Its 10 weeks today since we left the UK so thought would be good time to update you all on our lives here in Sydney.
We both managed to get jobs about a month ago, Gary was the first, had an interview on a Monday morning and by that afternoon was offered the job and started 9am the next day!! He works for an online fashion retail company called The Iconic, it's the leading (or very close) fashion retail company in Australia ooooooohhh! He works Monday to Friday 9am - 5.30pm ish and he deals with the accounts and returns. There is also a few perks he gets 30% off clothes and jewellery which is obviously more of a perk for me :) also on Friday afternoons free beer/cider/(wine apparently) is handed out in the office...... Australians they are so chilled out. His office is in the city so not a long journey from our flat, a short bus journey or walk to Bondi Junction then 5 stops on train so nice and handy for him. It's a 6 month contract job too which is nice and reassuring.
Later on in the same week we went to rent some films from the movie shop across the road from the flat and that turned into a job for me which I started the next day. I had gone for an interview a few weeks earlier but she somehow lost my contact details, so luckily we went to rent some movies. Unfortunately, it was only part-time work until late July when one of the other workers leave, so I still had to keep job hunting. In the next week or two I had interviews with temp agencies and few interviews one of which lead to another part-time job at Good Guys, an electrical store in an area called Artanom which is 50 mins or so away in North Sydney. So for a week I managed to work both jobs 3 full days at Good Guys and 2 shifts at movie shop. After my 3rd day at Good Guys I felt the job role was not for me, it was a sales job and I am not a hard sales type person. I was left in my department of small appliances on my own for the whole 3 days and although the staff were friendly they weren't very helpful. My knowledge of irons, hoovers etc are pretty poor. This week I decided to talk to Michelle (owner of movie shop) if she could give me 35 or more hours a week then I would prefer that, the money at the movie shop is very low but there is no travel costs and the job is nice and easy. Luckily, one of the guys at the shop Thomas, a young Canadian, has decided to go home and so Michelle could offer me at least 35 hours. Happy days. Tuesday morning I went to Good Guys and handed in my notice, keys and uniform and yeah I have felt much happier since then.
So now we both have full-time jobs our minds are put at rest and we are fitting into Sydney life quite nicely. Tuesday night is cinema night as its cheaper night so have seen the Avengers, Lucky One and Dark Shadows, hopefully see the Dictator next week. We tend to go out for meals on Saturdays explore restaurants and night-life across Sydney.
I got involved with voluntary work at Manly Environment Centre so hopefully once a week I will spend a day or afternoon helping out and learning about environmental issues here in NSW. I also found out about WIRES, a wildlife organisation here in Australia, and they were running a Wildlife course in May so I got in contact with WIRES and gained a place on the course. Last weekend 24-25th May I left the flat very early 6am to start my journey to Penrith, near the Blue Mountains, to start the course 8.30am, got there on time and throughly enjoyed my first day, we were fed gourmet foods - cakes, biscuits and hot drinks in breaks morning and afternoon and lunch was choice of lasagne, pasta dishes and salads. First day was about WIRES and what they do, the laws of wildlife and rehabilitation in Australia and NSW. The afternoon was spent learning about the native mammals in the area, how to rescue and handle, we observed dead species to learn the differences between them, was really interesting. The day ended at 4.30pm and Gary was outside the college waiting for me in the Hungry Jacks opposite surprise surprise. We headed further into Penrith town to check into our booked hotel room at Penrith Hotel Motel, only 10 minutes walk away. We checked in and dropped our bags, quick changed then headed out into the town for walk around as the sun was setting. We could see mountain range in the distance but we were still a good 10-15 minute drive to the base of the mountains. We had lovely meal at place called Hogs Breath Cafe, great meals and cocktails before heading back to our hotel room with few drinks bought from bottle shop next door. However, I fell asleep pretty quick I didnt even finish my first drink and was asleep by 8.30pm hahahaha while Gary was enjoying the loud thumping coming from downstairs live band, bless him.
My second college day started at 8.30am to 4.30pm and again was very good we learnt a lot about native birds looking again at about 30-40 dead birds to have close up look at them. We also held some live birds to feel how they sit on our hand and how hard them can be to catch. I got a lot of information from the guy who talked us through the course about penguins and seabirds in Australia and New Zealand and also he informed me of a boat trip he leads every month to the pelagic where there are seabirds species and whales seen, it sounds really good so he gave me the details and hopefully will go out with him sometime soon. After the course finished Gary and I went for tea at Red Roosters another take-away type place that we hadn't been to yet then headed home by train to the flat. We had really good weekend, Penrith was really nice area out in the country, I saw big group of kangaroos out in wild, and also leaving the college, St Dominics College, Gary and me saw a pair of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos perched on a tree and them flying off was amazing.
Anyway, now we have work we will start planning weekends away to Blue Mountains, Canberra, Melbourne and maybe New Zealand, see how far our money stretches. We are thinking of staying in our flat here until after the New Year giving us time to save money and explore Sydney and nearby places before heading out along the East Coast up to Cairns which would end our adventure here in Australia. Our plans change all the time though. There is so much to do in Sydney plenty of things to see and do on weekends and festivals. The weather is getting colder and wetter now as winter has come round, apparantely July gets a lot colder so we will see.
We are both still enjoying being away, we love our flat and Sydney is really amazing and now we have work we can enjoy everything more which that security. Hopefully we will have a weekend visiting the Blue Mountains this month, a weekend away somewhere new each month :o)