Friday, February 24, 2006

The Weekend Looming

Another week in Oz, and not much going on. Actually we got our police checks through, so once we get the nod off Immigration we can start working for the Red Cross. That'll be good, getting back into youth work, and doing it in Oz will be interesting. Also it'll be interesting doing youth work with Sam. We've done volunteer work together, but youth work is my field, so working with her it what is essentially what I usually do for a living, will be interesting.

Hopefully after this weekend we'll have some money through, so we can look at doing something with our time here. We'll have to see what is on offer, as this place is so expensive. Even if we did travel further afield, and found we liked say Melbourne for example, I still don't think I would want to live here in Oz. There's just something about the place, that puts my back up. I can't out my finger on it, there just is. But mainly the low wages, high taxes, non-existent welfare system, high cost-of-living. On the balance of things, just having the nice weather doesn't cut it. Weather is the one and only advantage that Oz has over the UK. There are mant other countries that have the weather and a far better standard of living than this place. Why people come here I really don't know.

Next place to check out for a country other than the UK to live any great length of time is Canada. Give it a couple of years and we'll be checking that place out for definate. Anyway, we'll see. Not much to tell, still trying to get website up and running, bid not much further on, not written anything creatively. It's not coming together like I planned. Arse!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Picture of us hanging out in my parents pool. Posted by Picasa

It's Been A While

Since the last blog entry. I haven't checked, but I think I last did an entry some weeks ago. Things have ticked along here. We cycle most days, and swim most days. The funding bid is a slow and painful process, as is the website for Blue International. I've not done any writing, as I promise myself I would do. So what have we done?!

Well all this week we have been volunteering for Conservation Volunteers Australia. We've been helping down at a site that is looked after by a local Landcare group, just in Darwin town. The storm drains from the city run through the land, as so there is soil errosion problems. We have worked really hard in boiling heat and humidity to build defences from soil errosion and to clear weeds and tall grasses. It's been hard back-breaking work, but worth it. There have only been three of us on the job regularly, that been Sam and myself along with Daryl the CVA team leader.

Apparently we got a mention in Parliament here. The MLA (title for an Oz MP) brought us up in dispatches, in reference to the tree planting we did down by Rapid Creek a few weeks ago. Crazy to think that we've only been in Oz a month and have already been talked about in Parliament. Typical!

We are now waiting on things. Confirmation from Immigration that we can work as volunteers for the Red Cross here, and also our police checks, so that we can work on youth projects that the Red Cross run. That'll be good, and getting in with the Red Cross is a good thing anyway for the future.

We are also waiting on money coming through from the UK tax office, money they have owed us since July last year. When the money comes through, we may treat ourselves to a trip to the Red Centre as they call it. Go and see Ayers Rock maybe. Whatever anyway, we need to get out of Darwin and see some more of Oz than this. If we can get to Perth we can stay with Cat. The problem is how expensive it is to travel around Oz. It's cheaper to fly back to the UK than it is to cross the country here. Australia is such a rip-off for traveling, I would not advise anyone to come here unless they have an endless supply of money or can work their way round. Unfortunately I can't, as I'm too old to get a working visa.

Anyway, 2 months to go here. Which will fly by before we know it I'm sure. Then it's Indonesia for the last month before back to the UK. I won't say 'home', as we don't have one. I'd still ike to go back to Laos, that would be ideal. We need to get the bid sorted, and we have factored in flights to and from the UK. Sam wants to spend some time in the UK before we head to Laos, if it does all come off. Which is fair enough.

I am totally knackered. Three days of hard graft, working in 32C heat and 93% humidity, shifting tons of rock by hand, and having only slept around a total of 8-10 hours in all that time, takes it out of you. Too weak to type! Bye....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Picture of us arriving at Darwin Airport.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Almost But Not Quite

We'd arranged to go and do some work with Conservation Austrailia, helping to clear some paths somewhere near the East Point. I made sandwiches the night before, we'd sorted out a cool bag, appropriate clothing, everything. We went to bed early, and even managed to get up in the morning. In fact we even managed to get ourselves to the bus stop at about 6.30am to catch the bus into Darwin town.

That is when it all went wrong. The rain kicked-in, and did it kick-in with a vengeance. Within less than a minute we were both soaked through to the skin. Rain had even leaked down my legs into my 'waterproof' walking boots, soaking through my socks. Drowned rats had nothing on us. So a little pissed-off we trudged back to the house, peeled off our wet things and decided that the whole thing was a definate wash-out.

It has continued to throw-it-down on and off all day, so tit is likely that the whole thing would have been called off anyway. After all it is a little hard to use a strimmer when the grass is sodden. So the rain may have saved us from a wasted journey.

There's a tree planting thing happening on Saturday that we may go to. They feed us there, a BBQ, which is always good. We are supposed to be sorting out the project proposal, Sam mentioned that we should just get on with that today. To be fair, my head is up my arse slightly. I didn't sleep well at all last night, was awake most of the night, and only grabbed a dozy hour or so on the the sofa this morning after we got back. I want to write, in fact I tried this morning, but my level of keyboard dyslexia is outstanding.

I think I need another coffee, just to keep my eyes open. I really feel like to total space cadet at the moment.