RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Day 21 “Preparing to Travel” (Wednesday 27th April 2013)

This morning I woke up and didn’t have any plans however as I was due to go travelling soon I thought that I would prepare myself at little. Firstly I wanted to test the cables for my tablet checking if I could uploads pictures/ videos directly to it from my phone (I already knew pictures from my camera to the tablet worked so I was hopeful for my phone working) and I also wanted to store some pictures I’ve taken here on my tablet. Then I planned to back up the photos on my phone and wipe the camera roll so I could get to my Australia photos quickly and easily distinguish them. Finally I hoped to get my Dropbox in order so I could send photos home and have a backup.

If technology allowed me to do everything I wanted then the jobs listed above would have taken less than a couple of hours, however it didn’t and I was pretty much sorting out things all day and what’s worse is one job lead me to another so I wasn’t really ever getting anywhere! I started with all the cables for my tablet and discovered that although I could get the photos off my camera and onto the tablet that videos wouldn’t copy over! After a long search I realised a paid app could help but this annoyed me so I looked for something else but it didn’t exist so I went to buy it but the price was in Australia Dollars and I wanted it in pounds but that was a palaver to change and in the end I didn’t buy it but may need to during my travels. The next annoyance is that iPhone wouldn’t let me access on it when connected to the tablet in fact all it did was steal the Nexus 7’s power to charge itself!

Pictures from computer to tablet

Another problem I faced was upon using the computer as the middle man to access the photos on my phone I realised it was an all going to be easier as an all or nothing procedure so once copied off I decided to sort them because I had close to 1800 pictures and videos. I also then realised I should have deleted the as they were copied off as iTunes isn’t the best at allowing you to do this or even to upload photos to the phone! After a long time of sorting the photos I wanted to put the albums I had made back on the phone but clear the camera roll, however this turned into an effort when sync’ing with the new albums couldn’t delete the camera roll but instead the album I had created in England when I first got my phone! Finally I realised I could use Dropbox to help upload and windows explorer to delete the camera pictures that I had now backed up… But the realisation only came after many Google searches and programs installed on the PC which didn’t end up helping! Oh and another thing, upon putting the photos back on the iPhone in albums some of the videos weren’t uploading because they were MP4’s however I had taken them off the very phone I wanted to put them back on… I tried to sort this but it wasn’t working and time had got on even though I had only taken a few breaks to eat etc, it was actually bedtime so I’d have to sort that tomorrow.

Today I had also written some of my diary and played about with my emails and Facebook so although not the most productive day I was starting to prepare things/ get up-to-date so I was ready to travel. (Best to learn now that my cables won’t do everything I need now, rather than in the middle of no where without the internet to solve the problem!) I would try and sort the rest of the things tomorrow as well as get the diary to a day by day activity before I went to Phillip Island which I was doing this Easter weekend coming! One final thing to note for the day was that meat pie and mash was for dinner and because Dad doesn’t like gravy and pastry I had never tried it, but when I did, like many of Avril’s meals I loved it! ūüôā

Day 20 “Shopping Trip” (Tuesday 26th March 2013)

Today Avril needed to go to Doncaster shopping centre which was a Westfield just like some of our shopping places back home eg. Bluewater, to pick up a present for her friends birthday. This would also give me an opportunity to pick up a present for Peter who’s birthday was this coming Friday.

As we arrived at the shopping centre and Avril showed me a chocolate shop just inside the door, it sold the most amazing chocolates, for while to dark and melted to would, they even sold shots and drinks using their liquid chocolate as well as sweet pizzas! We then went to the cinema kiosk to pick up some gold tickets for Avrils Friend, these tickets are above the premium class and include an electric armchair each, but they can cost up to $39 (£27 ish) or about $25 on a tight arse Tuesday.

