Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nat In Melbourne

During a brief visit home from London, Nat popped into Melbourne for a visit, and I met up with her under the clocks at Flinders Street Station on Monday to hang out. We wandered about Federation Square and took at peek at the Yarra, before jumping on a tram and heading down to St Kilda.

We had lunch along Acland St, and grabbed some ice cream at Trampoline for a walk along the St Kilda shore. Sun shining, people swimming, water glistening - Melbourne was showing off! We then walked out and around the St Kilda Pier Kiosk.

Several beers at The Espy as the sun was setting, and Cam joined us for a catch up - the first time the three of us have hung out on home soil!

Nat and I then headed back into the city, and had a late dinner at Chocolate Buddha, overlooking the city in lights.

Yesterday, I caught up with Narelle for a beer at Transport, before tramming over to the new-to-me Docklands area, and New Quay. I met up with Nat and Michelle at Mecca Bah later, for dinner, wine and a long overdue catch up.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Two years ago

Two years ago today I was packing up life as I knew it in Australia, ready for the big adventure in Europe and London.

During my two years away, I managed to visit 20 countries, most of them completely new to me. Managed to have many amazing and unforgetable adventures (had a magical White Christmas, attended the ANZAC service in Gallipoli, hot air ballooning in Turkey, watched Australia lose and then regain The Ashes, go to Wimbledon (twice)). Managed to work in a new occupation (rehabilitation) and sector (profit). Managed to meet a host of wonderful people, and make new and lasting friendships. Managed to see countless music gigs, theatre and art in Europe.

But now it's time to get my London style lifestyle that I loved, happening in the city that I love - Melbourne! Time to get started!

I am looking forward to setting up a new place to live. Looking forward to getting into the footy again. Looking forward to hanging out with my sisters. And with all my mates here in Melbourne and Ballarat. Looking forward to getting an ace job, and working towards my Psychologist registration. Looking forward to teaching myself how to cook, or at least to enjoy cooking! Looking forward to meeting new people, and finding new cool spots in Melbourne.

Bring it!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Money For Nothing

It's been over two months now since I finished work in London, and headed home. Now that the Summer Of Tash and the cricket tour is done and dusted, it must be time to face reality...this means finding a job, somewhere to live, obtaining a car, and setting up life again. All sounds like too much work!!

I have signed up for the dreaded Newstart Allowance, and am now a slave to Centrelink so that I can get a small amount of living asistance while I search for work. And they make you work for it - I have to prove I have made contacts for eight jobs a fortnight!

I am looking for work, but am in that dilemma about whether to get a job to bring up the cash flow, or wait it out until something exciting, and something that I want to do, comes along. Of course, this is also made more difficult by the fact that I don't reall know what I think would be exciting, thus making the task of finding that amazing job just a little more tricky!!

I have had a job interview, and am looking at lining up some locum work in the meantime while I keep searching, and whilst I am waiting to hear from from jobs applied for.

How can I still have the "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up" question, when I will be 30 this year!! Very scary! The problem is, really, too many options! I want to get my Psychologist registration sorted out and completed. But what kind of psych? Will I stick with kids and families? Back to Rehab for good money? Or dabble in the forensic that I have always thought about?? Too many options!

In the meantime, I am reading lots, doing odd jobs that I haven't done for years (I still have my photos from Cambodia to put in an album!!), watching the tennis and cricket...all good. I am more afraid that I won't get bored being a bum, than anything else!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sweltering Aussie Open

Smokey and overcast Melbourne met Mum and I as we drove down for the tennis on Monday, from Ballarat. We met Melissa, Clinton, and Jessie for the start of Day One of the Australian Open, a family tradition.

Jessie and I went across to little Court 7 for the start of the days play, and watched Juan Carlos Ferrero play three games before his opponent retired hurt. We then joined the others to watch Wayne Arthurs play some of his last tennis before retirement, before heading into Centre Court for Federer and Baghdatis put on class performances.

I then sat out a five set match of Bjorkman (who you can never give up on!!), before watching another Swede Johansson's last two of five sets to end the day.

