been first off the plane and customs didn’t want to ask me any questions so I was straight though. So, as I walked out of arrivals and into the airport would Drew be there waiting……………………….…. And he was! He was the only person waiting on the other side (he’d actually thought to check the flight time…was impressed!) He had on my favourite t-shirt and just the right amount of stubble! Just a shame about the hair band 😉 It was so nice to see him but a little surreal! He carried my bags for me (have been looking forward to that!) and took me out to Mildred, the Daewoo Cielo he’d bought, she’s lovely! We got a bit lost coming out of the airport but other than that I was impressed with how well he knew his way back to Greenslopes. Hannah was still up when we got back and it was soooooooooooo nice to see her! Ants was asleep on the sofa (it wouldn’t be the same if he wasn’t!) so I got to see him but I don’t think he remembers seeing me that night! It was really late, especially on Fiji time so I was glad to get into bed, which is nice and comfy with a DUVET…I’d missed those in Fiji!

Tuesday 22nd November 2011

Drew and I had a day of getting me organised; I got my phone topped up (with Vodafone you can get $450 of credit for $30) and opened a bank account (that was surprisingly easy – didn’t need much ID and I got a debit card without any sort of credit scoring) and caught up on my emails and that. As Drew, Hannah and Ants worked until 8pm I cooked dinner…following Drew’s instructions. The vege curry turned out ok…! We ate it outside which was really nice, just the right sort of warm.

Wednesday 23rd November 2011

We had another morning of little jobs…getting me signed up to the gym (5 minutes walk down the road), looking into car insurance…and food shopping…all the usual stuff! Anthony, Drew and Hannah all had work again so this time I cooked spaghetti bolognaise…again following Drew’s instructions! They all said it was nice…!

Thursday 24th November 2011

Today it was…another day of jobs! This time it was a trip to Garden City, our local shopping centre (full of shops, as big as Cribbs Causeway) 10 minutes up the road. We had a few things to buy and I needed to register with Medicare so that I could get health care under Australia’s reciprocal health agreement with the UK in Australia (that was a HUGE priority for me…Mum & Dad…I can hear what you’re saying…they do not know me by name yet!). Drew also saw his first big spider, hanging in a web above one of paths between the apartments (luckily not one we have to go along to get in or out) and he was not happy about it…thing is it wasn’t even a big BIG one!

Friday 25th November 2011

I had a different sort of day today because my work friend Kathy and her partner Phil were in Brisbane for a visit! They were here for a wedding and staying with family down the coast but came into Brisbane to see the city and visit me! So I showed them around like a local J I basically took them to all the great places Han and Ants have shown me over my many visits. I met them in Queen St Mall then we headed over the Brisbane River to South Bank where we had a bit of lunch (thank you for the treat Phil) then headed along the river and up to Kangaroo Point for my favourite view out over the city. It’s a bit of a climb up there; I couldn’t talk as we were going up, but well worth it (hope they thought so!). Kathy got to see where I’d do my abseiling (leaving present from work) and we saw some huge lizards. We wandered back to the train station so they could get home and I was sad to see them go. It was a really nice few hours, great to see them, catch up with the news from work and see someone from home. That night Hannah, Ants, Drew and I went for dinner at the great pizza restaurant I’d gone to my first time in Brisbane. Hannah drove me there and Drew and Ants met us after work…it’s awesome pizza!

Saturday 26th November 2011 - Noosa

Drew and I visited Noosa on the Sunshine Coast for a day out today! We got up early and headed out in Mildred, ended up in the Clem Jones Tunnel (a toll tunnel under the city) which was the longest tunnel I’ve ever been in. It took a couple of hours to get to Noosa, the countryside on the way was typical Australia although greener than I remember, think they’ve had more rain this year. Noosa was packed! It seemed a quaint little town and as well as the beach there was a nice lagoon, very calm and I thought it’d be nice for a quick dip. We had to park a long way from the beach, which itself wasn’t too crowded and quite nice. We spent a couple of hours on the beach, I had a quick dip in the sea. It was nice as not too hot because there was a nice breeze. We headed back to Mildred and ate the delicious packed lunch Drew had made for us from her boot. We then headed out in Mildred along the coast and stopped off at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club for a drink, it was nice. We headed back to Brisbane and stopped off at All About Fruit to collect a hamper Drew and Ants had put together for Drew’s cousin’s (who is in England) friends (who now live in Australia) as they’ve just got married. We took it out to their house and they and their children were so lovely we stopped for a chat before heading back to Greenslopes. Drew cooked a nice dinner but by then I’d come down with sunstroke and wasn’t up to much! Hannah and Anthony were at a wedding and I just slept, only waking up to eat. I needed to buy a hat!