After this we went downstairs to the shopping centre and it struck me of how big it was and I said I wanted to get Peter a motion sensor for the bathroom back home and Avril lead me to a shop that might sell them called ‘The Big W’ but it was more like our Primark so I only managed to get a birthday card and Avril got some Easter chocolate. The next shop we tried called ‘Target’ was the same so Avril suggested trying a specific lighting shop on the way home but while we were at Doncaster centre we went looking for Brave on DVD for Avril to give Peter for his Birthday and it wasn’t in ‘The Big W’ and only on double play (DVD and Blu-Ray) so was loads of money. We headed to ‘JB hi-fi’ similar to out HMV and found the DVD and also brought a twin pair of phones and Avrils phone at home wasn’t working to well. The last shop we went to was clothes shop that sold Havana thongs (flip flops) the most popular brand here but they didn’t have my size in stock so I’ll have to look online.

As we headed home we stopped at Woolworths a supermarket for some food and I had another check for motion sensor bulbs but to no avail. The final stop we made was back in Diamond Creek at ‘Mitre 10’ a DIY shop and I got a sensor light there (however it turned out to only be a sensor! Ooops!) When we got home I just chilled on my tablet before Avril said she was going out tonight with some of the women around the neighbourhood so Peter would be cooking some snags (sausages) and fried potatoes so I prepared a quick salad as it was all coming together and Avril had left. We then watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and had some Fox’s fruits. Avril came home towards the end of the film and watched some with us before calling it a night and 10 minutes later when it had finished Peter and I went to bed too.

Day 9 “Hard Work” (Friday 15th March 2013)

As the alarm went off at 6:20am it reminded me of my previous job (which I started early at too) and wished I could have an extra hour in bed! Avril was also up to go to work and gave me a wake up call, so I got out of bed and threw some old clothes on, packed up a lunch which Avril helped me put together as she had a lunch box, ice bag and ice pack. (I was taking a ham, cheese and¬†lettuce¬†sandwich¬†with a packet of¬†crisps¬†that I brought from England- chili heat wave¬†Doritos, a tin of tuna and 4 bottles of water because the temperature was expected to be into the 30’s today) I also had a few Weet bix (very similar to weetabix in England) to give me the energy I would need today,¬†put on some all day sun cream but took the bottle just in case¬†and went outside to wait for Mick to pick me up, but as its quite cold at that time of day, especially in shorts and a t-shirt ready for the hot weather, I started to walk down the road and ended up getting quite far before Mick… Drove right past, apparently he didn’t see me standing in the road with my red top on and thumb out because he was looking at some vans/ trucks leaving for work, so I then turned around and walked back to Avril’s, who was now standing outside with Mick wondering where I was, well at least it warmed me up a little bit.

Once we arrived, Paul was just turning up too, so the ‘fun’ was about to begin and just after 7am we started to take down the poorly built wall. Due to the cement the previous person had used, it was far harder than we thought and I was hammering, banging, shaking as well as chipping away at what I could with Mick and Paul doing the same (although¬†admittedly¬†doing a better job than me!) We hammered for about an hour and a half before deciding we had knocked down enough of the wall and the rest could be¬†tidied¬†up with a special tool that Mick went to get, (it basically chips away cement to tidy the wall up rather than having to knock them all out) but already I could feel¬†some sweat on my head, I have never done this much¬†physical¬†work and the day had only just begun. My next job was to gather some rocks for Paul and Mick… it just so happened that there were two piles of rocks in opposite¬†directions¬†about 20 meters away from where we needed them and they were all pretty big and therefore heavy. I brought back stones I could manage and loaded up the wheelbarrow for other bigger ones, it was then I¬†learnt¬†my first trick of the trade, walls need a smooth face to put on the front and because they had naturally dug rock I had to go searching for the perfect stones.

