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Published: November 19th 2011
The man welcoming you to this month's thrilling installment is no longer 'Nick on his 417 Working Holiday Visa', but rather 'Nick on his 457 Working Visa', which means Australia could be subject to me being here until 2015, potentially... But I wouldn't want to deprive England of myself for that long, or yourselves or course, so the main benefit of having my Visa granted is actually that I can continue working at the company I am with for longer than six months - peachy!
When I left you last time I was about to go along the Great Ocean Road. This was the second time I have been along it, and it was as good as I remembered; a great day out that lasted from around 9am to about 11pm by the time I got back home. I hired a car, drove down to Lorne on the coast for a spot of breakfast, then continued on to the start and onwards from there all the way down to the 12 Apostles, large rocks that were formed as the sea eroded the land over the years. The Great Ocean Road (school time!) was built by soldiers who
came back from the First World War, as war memorial to those that had died. It is the largest such memorial in the world, and as you drive it, though it has been updated obviously over the years, it is quite amazing what they achieved in building it, taking 13 years to do so. Unfortunately it is also known as the location that receives the most rain in Victoria, and the weather didn't disappoint this time round either, starting lovely and sunny then gradually getting worse until it rained at the 12 Apostles. Still, a grand day out 😊
The following weekend I jetted up to Sydney to see Tucker and also to see a friend of mine who I used to work with in London, which was a very good but very late night - the sun was just about up when I crawled into bed which I haven't done in a while and is definitely something that should be left to the younger kids! I also got a new camera that weekend as I had store credit for another item I had had to return previously. Not only did I get myself a decent camera but the
plum behind the counter also took the store credit (a respectable $500) off the price twice, meaning I got around a third off everything. Now, normally I am an honest guy, but really, $500 off?! I kept my mouth shut I am afraid to say... Still, my conscious was appeased by the fact that there were two of them ringing up the sale, so I don't think the one chap could be held responsible on his own...
Once back in Melbourne I put my new macro lens to good use by taking pictures of very boring everyday objects in extreme close up. Quite fun to do for a while, but I must get out to the Botannical Gardens when the weather is a bit more reasonable. In the meantime there is some kind of plant picture attached, and one of a couple of flies that were on my balcony, not very in focus admittedly. They are shagging. Sorry about that.
Early November saw the end of a week long series of horse races that Melbourne host, including Melbourne Cup Day which is so big it is a public holiday. Now I'm not really into horse racing, however when
my house mates told me they were going to one of the days with lots of their friends, called Stakes Day, and we would be starting it with a BBQ breakfast with beers, I could hardly argue. As Borat would say, Wa-wa-wee-wa! The day was extremely hot, so once I had slapt my bonce with factor 50 I watched someone else cook my breakfast and revelled in a beer or two. At the racecourse we also met up with my friend John and proceeded to place a few very poor bets. It looked like my luck wasn't in. John and I then met up with a guy from my work (Stephen) and his girlfriend, and we found a nice shady bar safe from the betting stands. However, I must have done something good for karma that week, as we decided on a collective bet on the last race, with Stephen's girlfriend studying the form almost as hard as I studied my beer intake. She placed the bet, the race ran, and just like that our two horses came in and we won a cool $350 each - sweet! Therefore the only thing to do was to put some of the
money to good use by all going to dinner and having an evening out. Who said horse races were dull?!
Right... that's quite enough for now. I have to go and sort my washing as I am off to New Zealand tomorrow morning for the week for work. Unfortunately I am only there until Friday and have lots to do, but hopefully there will be other trips were I get to see a little of the place rather than hotel rooms!
Hope you are all well,
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