The first day of winter

It’s officially the first day of winter here today. You wouldn’t know it. It’s a bit weird actually. All the clothes shops are stocking jumpers and other winter clothes and yet it’s 25 degrees outside!

We’ve spent the last couple of days getting into the ozzie lifestyle. We had Kangaroo steak for dinner last night. Very nice indeed. A bit like beef. It’s red meat but apparently it’s extremely lean and quite good for you. There are 53 million Kangaroos in Australia and there’s a debate about whether or not they should be culled back so there’s no qualms here about eating roo. We also had a look around yesterday at a few barbies – you can’t live in Australia and not have a BBQ in your back yard! You ought to see the size of some of them; you could feed a ship’s company! We’re debating whether or not to get a cheap one now to tide us over or wait until I get a job and buy a decent one. I suppose we can wait, after all, there’s a shared barbeque in our complex that we can use, next to the pool, and there’s public barbeques all over the place – down by South Bank, by the river, and in most of the parks.

Talking about parks, we had a walk around the parkland near our house yesterday afternoon. It’s quite beautiful. There’s a nice walk around a large lake in the middle (although the lake is mostly empty due to the drought), and there’s lots of off-shoots to picnic, BBQ and children’s play areas. It’s going to be my local jogging spot starting today. Yes, me, jogging! Rach is starting a Body Pump class tomorrow (Saturday) down at one of the many fitness centres here.

Nothing going work-wise for me yet. I did get one phone call from an agency asking me if I’d be interested in a contract, but unfortunately it was in Sydney. I don’t really fancy the 1200 mile round-trip commute! Most of the jobs I’m seeing are in Sydney. There’s also a lot in Melbourne and Canberra. Melbourne and Canberra are quite cold this time of the year, and Canberra is inland – too far from the beach for my liking. Actually, you get to realise the vast size of Australia when you look at the temperatures. Yesterday, it was 12 degrees in Canberra (South East), whereas it was 33 degrees in Darwin (North).

Rach has been given some work. A friend of Cath’s has offered her some casual cash-in-hand work helping set up for weddings. She’s got a few hours on Saturday so at least there’s some money coming in. Myself and Lauren are going to have a look for a car while Rach is working.

The daylight hours here are taking a bit of getting used to. At the moment it’s dark by 5:30, and it gets dark really quickly – not much of a twilight to speak of. From the minute it starts to go dark it’s pitch black in less than 15 minutes. And then the sun is up and shining again about 5 in the morning. The only problem is that as soon as the sun is up, so are the birds - at 4:30am. You wouldn’t believe the sound of the birds here, it’s like living in a tropical aviary! In the UK I used to go to bed about midnight and get up between 7 and 8am. There’s no chance of that here. There’s a reason why everyone gets up at the crack of dawn and goes to bed at 9:30.

I’m still really peeved about this broadband business. I’ve only had it a few days and I’ve already used 150Mb. That’s just general internet use, without multimedia or downloading. There was a number of podcasts I used to download in the UK which I wanted to continue to subscribe to here but there’s no chance at the moment, it would take up all my allowance.

We were supposed to have our landline connected yesterday but it’s not working. I’m waiting for the phone company to get back to me to tell me why it’s not working. Technology doesn’t seem to work very well over here.

The TV is also doing my head in. I can’t wait until we get Foxtel (Sky) so we can forward through the adverts. They have adverts every 10 minutes here. Honestly, in a 30 minute programme there’s 3 lots of adverts, it’s ridiculous. I used to moan about the licence fee in the UK but now I say god bless the BBC.

It looks like I’m going to miss the England v Brazil match. It’s not being shown on any of the terrestrial channels here and my last attempt at finding somewhere in the city to watch it at 5am wasn’t very successful.

These are only little things in the scheme of things though. We’re here for a change of lifestyle so I’m secretly quite pleased that we’re being forced to watch less telly and use the Internet less. I’m adapting quite well I think. Although I’m not going to be able to live without the footy for too long.