After a while I got my eye in and I was bring back some good rocks, but even when I coulndn’t find a good stone or they were to heavy I’d bring something¬†else¬†back instead… I was “economising” – doing that journey without something in my hand seemed redundant and Avril’s advise was always look for things to do before being asked so I always wanted to have something in my hand. After working til around 10am we stopped for a quick bite to eat and I ate most my lunch thinking we were half way through the day… boy was I wrong, however all morning and¬†throughout¬†the rest of the day we had had mini breaks and a real good laugh together, Paul was such a nice bloke and Mick is also a great laugh so the 3 of us were giggling all day in fact at one point Paul said I should be a¬†comedian. Back we went to work after the break and I was now making cement/ muck after Paul showed me how, it took me a few batches to near perfect it by I wasn’t to bad, even if I do say so myself, although some of the time when I got it wrong it was too runny so I got loads down my clothes, on my shoes and on the floor. By now the sun was fully out and it was turning in to a pretty warm day, so I top up with sun cream just in case and continue working and economising¬†where possible, not only was I making the muck but also using the wheelbarrow to bring it round to the boys; it must have been close to 60 meters away and I full wheelbarrow isn’t light (and nor is an empty one for that matter) once at the lads I was then shoveling it out onto a board I had found. The wheelbarrow could be filled twice from 1 cement mixer load so imagine how heavy that was to turn out the¬†contents¬†and turn back, plus all the other walking/ carrying/ unloading I was doing and with the midday sun I really started to sweat, at times I could even see it dripping off my head… this is the first time I’ve worked so hard I had sweat literally running off my face but then again the sun cream probably¬†aided¬†that. After a few cement loads and a couple of loads of rocks¬†in between¬†we stopped for lunch… Yeah I know it meant more work after that too… no one works this long and hard do they?! Apparently so!

As I finished the last¬†remnants¬†of my lunch, we again all sat in the owner of the wall’s, half built house, talking and having a joke, which was really good¬†because¬†it was only the second time I had met Paul but he made me feel welcome, in fact at one point during the¬†afternoon¬†he said that I was doing¬†better¬†than he thought and if I had of been rubbish that would have been Mick¬†responsible for looking after me. He also said if he had put and advert in a paper for a laborer with¬†experience¬†he’d be luck to get someone as good as me, both of these were really good to hear and¬†definitely¬†made me feel part of the team. As we headed into the final leg of the day the wall had made slow but steady progress, taking it down had taken longer than originally planned but me being Mick’s legs was at least helping a bit, however we may now need to work 3 days rather than the originally planned 2. When the owner came to check out the wall we were offered beer, coke or water, also apparently Paul was offered a beer at 9am by her as well (I was getting rock so I didn’t see) no wonder everyone gets drunk here. (also explains the booze bus that parks on a road and with police aid summons in cars to check if they are over the limit and if they are they get a seat on the bus – the fact its a bus tells you all you need to know!) The owner like what we had done so¬†far and¬†asked for an couple of meter¬†extension¬†to the wall, Paul agreed but the fact we were already behind the 2 day¬†schedule,¬†due to the tough wall and would now need more time for the extra wall that needed to be built, asked for more money which the owner agreed to. While drinking the coke we had all accepted I sang the diet coke advert music “Etta James – I Just¬†Want¬†Make Love To You” which had the others in stitches (cos in the advert a¬†woman¬†gives some hard works coke to watch them drink it) from there on in, the day just¬†consisted¬†of bring some flat faced rocks, a load or 6 of muck and economising where possible and we finished at around 5pm.

Tired, dirty and bruised after my first days laboring

Tired, dirty and bruised after my first days laboring

What a long day, I have never worked so hard or for so long in my life, I had a sense of accomplishment¬†too and the boys seemed pretty happy with my work, the owner and family all came to see the wall and paid some money to us and after discussing it with Paul and Mick I took home $200 (¬£133 ish) for my efforts, not a bad wage but tough work and now I needed to do it all again tomorrow. Covered in dirt, muck, sun cream, cuts scrapes,¬†bruises¬†and anything else on me, Mick gave me a lift back home while Paul drove himself home, as Mick and I walked in to Avril and Peters they started laughing about the state I was in and said comments like, “What have you done to him” and “Sarah (my mum) is going to kill me” but a couple of photos were taken and added to¬†Facebook¬†(along with a video of me working) for the whole world to laugh at. When Mick went home, I got in the shower (I always say ‘got in’ but as its just a room with a wet floor I kind of just went to the shower room) and had a nice relaxing long shower but still managed to come out slightly dirty but I blame that on the blisters I had on one hand (I got them pretty early on in the day as Mick only had one spare glove so the other hand was getting cut up/ blistered – I even had cramp in my hands pretty much all day too, making clasping painful. Anyways, after a while I did find a full pair of gloves and wore them for the rest of the day,¬†however with the cramp and the fact they had got worse as the day went on, I struggled to squeeze my hand together, meaning getting shampoo/ shower gel out the bottle was quite hard) which were stinging and meant I couldn’t rub the dirt off as¬†easily. (then again the dirt I thought I was seeing could just have been more¬†bruises¬†cos I had somehow got covered in them!)