Sunday 27th November 2011

We had a chilled out Sunday, doing some jobs and then having Han and Ant’s friends Phil and Amanda around for a BBQ. That was really nice, the girls cooked and the boys watched football. It’s nice to sit outside to eat and drink some cider, which I was really craving! I saw the big bats again for the first time this time in Australia…they are so huge (bodies the size of cats) and they were in the trees screaming away…I’m weirdly fascinated with them!

Monday 28th November 2011

The plan for today was uploading photos and looking for jobs. Drew and I popped out to the shops and saw the hugest grasshopper; it was so big I thought it was a bird at first! I uploaded some photos and didn’t get round to the job applications…I needed to update my CV before I could do that…! I did hear my first possum though…shuffling along the fence, still haven’t seen one though!

Tuesday 29th November – Saturday 3rd December 2011

I spent the next few days at home and around and about. I’d get up, have something to eat, if Drew wasn’t at work we’d head to the shops (the IGA a minute up the road, Greenslopes Mall a few minutes up the road or Garden City), I’d go to the gym (phew, hard work but good!), unload and reload the dishwasher, do the washing (Mum…everything dries within a couple of hours here because it’s so warm…you’d love it!) and spend time online uploading photos (took way longer than it should have!) and looking for jobs whilst watching TV (Buffy and the Kardashians are on regularly! Or Come Dine With Me and Jamie’s Kitchen. I was chuffed to find I’m A Celebrity on one channel although we were a week behind). It took a while to get going on the jobs because I had to do a non-Nationwide CV for the first time ever. And make it more basic than it would normally be because of the more casual type of jobs I was applying for. I eventually applied for my first 10 jobs on the Friday afternoon, had to wait over the weekend to see what would happen! On Saturday night we went over to the Schiavons (Anthony’s family) for Gianluca’s (Anthony’s brother) birthday. We had a brilliant BBQ with a mixture of Australian, Italian and Laos food. It was so lovely to see them all…I met them at the wedding earlier in the year but this was the first time on this trip. Anthony’s family are lovely and so welcoming to us. It’s a pleasure to spend time with them and it’s we’re lucky to have ‘family’ around. I drove Mildred home, my first time driving her (had finally got insurance) which was nice!

Sunday 4th December 2011 – Stradbroke Island

Drew, Hannah and I (Ants was working) were up at 4am to get to Cleveland to catch a ferry to Stradbroke Island, just off the mainland. I drove Mildred there and onto the barge which was ok until I had to reverse into place, I’m not very good at reverse parking at the best of times let alone in a new car! We had a little sleep on the ferry and after 45 minutes landed on Stradbroke at about 7am. ‘Straddie’ is the second largest sand island in the world (after Fraser Island) but unlike Fraser Island it does have roads, so Mildred could get about (she’s not 4 wheel drive!). We drove out to Point Lookout where we ate a lovely fruit salad that Hannah had made for us with a coffee. The view was amazing (at this point I’m feeling very upset that I lost my camera as I got some awesome photos…have a look at Hannah’s if you can), the water is so clear, even from so high up from the cliffs you can see to the bottom of the deep water. We walked along the Gorge Walk to another lookout point where we sat on the rocks for a good hour with a brilliant view out over the ocean. Hannah and Drew got a bit too close to the edge for my liking, past the sign that said ‘Do not cross this line, freak waves’!, so I spent most of the time feeling nervous but it was worth it for the view. The water was so perfectly clear, even thought it was quite deep you could see the bottom, even through the waves and swell. It didn’t take long before we saw our first pod of dolphins (we saw 3 pods in total) and I got some great pictures and video with my fantastic camera ( L ) of them swimming and jumping around in the surf. We also saw turtles (at one point we could see 4 in the water) and a huge Manta-Ray speedily gliding along the coast (I swam with them on the Ningaloo Reef). We carried on along the Gorge Walk, around the natural gorge which had a lovely little beach in (we did aim to go down there later but ran out of time) and to Main Beach, which was VERY long and full of surfers (are they not worried about sharks?!). It was a lovely few hours, the only annoying thing was we were being attacked by these horrible huge brown flies that would not leave us alone and kept biting us! We jumped back into Mildred and headed to one of the natural inland lakes, creatively called the ‘Brown Lake’, so named because it looks brown. We had a wander around and got some pictures then headed to the ‘Blue Lake’ (guess what colour it is?!) which was a bit of a mission. We parked Mildred up in the car park and headed into the forest for what the sign said was a 5.4km return trip (really should have known better than to trust that sign!). We arrived at the Blue Lake after 45 minutes, the walk wasn’t really that pleasant as we were attacked my mozzies and huge big black flies this time; they really hurt when they bit! It was sort of worth it…Drew and Han had a swim before we headed back for the 45 minute return walk. We went back to Brown Lake to have our BBQ, realised we didn’t have anything to start the BBQ with, tried to find someone (anyone!) with a lighter or matches (there was nobody!) and got chatting to a lovely couple who’d just moved to Brisbane from Melbourne. We had to go back to town to get a lighter then eventually had a lovely BBQ sat by the lake. The couple had given us some awesome fly spray that meant we were no longer attacked. After our BBQ and some beers we headed back to the ferry to get home…again I had to do some reverse parking which didn’t go well…some practice needed I think (the ferry guy told me so too!!). I drove us home and we spent an evening watching a film as were pretty tired. It was a good good day J

