Friday, March 30, 2007

Charlotte in Melbourne

On Sunday I went to the station to pick Miss Charlotte up. She flew in from New Zealand to spend a few days with me here in Melbourne, before making her way back to the UK.

We wandered around the sights of the city that day, taking in Fedration Square, and all the crowds for the Food and Wine Festival (and to same some ice cream - some things never change!!). I also took her along the river, and in through the shops and sights of Southbank, before heading down to sunny St Kilda.

Leilah and Vincent were also down for the weekend, and thus, the four of us had lunch and drinks at The Vineyard with all the cool people. A little London, and HCML reunion, we got to catch up on all the gossip, and the time between now and when we were all there together.

Four months at home, Charlotte's Noo Zeeland accent is back and strong! Ever the point of fun for me, being called "Teesh" again, and hearing her vowel exchange in many words...cute!

Monday night we met for drinks at Transport, and then yesterday Miss Charlotte came to meet me at lunchtime, and we wandered along to trendy Degraves Street, and had a fast lunch at Cafe Andiamo.

Last night Heath, Jessie and I took Miss Charlotte out to the airport, to catch her flight back to London, to start all over again! We enjoyed a typical Aussie meal of fish and chips (fush and chups!) at P.J. O'Brien's out at the terminal, before she disappeared through those silver doors, and on to the other side of the world! Have fun, Miss Charlotte!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Trivia At The Poet

Last night a group of us gathered at The Drunken Poet for trivia. Our team, called "Mett Charlotte Before She Leaves Australia" consisted of Miss Charlotte, myself, Jessie, Kelly, Nicole, and Shannon. Drinks flowed as Heath and his Irish assistant conducted the rounds.

We did very well, being my first time at The Poet for trivia. Our team come first, and enjoyed the drink card prize!

A tricky name the faces, and identifying the link between all the faces bonus round, and rounds of movie, general knowledge, music, had us all racking our brains and debating possible answers. Was lots of fun, and Heathy is great at Trivia Master! Looks like this could be a regular Tuesday night event!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I start a new job tomorrow! After much drama, and second interviewing and chasing references (Thanks Scott!), I was offered the position on Monday, and I start tomorrow!

The position is a six month contract with Konekt, an Australia rehabilitation company. The job is to be one of their Psychologists, which will also let me commence my Probationary period, to work towards proper registration. All good.

So much drama with the job hunt, with a time where I was getting nothing. Then an influx of interviews hit - and I was offered four of these jobs! The decisions of what job to take, or to hold out for, and the task of rejecting offers was all a bit of anxiousness...but all good in the end.

Plus it's in the CBD! Queens Street! This means wearing 'corporate'...whatever that means!! Total frauding!! Hee hee!

So looking forward to getting started with setting up life in Melbourne again. The ideal will be to reconstruct my life in London, with people to see, drinks to be drunk, and places to visit, things to do! The challenge begins!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A BookCrossing Catch

Last week I heard back from my 35th BookCrossing catch! Very exciting to hear that someone has found a book you have released, and that they will read it and pass it along.

This book was released at the Eureka Stockade here in Ballarat last Wednesday, and was picked up by a local! The new member journaled it on the same day on which I released it, and says that they will read and release it again.

Most of my BookCrossing catch success has been while I have been traveling. I have had catches from releases in Adelaide, Darwin, Bangkok (which found it's way to Germany!), and Edinburgh.

My most impressive catch, however, was a book that I caught myself when I was in Phnom Penh. The book was registered and released by a BookCrosser from Laos, and I managed to track it down through the Go Hunting pages. I found it, journaled it, and then read it on my way to Tokyo. In Tokyo I released it in my ryokan...where it was found, journaled by someone from Venezuela, who says they left it in Peru! I wonder where it will show up next!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blogging For Peace

I have signed Jouljet up to the One Million Blogs For Peace site, in the growing push to end to the war in Iraq.

As part of this membership, as one of the million (so far there are 217), there will be challenges set, and also a regular Tuesday Topic set for discussion. The aim is to get the blog world, and indeed the world talking about, thinking about, and hopeful doing something about ending the war in Iraq.

Today's topic, being the launch of the Tuesday Topic, is centered around the marking of the date, the 20th of March, being the start of the fifth year of the Alliance lead war in Iraq. Four years ago on St Patrick's Day, George W declared war on Iraq, and the 20th was when the first shots were fired.

Since then roughly 65000 Iraqi civilians and 3477 Coalition military have been killed in this war, more US deaths than occured on 9/11/2001, (numbers depends on what source you read), with claims that this toll is higher than that of Saddam's brutality, and yet today in The Age, our Prime Minister John Howard is quoted as stating that Australia will continue to 'stand firm' and that he is 'reaffirming our committment to the Iraq war'. Meanwhile the Opposition leads the opinion polls, with a major drive to pull out troops out of Iraq, and with the plea for a solution to the ongoing conflict, and occupation.

Four years ago, when this war began, I had just returned from Cambodia. Dazed and in reverse culture shock at being back home, I watched the news reporting the commencement of this new blight on peace.

As I was preparing to leave, and farewelling my Khmer friends, news of the imminent start of this new world battle was being discussed. So many of my Khmer friends, who so vividly remember the horrors of war torn Kampuchea, and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, were asking me how was it that my country's government was so keen to embark on a new war? When the world knows over and over, how war effects people?