As I had had a long and tiring day, a takeaway was suggested and I picked¬†Chinese, saying I’d pay for it but there was no chow¬†mein¬†that I could see on the menu and no¬†chicken balls either¬†¬†so I got a chicken curry (yes I know¬†that’s¬†more¬†Indian!) Peter a beef dish and Avril chicken strips in a lemon crisp, we also ordered extras: 4 spring rolls and 2 prawn toast and just like our orders because we had ordered so much we got free prawn¬†crackers. (which were an orangey/ pink colour like a prawn and tasted a little¬†stronger¬†than ours) As Peter and I went to collect the food (only about 10-15 minutes after we ordered,¬†bearing¬†in mind this was a Friday night, so I thought that was quick and Peter¬†explained¬†that’s¬†about normal for any day) I again adamantly said¬†I was paying for it but Peter went into the shop without taking my money so I hid the $100 (¬£66 ish)¬†in Avril’s e-cigarette (which she¬†occasionally¬†uses but has really tackled this no smoking lark cold turkey – Just ran out one day and hasn’t brought anymore) knowing she’d find it at some point.

Dinner was really nice, I tried and quite liked Peters beef dish and the chicken Avril had wasn’t bad either, but my chicken curry was the best in my opinion. Both Avril and Peter had the prawn toast as I’m not that keen on prawn and we all had a spring roll, this meant there was a spare one and I also noticed the last of the chocolate cake I brought on my second day in Australia that I could take for my packed lunch tomorrow… Yes I was working on the weekend, so not long after¬†eating the Chinese (of which plenty was left over should anyone want it tomorrow)¬†I took my exhausted¬†self off to bed ready for¬†another hard day ahead tomorrow.

Day 8 “Workout” (Thursday 14th March 2013)

Today I woke up and had arranged to go to the gym with Mick who could work today, but was able to workout his¬†upper¬†body at the gym. Back in England I had been going to the gym to lose weight before my trip and I was¬†interested¬†in joining a gym out here to help maintain my shape. As I waited for Mick I couldn’t help think I could have walker there quicker bit when he did eventually turn up he drove us to the gym just out of town.

PHOTO

Inside we spoke to Emily who said I could train for free today to try the equipment out and then come back to discuss prices. This first thing that stuck me was the size, I was used to my cousin Alex’s gym and the friendly nature of people, this one just looked big and¬†daunting¬†but I got on a¬†cross trainer and gave it a test… It was different and I quite liked it but that was just my warm up and now I wanted to find similar equipment to what I was used to back home. As I started on my leg press, I gave Mick a quick flash accidentally as he was teaching me how to use it¬†and didn’t like the set up or the way people watched the weight I was putting on. I also did some¬†dumbbells¬†and found my usual weight really hard to pick up because the chickenpox I contracted a nine days before leaving meant I hadn’t trained for about a month. Next I did some lunges and step ups but was too scared to use other things in the gym just because of the clicky nature of it. However the good thing about the membership is that it includes a swimming pool, spa ¬†and¬†sauna, so while Mick when to use the sauna¬†I finished on the bike, which had a nice big seat but I found the pedals to be a bit far back and really¬†struggled¬†to maintain the speeds I had done at Alex’s gym… As the 30 minute mark was passed on the bike, Mick returned and we went back downstairs to speak to Emily about the fees. I was shocked to see the prices- They wanted $200 reduced down to $50 for me to join and then I had to pay $25 a week, I also explained I would be going travelling and may need to pay month by month but they wouldn’t accept cash because the money had to be debited each week. (I didn’t have an Australia bank account for the direct debt yet either) The other bad news it the membership can only be¬†suspended¬†for 6 weeks (at a cost of $5 a week) and after that I would have to join again and pay those fees again, plus the membership was only valid at this gym as there were no other branches across Australia.