Monday 5th to Thursday 8th December 2011

It was a week of applying for jobs, interviews and catching up. I had a job interview with a temp agency which I got (they seemed to like me a lot) but they didn’t have any work at present. I had an interview with phone provider for a telephone sales job which I got but wasn’t so keen on, we agreed a start date of January… And I had a job interview for a backpacker travel agent, which is what I really wanted to do. I got that and started training straight away! I also found time to catch up with Michael, who I met on my travels last year, and we went for dinner at a very smart seafood restaurant on Eagle St Pier (thank you Michael J ). We had a huge seafood platter which had lots of delicious things on it including lobster and ‘bugs’ (like lobster) and oysters! I’d never had oysters before but Michael convinced me to try…I didn’t have the raw ones…just the cooked ones and they weren’t that bad, just like mussels. Drew picked me up in the lovely Mildred. On Wednesday night we headed over to the Schiavon’s for Dee’s birthday (Ant’s sister). This time we had Italian food, the most amazing quiche type thing and homemade pizza made by Ant’s Nonna (nan). You could smell it before you got in the garden, let alone the house. It was awesome, the rosemary Focaccia was my favourite, I’ve been craving it since (I’m thinking about it now!). We also tried some more homemade wine made by Ant’s Nomna (granddad) which I love! I had my first couple of hours of work on the Thursday and was tired out after!

Friday 9th December 2011

Han and I had a bit of a girl’s day today! We went to the gym, met some of Hannah’s friends for lunch (including her maid of honour Hazel and friend Louise), got some groceries from All About Fruit and did some shopping in Garden City for Christmas presents. Hannah then made us omelette and we got ready to go out. We were going out with Amanda (the girls) and Drew and Anthony were going out with Amanda’s husband Phil, Ant’s best man Bill and some others from the fruit shop (the boys). I put on a dress and Hannah did my hair in this amazing up do! I was so chuffed, have never ever had my hair up in an up do before! We started at the Bavarian Beer Café to meet up with my friend Mel who I knew from Wantage and was now living in Brisbane with her Australian fiancé Rex. It was so so nice to see her, everyone got on well, and I’ll have to make sure I see more of Mel in the new year! We then went to Jade Buddha which is a bar with a great outdoor balcony with a view out over the river and Story Bridge then on to the Exchange to meet up with Phil who was coming home with us…the boys seem to be on good form so we left them to it! We had to wait AGES for a taxi! Phil’s persistence paid off and one turned up! It was a really good day, although I had a terrible migraine by the time I got home.

