Life is Ticking Along

All is quiet in the Haines Brisbane residence at the moment. We haven't been doing much lately as we're saving our money for when my parents come over at the end of March for 4 weeks, in which time we're planning on a week up on the Great Barrier Reef.

Besides that, the weather here is still crap. The locals are describing it as one of the best summers in years - mild with loads of rain. This may seem strange to us poms but knowing how hot it can get here in the summer I can understand the appreciation of a reprieve. The combined dam levels are currently at a whopping 37%, and if they reach 40% there is talk of a lowering of the water restrictions. A couple of weeks ago we had 110mm of rain in less than an hour, resulting in large areas of flooding and even one death - a local teenager tried to surf the flash flood and got his ankle stuck in a drain and subsequently drowned. Apparently it's going to get really hot again in March and we're in for a mild Winter. It only usually gets as low as 18 degrees C here during the day in the Winter anyway so I'm not sure what they mean by mild!

If I'm not depressed enough by the rain then I can always count on my beloved Liverpool FC to depress me even more. What the hell is going on with that team? How can we get knocked out of the FA Cup by Barnsley? The Rafalution is well and truly over. Benitez, you have to go.

On the work front I'm back and forth to Sydney every week at the moment. I don't mind it so much though because I'm clocking up loads of air miles! In fact, I'm trying to get much savvier with my finances. I always fly with Virgin Blue for which I get velocity points (air miles). And to add to this I've now got a credit card for which I get velocity points on purchases. So I now use the credit card for all purchases and set the balance to be paid off in full each month. The NAB (National Australia Bank) credit card comes with two credit cards on the same account - 1 Visa and 1 American Express - and I get double the points if I use the American Express.

It's working out pretty well because using the BPAY system in Australia I can pay most of my household bills using the credit card as well. I've set the maximum balance of the credit card to be roughly the same as my monthly income to counter the risk of not being able to pay off the monthly balance. At the moment I've earned enough velocity points to buy half a tennis racket. So if all goes well I should be able to clock up enough air miles to make it back to the UK roughly some time in 2025!