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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.

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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.

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