Saturday 10th to Wednesday 14th December 2011

I had a wonderful surprise when I woke up on Saturday morning…I’d got my first University module result. I’d been doing it from February to October and although I’d done really well (averaging just under a 1st for my assignments) I thought I’d done really poorly in my exam…so I was expecting that to bring my overall score down. But somehow I’d managed to get myself awarded an overall FIRST! The top grade! I was pretty shocked, it didn’t sink in for days and I still need to celebrate! It was in International Development (all about the likes of capitalism vs communism, market economies, developing the world…) and my next one starts in January (on the Environment) so I am inspired! I did have to come back down to work as I had a few days of work on the trot! A bit of a shock to the system! They were relatively short days, just 4 or 5 hours of training (was always so hungry at the end, started at 11 and didn’t always have a lunch break) although I did have my first full day on the Wednesday and met some lovely customers who I loved helping. I really like the people I work with in Brisbane, they all seem really nice and I want to do well because I want the manager to look good. I got some really bad migraines every day though, not sure if it’s the heat or something, they lingered too long for my liking! I also have a love/hate relationship with Translink, the Brisbane transport system. They have a lot of buses, meaning I can get pretty much anywhere easily in the city. But they never come when they say they’re going to come! It’s so frustrating and on Tuesday I was 5 minutes late for work because TWO buses didn’t arrive. I’ve spoken ‘nicely’ to Translink and they are investigating why they’re not following the timetable…! On Sunday I was so so homesick, I stayed up late to Skype the girls who were at Vicky’s for Christmas Dinner. I got to speak to them (was sorry I didn’t realise Lauren was there!) although I couldn’t see them. I physically missed them all day and had strange dreams in the night (Georgina, you’d bleached your hair blonde…! If you ever want to do it please speak to me first!).

Thursday 15th December 2011

I had a day off! And was very excited because my lovely Danish friends who I met in Fiji, Ann-Sofie and Victoria, were in town! I headed off to meet them at their hostel, got to where I thought they were then realised they were at another place with the same name in another part of the city! I couldn’t get hold of them as they had no phone, so I kept Facebooking them updates of my progress. It was a little distressing; I didn’t want them to think I’d stood them up! I went to a Starbucks next to where they’d get off the bus if they came into the city and told them I was going to stay there for 1 ½ hours until I heard from them. After about 20 minutes they got in touch and were still at the hostel so I told them not to move as I was coming to get them! I hopped on a bus to Fortitude Valley and eventually found them. Phew! It was GREAT to see them! They’re such lovely girls. We walked back to the city, up Queen St Mall stopping along the way to listen to the carol singing. We took a look around Treasury Casino; they’d never been in a casino before so it was an experience for them and I’d never noticed how beautiful the building was inside, a painted starry sky and beautifully decorated walls. We were very sensible and didn’t do any gambling. We walked over the river to South Bank where we had some nice lunch then headed up the steep climb to Kangaroo Point for a daytime view of the city (I was hoping Drew would take us back later in Mildred for a night time view). We got back down to the river bank and hopped on a ferry to the other side ($3.90 for a 2 minute trip! That’s a lot) to Eagle St pier then walked along the other side of the river to the City Botanical Gardens, which I’ve not been to before, they’re really nice; a tranquil haven in the city. We went back to town, got a bus back to the Valley, took a walk up up Brunswick St, had a coffee and some cake in Coffee Club then headed back home to get some warm clothes for the evening. Drew and I had a delicious stir fry cooked by Anthony (that week we had 3 dinners in a row cooked by Ants, all were awesome, thank you Ants) then Drew, Mildred and I picked the girls up to go to our favourite lookout points (as previously shown by Ants and Hannah) for some night time views of the city. First up was Mount Coo-tha (Drew’s favourite) which is REALLY high up, the CBD (Central Business District) looks really small from there. Then it was down to Kangaroo Point (my favourite) for what’s in my opinion the best city skyline of anywhere in the world (even better than the likes of Manhattan). We had a couple of beers then dropped the girls back at their hostel. It was a great day.

Friday 16th December 2011

I had a full day at work. I really enjoy talking to all the traveller’s about their trips; I get as many tips from them as they get from me! It’s an experience working there…there’s always something going on, someone amusing about…and I think it’d be a good place to pick up and Aussie boyfriend if I was looking for one! Victoria and Ann-Sofie came to meet me when I finished work and we headed back to Queen St Mall for a look around the shops. We were in luck as there was Christmas Parade happening, it was really nice! They had floats of everything you can imagine, the traditional Christmas story (complete with donkey and three kings on camels), Santa on a sleigh with dancing reindeers, Aussies BBQing on Christmas Day, it was really well put together! The shops were packed, so busy for a Friday night which is late night shopping night in the city. I didn’t shop then but I thought how cool it was that I’d be able to finish work at 7/8pm on a Friday then go shopping, city life is not so bad (although I much much much prefer home!). After shopping we got some Korean food then I had to put Ann-Sofie and Victoria on a bus back to the Valley, was so sad to see them go! Hopefully will get to catch up in Sydney J Hannah picked me up and took me home, I wasn’t feeling too well (a bit of a cold) and was all achy so got straight into bed.