Arriving at the tennis centre just after 10am the next day, Melissa and I thought we would join the line for the Garnier tent early, before any tennis was played. No such luck, as the line was aleady 3 hours long, and closed, at that early time - at the blazing temperature of around 34C. Madness. Instead, I went and watched new Aussie Robert Smeets in little outside Court 7.

As the temperature and humidity rose, Mum, Clinton and Melissa made their way to Centre Court for relief - but with the little Aussie at one set all, I couldn't leave it! Sweating it out, and seeing the other courts around us stop play after their first finished games in line with the Extreme Heat Policy, I was melting!!

Feeling the dehydration kicking in, the deminishing crowd were cheering louder for 'Smeetesy' - or were we just hoping for him to win faster so we could get out of the sun?! Luckily the lad won, beating the youngest player in the main draw, in four sets, and much needed shelter, cooler conditions, and more liquids was found inside Centre Court.

With no play on the outside courts, I watched the struggling Sharapova finally win her match, then ripped Nadal put on a show. Another women's match in Centre Court followed, although with conditions outside still suffocatingly hot, and no other play happening outside, I sat through Clijsters to the end.

A little cooler outside by then, we sat out on the grass waiting for word about the recommencement of play. Melissa and I finally joined the queue and got our free facials and goody bags from the Garnier tent, and after this, at about 8.15pm play resumed.

We watched Aussie Sam Stoser win as the sun went down, and the city lit up behind the court. We then watched as Aussie Davis Cup hero from last year, Luczuk lose the first set. This at 11pm, we were feeling sleepy, and tennis-ed out! The drive home to Ballarat beckoned, and we finally called it a day. After 12 hours of tennis! Love it!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sydney for 5-nil

An alcohol fueled discussion during the Boxing Day Test saw Charles and I decide to honour the Day 3 tickets we had for the Fifth Test in Sydney, and flights were booked. We flew out to Sydney early on Day 3, and arrived directly from the airport to the SCG.

Meeting Alizah and Dom at the gate, we made our way to our 'obtructed view' seats - which were all good. Sitting between two stands on the old hill, we could not see the replay scoreboard, but managed to be out of the sun all day. We settled in for the cricket, and before too long the wine started to flow.

With drinks flowing a little too fast, I started on the mission of getting us tickets for the following day - by harrassing the Barmy Army. One ticket scored at around cost price, and we were in business. We also had the word out to Flagger mates, and wheels were in motion.

The four of us meet Leilah after play, in a bit of a wine induced state, and followed on to the pub. Drinks and catch up with Leilah, and a much needed feed, were all good, and the night ended with a train home to Leilah's.

Day Four began with text messages from the Flagger crew, and our second ticket for the day's play was arranged. A little wary about the validity of the ticket purchased the day before, the stress levels were relieved once we were in. Sitting behind the bowlers arm near the sight screen, we were set to watch Australia win The Ashes 5-nil...

Wickets fell, the required runs were made, and 5-nil history was made. Farewells to Warne, McGrath and Langer, with mention of Martyn, were complete with laps, claps and ovations.

Celebrations commenced with drinks at the Fox and Lion at Fox Studios near the SCG, and carried on to The London. Miss Leilah come and joined the crew, and a large night ensued.

The next day, Charles and I headed into the city for a wander around Circular Quay and the Oprea House, before catching the ferry out to Watson's Bay. Fish and Chips in the sun in the beer garden overlooking the ocean and the cityscape, Leilah and Alison joined us for drinks, as the afternoon carried on, and sunset arrived.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Returning to Melbourne

Recovering from the NYE celebrations, I have set up camp at Melissa and Clinton's in South Melbourne. Over the last week it has been so nice to soak in all that looks great about Melbourne, and looking out over the city from the car when driving over any of the bridges over the Yarra has reminded me how pretty, and how much I love this city.

Provided you don't look as far as the hideous Eureka building edition to the skyline!

I have signed up for NewStart, for some assistance as I start to come to terms with reality and the beginning of starting all over again. Gee, they don't make that easy for anyone - nor easy for the Call Centre chick to explain! If she doesn't understand how it all works, how is anyone else supposed to!!??

