Been a bit quieter the last few days as Glen's now started work. I've been busying myself walking to the local shops, which are still half an hour away. Might get a bike, and then I can also get to the beach as well.
We went to the reptile park last Monday (see previous photo album) which was great - I love the koalas! Wombats are lazy though.
That evening we had a huge BBQ with kangaroo steak! It was lovely - had a strong taste not quite like anything else. Like lamb in texture.
I tried emu last night - we went to The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney. It is where the settlers first arrived and set up home, so the pubs and houses look more familiar to home. At the pub you could get emu and basil, or crocodile and coconut pizzas, plus the more usual selection. Emu is very meaty, but it didn't really taste distinctive. I must try the crocodile next time!
The family we are renting our granny flat from have been very generous in inviting us in for meals. I've tried laksa, and the daughter made me banana cake that I could eat. I'm struggling to like Australian beer - so far my favourite is Pure Blonde which is a low carb beer, but mostly I've been sticking to the wine. Glen's even managed to get a free oyster and glass of wine whilst walking down the street! A bottle shop (off licence) was giving away free samples! I side stepped the oyster - but still thought I should try the wine, just to be polite of course.
Bottle shops often have "Clean skins" - its a brilliant idea. When wineries reach the quote of their wine production, they often have some left over. They bottle it in unlabelled bottles which simply say "Shiraz" or "Chardonnay" and sell it cheap to shops. You can then buy them for $5 max (£2ish). Obviously you have no idea of the origin or vintage etc, but you can get some really yummy ones. Its a fun lottery and you win a bottle of wine every time!
On Saturday we met some friends and watched Glen's football team The Mariners draw against Melbourne. It was my first experience as a Marinator, and it was a good atmosphere. It was odd having one side of the stadium open to a beach though! Very different to the UK!
Afterwards we went to a pub/bar for a little while, and then I had the priviledge of driving the truck home! Wasn't as hard as I thought, and luckily as you drive on the left here its not much different. There's the odd difference in that you merge to the right when 2 lanes become 1, and traffic lights don't go amber before green, but we made it home in one piece!
Job-wise, I've had plenty of interest but I'm still holding out for the right position. I went to a third interview yesterday, but for some reason the company just didn't feel right so I've decided to go with gut instinct and phoned them this morning to say I had decided to look elsewhere. I have another meeting on Thursday which sounds promising - an English company that have expanded into the Australian market a few years ago. I'd be in an office that over looks the Sydney opera house and working with 4 English and 2 Australians! We'll see how it goes on Thursday, but they want me to start on Monday if it goes well! So much for the life of luxury - I've been enjoying sending Glen to work and lazing all day.
We have Foxtel now (Sky TV) - they have a UK TV channel, so I get to watch Inspector Morse, Keeping Up Appearances, The Weakest Link, Hustle... and lots of other favourites. There's also Eastenders and other popular UK shows, so its great Ex-pat channel. Much more expensive though - we pay more for just 40 channels here than we did in England for 100s of channels, internet and phone altogether!
I've been trying to write down other little things I notice that are different here: the moon is sometimes directly above your head at night, which can be a little disorientating; on your food you can have salt, pepper or chicken salt! Its basically like sprinkling stock cube grains - I'm not sure I like it; Bacon comes as "middle bacon" so the short bit you get at the end of English rashers is 4 times as long; sea gulls are smaller here; cows are skinnier here; birds are more colourful - you see cockatiels and lorikeets (which will actually sit on you hand or shoulder!) flying around freely!
I think that's enough for one blog! I'll keep making my notes...