Saturday 17th December 2011

I worked during the day then in the evening we all headed out to Chinatown for a Chinese meal to celebrate Tony’s (Ant’s Dad) birthday. It was me, Drew, Hannah, Ants, Maria (Ant’s Mum), Tony, Gianluca (Ant’s brother) and Ross (fruit shop colleague) and it was a delicious! Really good Chinese good, felt healthier than the Chinese food at home. We had yummy chocolate cake for pudding courtesy of Steph (Ant’s youngest sister) who was at a birthday party, as was Ant’s other sister (Dee). It was a really lovely evening, again Maria and Tony made us feel so welcome. Hannah went out with some friends after; I declined as I had a migraine again and had work the next day. I drove the boys home in Mildred (driving through the Valley on a Saturday is an experience…it’s so busy…and full of short skirts) and took her over the Story Bridge for the first time! I LOVE driving over the Story Bridge, it’s a really nice looking bridge and from it you can see the awesome Brisbane city skyline so I was especially excited to drive myself over it!

Sunday 18th December 2011

I worked in the daytime (Brisbane was full of drink people all day, we even had some Irish doing backflips in the shop!!!) then Hannah picked me up and took me home as we were going to see the Christmas Lights with Hazel and Louise! Wow, what an experience! I’ve never seen anything like it (again, am feeling very upset about the loss of my camera as got some great photos and video). These people put on an impressive show! There are competitions in cities across the country every year and the best houses are listed on a website so you can go visit. The roads outside each house were jam packed, full of cars, traffic jams everywhere! But you could see why as the lights were mind-blowing. In some neighbourhoods every house puts up lights, so we went to a few award winning streets. And we went to a huge house full of lights; you could walk all through the garden. It was all divided into different sections. There were lights that looked like a maypole over a pond that reflected the lights back up, there were angels that flew down to the maypole and danced. There was Santa on his sled with Kangaroos as reindeers, Koalas and other Australian birds in trees, there was a Santa on his sled with Reindeers in the distance that seemed to fly down then appear on the roof, it was just brilliant. And another house where the lights were set to Jungle Bells. I wish I could show you what I meant L Maybe next week between Christmas and New Year Drew will take me to the best houses again, he’s not really into it but I’d like to capture the memories on a new camera when I get it. It made me feel more Christmassy (it’s hard in the sunshine and heat!) and very lucky to have Hannah and Ants (most backpackers wouldn’t know about this sort of stuff, let alone get the opportunity to see it) but so so so homesick! I’d spoken to Dad whilst I was waiting for Hannah to pick me up, he sounded so close but was so far away and I just wanted to give him and Mum and cuddle L I’ll be better for all of these experiences though…won’t I? Love you all at home. I got to chat to my bestest Gem when I got home which was so so nice as I’d actually been having withdrawal symptoms from talking to her – miss you Gem.

Monday 19th December 2011

I worked all day again (exciting event of the day was a cockroach bothering the people using the internet…) then we went out for our Christmas do with Jo (the manager, English), Mark (Welsh), Colin (Irish) and Steph (English). I got changed at Jo’s in the Valley then we met the others at a Thai/Laos restaurant for some nice dinner. Then we went to RGs and then Downunder (first time on this trip…it’s the main backpacker bar) for some drinks. It was a really good night, did some dancing and that. But, as soon as I got out of the taxi at home I realised I didn’t have my camera. I rang all the places and the taxi company straight away, no sign of it (and I’ve rung them since and still so sign of it). I was gutted, I loved my camera and I’d lost some amazing pictures. I’m sooooo stupid, I have a laptop I could have copied them too and I didn’t, because I’d been waiting to complete a ‘Brisbane – getting organised’ album before I moved onto the ‘Brisbane Christmas’ album (my OCD coming out!). I didn’t think that I could have just put them on the computer without having to upload them to Facebook, which is what I should have done. So I’ve lost video of Jonny in the NY Marathon, video of Niagara, video of the guys sliding into the pool in Fiji and all my photos and videos of Brisbane so far (Noosa, Stradbroke, the Danish girls, the Christmas lights!). For the most part there were always other people to take the photos but I wanted mine because they’re my memories. We’ll go to Stradbroke again (but will we see dolphins, Manta Rays and turtles, and we’re unlikely to trek to the Blue Lake again!) and maybe Drew will take me to see the Christmas lights again (Drew if you’re reading this….not that you ever do…pretty please! I can’t go myself because the parking is too difficult!). We’ll definitely have to go to Noosa again because Drew didn’t take pictures there! The only satisfying thing about it is that the *u**er who nicked it (I know it could be ‘lost’…but surely someone would have handed it in by now) has a faulty camera (i.e. there was dust on the lens that needs to be fixed and you had to know how to deal with it so they didn’t show on photos) and I’ll have a newer model. It’ll serve me right for having a couple of drinks, the first time I have since being here. I don’t get how it can have happened. I wear my bag over my shoulder, with the flap on the inside. I didn’t even get it out in Downunder so it’s a mystery and I wasn’t really really drunk.