After deciding the gym may not be for me while I’m out here, (hopefully backpacking will keep me fit) Mick and I decided to go for some lunch and after a quick call Mick also invited Paul (a Geordie lad – who like mick was a¬†laborer and they had been¬†introduced¬†by¬†Avril s¬†Friend’s Friend) so we swung around to pick him up… After he got in the car I struggled a little with the accent but he was saying that we should go and look at a job Paul has been offered. When we arrived at the road in Plenty there was a badly build wall staring us in the face and Paul said he had handed out a few cards and left them at bars etc and someone had rung up because they wanted this bad wall taken down and a better one built so Paul was asking Mick if he could help but¬†obviously¬†with a bit of a¬†dodgy¬†foot, he was hesitant. Back on with the original plan of something to eat we headed off and Mick mulled it over in a little pub in Diamond Creek (which also had a pokie in – the games room I spoke about earlier) while we had little basket meals (Chicken pops and chips for me and pie and chips for the other two) and a schooner.¬†(not sure they served pints here?!)

After the meal Mick asked if I would help out at work as his feet were still causing pain but he wanted to help Paul so the idea was I’d be Mick’s legs, at first I thought it was a joke, in fact¬†second¬†third and fourth time I still thought it was a joke but as Mick dropped me off he said along the lines of “I’ll see you here tomorrow bright and early, 6:45am, don’t be late!” and I could hear Paul saying to Mick, “He doesn’t believe you” but he then said to me, “We need you Jack” so I realised I wasn’t having my leg pulled…¬†laboring¬†tomorrow then, who would have thought it… Thank god I’ve been going to the gym! Back home I was about to start the change over of number so I had to send a few last minute England text messages and then Peter helped me set up a profile on the computer and then back up my phone on¬†iTunes, which didn’t take too long¬†thankful. I then put in my new sim and registered it, I was¬†beginning¬†to feel like a local now, got my own phone and getting myself a bank account. (I’ll be speaking like them next!)

For dinner this evening we had Lamb chops that Peter cooked on the¬†barbecue with mash and¬†vegetables, which wouldn’t be a meal I’d eat back in England, but when I tried the lamb here I loved it and the packet of frozen¬†vegetables¬†we had with it was cool because it seemed to only have the veggie I liked in the bag: Broccoli, sweetcorn, peas and carrots. Another great meal I might say here all year long, its been so nice coming out here to family. Peter and Avril just relaxed while I played around on¬†Facebook¬†and whatsapp’d my friends to let them know I’d changed my number over. It then dawned on me that I would still like an¬†English¬†number in case people text the wrong number or don’t know I’ve changed, so Avril dug out a phone she had brought in England last year when she was over with Hollie and Harry for Neale and Jenny’s wedding¬†(it was at that wedding when I spoke to Avril and Hollie about Australia and realised it was possible so the ball started rolling) however the phone was locked to virgin and I wanted to use the O2 sim so while Avril and Peter went to bed, I spend the late evening, heading into the early hours of the morning trying to unlock it but the only solution I found was to paying a random company on the internet to do it for about ¬£3 to 5 (but I was¬†skeptical about doing that as I thought they’d take the money and run) or Virgin would do it for¬†¬£15 (but¬†that’s¬†more than the phone is worth!) so in the end I decided¬†I’ll get my parents to send over my old phone when they send me some other bits and bobs. Now realising the time was heading to 1am I thought it best to get to sleep ready for a hard days work ahead.

Day 19 “Show Home Village” (Monday 25th March 2013)

When I woke up quite late again compared to everyone else who had heard Harry I found out that Hollie, Harry and Avril were going to look at show homes today so I decided to tag along leaving Peter to stay home and work.

The place we went to is a big area of display homes in one place… Making a kind of village or model street of real houses you can buy and then have build on a plot of land. There was also more than one company there but each one made you walk through their sales area so they could check what you were after, help you buy/ find the right place to build (which always took a little while, especially when they don’t stop talking which happened in one place) and it also kept you fenced in so you couldn’t just pop in and out of any house only the houses for that company.