How could anyone answer that?

Paddy's Day in Melbourne

Saturday morning arrived, and Jessie, Noodles, Kelly and I got dressed in our best green, ready for a big day of marking St Patrick's Day.

We were to have a big breakfast at the pub, but were soon turned away by an overwhlemed cook (don't think they were really prepared for us!), so we lined our stomachs with breakfast at the Vic Market just across the road. Back to Bev and Mick's we opened our beer account with bottles of Heineken - all for the quest of earning a green and orange "loudspeaker" hat for the day! Our mission accomplished, it was time for Guinness, and some very bad singing. Jessie was working on her best Pirish accent (an unfortunate but funny blend of pirate and Irish), in her attempts to blend in with the crowd.

Joined by Clinton, and then eventually D'Arcy and Trent, we walked up the road to The Drunken Poet. Very reminicent of my St Paddy's Day in Dublin, this pub was full of Irish drinkers, rugby jumpers, and accents!

The crowd was loud, and proudly Irish. Magners was flowing, and the Irish tunes were belting out of the jukebox - and out of our loudspeaker hats at times, I am afraid!

Hearing of the Ireland win in the World Cup, putting Pakistan out, the next day as we nursed our hangovers, made for a very merry Paddy's Day on the green isle, I am sure!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lizette in Melbourne

I caught the train down to Melbourne on Friday afternoon, after a second interview for a job. I joined the madness on the streets of the city to get to the Bourke Street Mall, and the old GPO building.

No longer a post office, the GPO is a funky city building with boutiques and cool bars. I made my way up to the second level and The Lexington, and was soon joined by Jenny and Lizette. Lizette was in town for a few days, and Jenny got a group together to have Friday night drinks in style!

After several rounds of drinks, food was a must. A stop at Jen's old faithful, Nando's, before wandering further along Queens Street. We soon found a bar that offered bonus entry for the ladies, and a bag of goodies and free champagne as well! The Chaise held our interest momentarily, as we downed champers, enjoyed a mini dance, and scored some goodies, like these Midori sunglasses - hee hee!

Running out of options, with the city streets seeming deserted (where did the earlier crowds go!!??), we made our way to Federation Square,and Charmaine's for icecream and chats, overlooking the city lights.

Lizette is back off to London soon, after catching up with family and friends around the country. Was good to catch up with her while she was in Melbourne - good times, as always!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


>I mean, babies! I can't look after a chea pet!

Andrea came over on Friday with the twins. This was her first outing with just her and the two of them. They pulled up in the new family wagon, all strapped in and cute!

Over for lunch, Katie and I got to swap twins and gazed at the little wonders. Almost a month old, they are becoming distinct little faces, individual, and bigger! Still tiny, but gaining.

Charli seems to be the leader of the pack so far, according to Andrea, with little Cooper cuddling up to her during sleep, and often holding on to her arm. Cute! She's a little bigger of the two, also.

Andrea tells of sleepless nights, with two hourly feeds, and the joy of twins being that once one has finished a feed, and then the other, it's time for the whole process again. The babies seem to sleep fine during the day, however!

A feed for both babies, before heading off to the health nurse for a regular check up. It was great to see the three of them.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Whitlams at The Corner, and Jessie is 24

Another weekend down in Melbourne this weekend, via the train. I have become a V-Line commuter! I went down on Saturday afternoon, and then trammed over to Jessie's to join her for an arvo drinking session in honour of her birthday this weekend.

Taking a table in the beer garden at The Standard in Fitzroy, we were joined by a group of Jessie's friends for jugs of beer to mark her 24th! She's getting old! Certainly displayed by her glorious hangover the next day!!

At 7pm, I left the group as they were eating (cheating!) to meet Nicole in the city. I haven't seen Nicole since my stopover in San Fran about 18 months ago, and since then she has settled in Melbourne. We trammed across to Richmond, and caught up over a mexican dinner.

After dinner, we entered The Corner, to see The Whitlams. Coming on at 10.30pm after two support acts, the band played to such a diverse crowd - from all ranges of the age spectum!

Opening with I Will Not Go Quietly, and then introducing Year Of The Rat by saying there is hope that this year will be the year of a man named Kevin. Gough and White Horses kept the politic element in check. Charlie 3 and 2, and on request were Made Me Hard and Met My Match. Lots of old favourites, such as Hamburgers, Aphrodisiac, Louis Burdett (of course, Jess!), the list could go on! Tim also made reference to She's Moving In, as the new phase in his world - interesting! He has grown through these songs over the years, and Saturday night was probably the first time I have noticed the years on the lad - like a good red, though, getting better with age!

I Was Alive was probably my favourite of the new tracks played live - full of live and passion! Melbourne was the final song,after requests from the crowd - I wonder what finishes the show in other towns? Tim says they will be back in six months, how exciting!

Discovering that the girls had called it a night, I headed back to Jessie's to crash. Woke to a yummy breakfast by Heath on Jessie's birthday, with several sore heads around the house! It was nice to be a spectator of spectacular hangovers for once!

Mum come down in the afternoon yesterday, and we all went out for dinner for Jessie's birthday, at The Brandon, before Mum and I headed home to the 'Rat.
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