Tuesday 20th December 2011

I had a day off today! I spent the day chilling out then took myself off to the The Gabba (the Brisbane Cricket Ground) at about 6pm to watch Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash 20/20 League. Translink let me down again with 2 buses not arriving so I had to get a taxi which was probably a better option in the end because it took me straight there, avoiding the crowds at the bus station. I had a General Admission Ticket which meant I could sit anywhere so I found a good seat with a good view and settled down to watch. I really really loved it! It was such a nice atmosphere, warm and everyone was friendly (although I’m sure someone spat on me at one point, am hoping by accident! A few people got some glares!). You could drink beer in the stadium but I stuck to water and I was desperate for some of the nice chips on offer but didn’t want to lose my seat so I sat back and enjoyed. Melbourne batted first and not too many got out so I didn’t see Shane Warne who was in 10th to bat until he appeared on the big screen. He was close enough to see with my own eyes (about 100m away) and then Liz appeared on the screen (again close enough to see with my own eyes – I missed my camera though, that zoom would have been very helpful!) and everyone cheered really loudly then it went to Shane again and everyone booed (good humouredly!) and he laughed! There was a lot of good banter. Melbourne got 170 something runs then they changed over. Shane was on the field taking the occasionally go at bowling (he didn’t take much of a run up, but got a few out and helped a few get caught out?!) and he’d been wired up at the start to something he kept pressing to his ear as if he was listening to something – I didn’t have a clue what it was about until Maff just told me that they sometimes commentate during the game… He didn’t have to do too much apart from the bowling, the one time he did have a ball coming towards him he did a little run then let someone else get it, a few people chucked as he looked a bit stiff! There were some really drunk people in the crowd, one started shouting abuse at Shane but people shouted him down saying he might be playing for Melbourne but he’s still a Legend. In the end Brisbane Heat lost out by less than 10 runs. It was a great game, exciting when you know they’re chasing a target in 20 overs. I’ll go again; it was only $22 and well worth it as The Gabba is only 10 minutes down the road. They keep you entertained with interviews throughout the game, every time Brisbane did something good these flame throwers went off which although they were about 100m away I could feel the heat! I could also see two white owls flying above the stadium…and I almost got dive bombed by this horrible big brown fly that terrorised everyone around me! There was 29000 people there, and I hadn’t really thought about getting home! Drew would have come to pick me up but I was expecting the crowds and traffic to be a problem so I eventually found a free shuttle bus that I was told was stopping at Greenslopes (it was all very efficient, the free shuttles were queuing up to take people home)…only to see Greenslopes flash past! So I had to press the bell to get off at the next stop, Holland Park West, which was in the middle of nowhere! Drew came out to pick me up, Ant’s gave him directions but he didn’t bring a sat nav so he got lost! I directed him to me using the big map at the bus station but it got a bit heated at times because he was really lost! I got home about 11ish and had a nice sleep J

Wednesday 21st December 2011

I did a couple of jobs with Drew in the morning then spent the day doing the washing (have been doing a lot of washing, had a couple of disasters today, accidently put a black and white stripy top in with some darks – Mum, what do I do?! -, which also must have had some tissue in!), watching TV (Buffy, Friends, Whale Wars – standard. Kardashians don’t seem to be on though) then went out to Bulimba with Craig Davis, my lovely godmothers son who is also now living in Brisbane. We had Mexican and a catch up at a place I know (Ants has taken me there!) and it was nice to see him…really wished the other Davis and Godwin memory families could have been there! I’ll hopefully see him in the new year…think he’ll get on well with Drew.

So…that’s the start of my working/living adventure in Brisbane. I still love Brisbane as a city and am enjoying living here especially with Hannah (it’s nice living with a girl, especially one who does your hair for you!) and Anthony and his family who look after us so so well and make sure we feel part of the family. I miss home so so so so so so much though. I would never handle moving away permanently. I love you all so much and wish I was there now J

Take care everyone, have a great Christmas! I’ll update you next on our Christmas (we’re spending it in Brisbane with Anthony’s family) and New Year (Drew and I are taking Mildred to Sydney for 3 days). Remember, you can ring/text me on my UK phone and it cost you no more than usual.




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