I caught up with Jane, and Evie and Majid last night. Dinner at Jane's, and a catch up while Evie is in town before she heads back to Cambodia.

City driving has been a daunting return for me - first real attempt was last night, and boy, did I get lost! Not having to worry about where I was going and how to navigate to get there for way too long, a Melways on the passenger seat was all too much! I seem to have total amnesia about the roads and how it all joins together. Last night, I think I did 5 laps of a 3 block radis of Melissa's, just trying to get out of South Melbourne! I am sure it will all come back to me...eventually!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pyramid Rocking New Years

With no play on Day 4 at the 'G for Melissa's birthday on Friday, Plan B was activated for the day. Brunch in South Melbourne, following by a long afternoon drinking session at the Belgian Beer Cafe saw off Lissy's 27th in style. Located in the grounds of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, there were plenty of jokes around about that, as Melissa, Clinton, Adam, Steve and I got started for the session. Later joined by Charles, then Danielle, Katie, Jessie, and then Dave, Belinda and Brad popped in at the end of the day.

Up the next day with gear packed and car filled to capacity, Jessie, Melissa, Clinton and I piled into Melissa's car for the drive down to Phillip Island, and our New Years Eve destination - the Pyramid Rock Festival.

Lulled into a sense of false security about our hiding places for banned alcohol into the venue by Katie's carload, and Heath's the day before, we had our stash in amoungst our sleeping gear...which proved wrong, all wrong. Arriving in the middle of the day on Saturday, there weren't too many cars at the check-in point - and thus, the searchers had nothing but time. Pulling out half our well packed boot, eventually our first bottle of hidden vodka was found - and then the onslaught began. Watching them find our bottle of Jager, three bottles of vodka, a bottle of gin, and a bottle of wine hurt!

Gutted, and having repacked our car to drive in, we were met at the gate by Heath, who directed us to our already set up campsite, and a drunky Katie - did not cheer us up much!! Thinking we would struggle to recover from the clean out, our crew pooled together, and soon the drinks were flowing!

Heading into the stage area, we soon got involved, and the pain of our losses diminished, albeit slowly. There for Faker, Lior, and then my of my favourite gigs of the weekend, The Beautiful Girls, our rather large group at the Rock were having a good time. Silverchair played late on Saturday night, and I must say were quite grumpy and disappointing. Playing mostly new stuff, and ignoring requests from the crowd for their big numbers, their set would have to be one of the most ordinary of the weekend.

Sunday morning we got started slowly after the camping night, which had gotten quite cold in the end, the crew built up to the big night at just the right pace. At one point someone in the group had commented on the fact that the four of us Reid girls hanging out together and being so close was quite remarkable. It was so much fun hanging out as the four of us, and our big group of mates around us. A Xmas present from Melissa, Jessie and Katie, the weekend ticket with a NYE all together was so special, and something amazing to return home to Australia to.

The afternoon consisted of seeing bands, popping back for liquid refeshments and top ups, and a bit to eat, Sunday was such a fun day. A few drops of rain here and there did not manage to dampen the day, and I watched gigs from The Spazzys, a bit of Bertie Blackman, and Mia Dyson. I was there for the whole Bomba set, which was fun and funky, including a bit of crowd involvement with the band coming down from the stage to sit amoungst us for a number.

Being away for such a long stint, and being a little removed from the home grown music did not take away from my enjoyment. Listening to the bands talked up by my sisters and the crew, the weekend of music was awesome. The Grates and Xavier Rudd sets were huge, and then Evermore got up ready for the big one.

The Living End conducted the countdown to 2007 - and pulled off the set of the weekend. They were brilliant! We were all in fine form, and had an awesome NYE!

Yesterday, we took our time to get started, pack up our gear and get the car ready for the long line to get out of the festival and off Phillip Island. In good spirits after a massive weekend, we were dirty, dusty, sun blessed, and happy! Thanks for a great weekend for NYE girls!
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