We looked at quite a few different homes having one little break for Harry to play on a slide in a kind of mini park (also on this show home village street) and the one thing that stood out most to me was the big size of the homes, even the ones Australians coincided small, however the majority were bungalows which does make a difference I suppose. While looking around each house, Harry was watching cartoons but because we were there quite a while he did get bored of them, in one particular place I mentioned earlier this man was being really helpful but just wouldn’t stop talking so I took Harry away to play on the slide again, while Hollie and Avril finished up because then we would be leaving. However Harry banged his head on the slide and needed Mum who by now was on her way, as she calmed Harry down it was evident he was getting tired and we would need to go but it was still a few minutes before Avril escaped the talkative man.

Hollie and Harry then headed home while Avril and I went to check out some plots of land in TOWN, Avril drove to the information desk first as the talkative man had said (he’d also rang up to check a few things with them) and we picked up some details from a slightly clueless assistant (In her defence someone else was meant to help us but had popped out and didn’t know when she’d be back) before heading out to check the plots of land. The first one we went to look at didn’t have a road that we could find so instead Avril drove to the next ones, one of which looked good but said it was sold and the other which wasn’t too good as it had a 2 story house behind who could always look in mean Avril and Peter would have less privacy. A little tired and no closer to finding a plot we headed back home.

Avril was going out tonight so Peter and I would have to fend for ourselves this meant we would have sausages (or snages as I’ve heard the Ozzies say) and chopped fried potatoes. When Avril left Peter began cooking on the sausages on the BBQ and potatoes in the kitchen, who knew he could cook as well. As it was all coming together I prepared the salad and then we decided to watch a film (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) while we ate dinner, we also had some English sweets “Fox Clear Fruits” to enjoy with the film. About half way through Avril came home and started to watch with us but was too tired to make it to the end so went to bed and Peter and I finished watching it- its not a bad film… I had heard bad things but personally I quite enjoyed it. After it ended Peter stayed up reading for a little bit while I went to bed to write some of my diary before turning the light out and going to sleep.

Day 18 “Lazy Day” (Sunday 24th March 2013)

I woke up at Micks again and with nothing to disturb me and after the late night I had I didn’t stir until around 11:30 and found myself in an empty home apart from the pet cat and dog. Mick was just picking up Paul to come back here and then they were then going to the gym, Alex was at work and Natalie had gone home in the night as she couldn’t sleep at Mick and Alex’s place. (probs cos she was on the sofa and I had the bed but again I did try and offer it to Natalie numerous times!) When Mick and Paul came in briefly I decided to leave when they went to the gym, but not before getting the cat in that I let go outside… Ooops silly me for not knowing a cat can’t leave the house! (Still it makes a change than letting them poo in other peoples gardens!)

Once back home I saw Hollie and her FRIENDS, who had completed a 5k run to raise money for baby William who only has half a heart… The target was $500 but the money raised was about $3800, so they had done really well. Also Anth, Harry and Peter were home so it made for another busy day in the Bristow house. When everyone apart from me, Avril and Peter left around 1:30pm, I was planning on having a lazy day, hoping once and for all to conquer my remaining emails and write some more diary. I had sent the emails I needed to and was just writing this diary which means I’m now back up to date with all texts, emails and Facebook notifications… Just need to get level on the diary. But only a couple of hours after she left, I heard Hollie’s voice at the door, she had come back to spend the night at Avrils with Harry, while woody went home to have a decent nights sleep ready for an early start on the farm Monday morning. (Went Hollie, Anth and Harry had left earlier I thought it was to go home but they had been at a christening)

The rest of the afternoon went by quite quickly as I was chatting to Hollie and entertaining Harrison and Peter suggested fish and chips for dinner. This would give me a chance to try flake or in other words shark (None of the standard cod or Pollock in Oz) so Petter ordered it grilled and fried, turns out I liked the grilled flake more but both are a nice flavour and not to fishy tasting for me. Peter also order DUMPLINGS steamed and fried they tasted like dumplings to me and this time fried was better! Something else pretty cool about the meal was potato cakes, which are similar to, but broke up the repetition of chips. (Not to be confused with the Australian for chips, which cam also means crisps) After dinner Harry went to bed, I just relaxed on the sofa and Skyped my friend Luke, (it had snowed over night where he lived in Essex, England and we are getting temperatures in the mid 20’s everyday) Avril and Hollie were checking out some homes on the internet and Peter was busy working on his laptop. As the evening got later we all decided to go to bed, but I stayed awake for a little while to write some more diary.

