Houston, we have lift-off!

I'm finally up and running on broadband again. It wasn't straightforward though. I went back to 3 on Monday with all the necessary I.D. They spoke to their accounts department and explained my situation. In the end the accounts department just needed some proof of recent income. So I had to go to the Carina Leagues Club (henceforth known as "my club") to use their internet room, which has a free printing service when you purchase the internet card, and print off proof of my income from contracting over the last few months. I took the paperwork back to 3 and eventually, late Monday, I got a phone call from them to say their accounts department had accepted me. Thank god!

I took the new broadband data card home Monday evening and of course - it didn't work.

I rang their technical support line who told me I had to wait 24 hours for the service to be activated. So I waited and tried again late Tuesday.

Come Tuesday it still wasn't working so I rang them again. They told me that the web surfing package had not been activated on my account, they would activate it now but I'd have to wait between 4 and 24 hours before I could use it. So I waited again.

I kept trying all morning and nothing. I rang them up this afternoon and would you believe it, just as I started talking to them I got a blue flashing light on my data card to show their was a network available.

I'm all up and running now, finally, and what's more I'm getting a decent speed - nearly 1Mb. I've also got a 2Gb allowance which is twice what I had with Telstra although not nearly enough for me to download music, podcasts, or movies; or watch Liverpool FC matches streamed on Liverpoolfc.tv, or even use Skype with my webcam, etc. I could, but that would eat up my allowance in less than a week.

Funnily enough, at just about the same time as my mobile broadband started working, so did my landline. We're now up and running on a home phone number so will be calling home over the next few days (we promise not to call in the middle of the night, honest!).

I've just had a call from a recruitment consultant who told me he's working on setting me up an interview with a large security consultant, possibly next week. It doesn't sound like they're recruiting at the moment but he said they were interested in my CV. It could be one of those where they set me on on the basis that I go out and win some business for them.

On Monday we got ourselves enrolled for Medicare. Hopefully, when I'm working full-time we'll be able to top this up with private medical insurance. I still need to read up on how it all works but from what I understand we use our Medicare card to claim back a percentage of any medical fees incurred. Medicare covers 75% of the schedule fee for in-hospital services, 85% of the schedule fee for out-of-hospital services, and 100% of the schedule fee for out of hospital GP attendance items. However, the schedule fee is a fee for service set by the Australian Government and not necessarily what the doctors may charge. A lot of people have private medical insurance here to cover the remaining fees. In fact, the federal government penalises those that haven't. According to a government website:

Lifetime Health Cover is essentially a financial penalty imposed on people over the age of 31 who do not have hospital cover. If a person does not have hospital cover on 1 July following their 31st birthday and decides to take out hospital cover later in life, they will pay a loading of 2% on top of the base premium for every 1st July that has occurred since their 31st birthday.

It looks like it's going to be a bit more expensive for me.

By the way, the heavens have truly opened on Brisbane. It started pelting it down late yesterday afternoon and it hasn't stopped raining since - 24 hours of non-stop rain. The locals are loving it as there has been a drought here for months. I can't say we share their joy.