Turns out there is no such thing as a lazy day around here, something is usually happening here, even when they aren’t any plans! ūüôā

Day 7 “Getting Sorted” (Wednesday 13th March 2013)

Today I had no special plans, so that gave me a chance to get an Aussie number sorted using the sim I had bought on the weekend, (which meant getting O2 to unlock my phone) sort out my bank account, look into car insurance so I can drive while out here, look at any course I could do (ie. Responsible serving of alcohol – RSA) to aid me getting a job out here and finally catch up with some friends/ family back in England.

Firstly Avril rang their insurance company and added me to their policies, I asked how much I owed but not for the first time I wasn’t told because Avril was paying. Next we started to look online at courses ranging from RSA, RSF, (responsible serving of food) to bistro and also gaming¬†licence¬†(which doesn’t mean I can become a professional gamer but rather serve alcohol in a bar that has a mini fruit machine room – I guess like an 18+ arcade/ mini casino back in the UK only they are far more common here) but the courses were $80 (¬£53 ish) each and valid all across Australia except New South Wales and Queensland – which is where I plan to do most of my travel so it wouldn’t help me get a job along the way. I spend a while reading and looking around various websites, I was also trying to find out if the courses could be valid in the other 2 states but the lady Avril spoke to about the Victoria courses tended to think I would need to do a free bridging courses similar to what Queensland and New South Wales trainees have to do when going to the other states. For now I decided not to book any courses but it is something I plan to continue thinking about because it appears that the RSA is a legal requirement to get a job in a bar.

After googling the courses, I went to O2’s website and filled out a mobile unlocking form, which turns out is free for my phone and because I’m a pay monthly customer, but says can take up to 10 days. It almost took that to get the form sent through to O2 due to the various site maintenance issues, iPad and then internet explorer compatibility issues and the website loading the wrong form to fill in, but it did eventually send using a proper PC on chrome browser, however the confirmation that said they had received my form, mentioned that the process can take up to 28 days! Next Avril took me to the local bank to activate an account, it took a little while to sort out but I am from the UK and had to show my visa and passport so I can understand… The better news was there weren’t any forms to fill out but the bad news was that Australians have fees on there accounts, mine is $4 (¬£1.33 ish( a month for the ‘privilege’ of them looking after my money! Also I have to use my banks cash points or I face more charges, even asking for money in branch costs a couple of dollars!¬†We then headed back home and I began to message a few of my friends before catching up, updating and commenting on Facebook. In this time I¬†discovered Roger had come through his operation and we spoke/ he sent pictures on Facebook, it all still looked pretty saw and it was evident Roger hadn’t had¬†much¬†sleep but it was nice to type a few messages and we agreed to¬†Skype¬†later that day. I also¬†found¬†out that Mick had broken his toe today at work and could hardly walk let alone work, he was maybe¬†going¬†to come round for dinner but¬†didn’t¬†because he couldn’t drive.

Preparing Dinner

After that I found myself helping out with dinner… I had to shred the rest of yesterdays chicken, cut up some vegetables and grate some cheese because Avril was going to make a chicken carbonara. Being the fussy and sometimes perfectionist that I am I didn’t want any chewy/ fatty bits of meat so¬†shredding¬†the chicken took a while but I got a lot off and it was all the best bits. Then Avril turned the ingredients into a meal but she must of added some love too because it was absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to have it again! (Who says Avril can’t cook! I’m starting to think it’s an excuse as she doesn’t want to rather than she can’t!) After dinner I went¬†back to the PC to check¬†Facebook. Skype Roger (It was great to see my brother and provide a bit of support for him despite being on the other side of the world)¬†and start on this diary but ended up there until about 2am, oops! However just as I was going to bed O2 emailed me (at first I wondered why they had emailed so late then realised it was England’s afternoon, due to the time difference) and said my phone had successfully been unlocked, this was so much earlier than I thought and had been told, so I was pretty happy however I couldn’t check out my Australian sim card until some point tomorrow because right now I needed some sleep.

At the moment I seem to be writing more each day, not less! But if I go traveling I’m sure that will change as I may not be able to get on the internet as easily or stay up as late to write it. ūüôā