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"Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours..."

Settling into Melbourne life

all seasons in one day 10 °C
View The Grand Adventure on AndyGem's travel map.

G’day Pommes! Strewth, we’ve been here a while now...5 weeks to be exact, and I have already adopted the wonderful Aussie twang. Not really, I’d never depart from the Queen’s dialect, although, being English has been a slight limitation for my career prospects and I’m pretty sure most Aussies have an aversion to us as a nation, which is probably sport related. But they still seem to love the Queen, and aside from brushing aside any other history with the UK it’s the Royal Family they cling to and adore...much more so than we do. For those of you unaware it’s the Queen’s birthday on the 8th June, and we all get a day off work to celebrate.... woo hoo! If I remember rightly England doesn’t share this same benefit, very odd. Anyway, for those of you clever enough to note I wrote the word ‘work’, yes, I am also in the world of employment, sort of – I am on trial at a quirky cafe in Fitzroy called Umago, so as long as I don’t scare the customers away with my ‘posh’ accent then we should have some money coming in! About time you say! Well, yes, but I am going to have to pull my socks up if I am going to make my millions doing waitressing here, because tipping is not something of a tradition. It seems if you liked the food and service you don’t tip, and if you loved the food and service you still don’t tip! What an outrage! Don’t worry though, I’ll get them parting with their dollars using my Cheshire Cat smile. :)

Andre’s job is also going well, and he is starting to get into the sewage business, not actually into it obviously, but he does have to go on site and see it. Luckily he has a very dull sense of smell but I brought him a peg for the days he is on site. His sponsorship is still on its way, so when it comes we’ll get a subsidy on our rent, which will be very handy now we are living in a lovely fully furnished flat close to the river Yarra, right in the thick of it. We are 5 minutes walk from Federation Square (or Fed Square as it more commonly called), so there is always something fun and amusing going on like live bands, entertainers and sports screening. The other day it was Buddha’s birthday so there was a celebration in the square with stalls, food, crafts, cooking and a person dressed up as a giant, cuddly Buddha. One of the activities was to write on lotus leaves thoughts of enlightenment and love, and one little kid wrote the most poignant words – ‘Dear Buddha, I hope you are OK’. Ahhhhhhh! There is also a museum which has fabulous aboriginal art and the Aquarium is only 5 minutes away too!

Now Andre has his spanking new Holden Ute (a kind of car/truck thing which everyone seems to own), which he is very proud of, we have been able to venture out and explore the wilderness. Public transport is not the best for getting into the suburbs so having a vehicle is the best way to see the sights. Our first trip was to the Mornington Peninsula with its vast range of wineries and farmland, little villages and beaches to discover. As you venture out of the city there is a wide expanse of greenery harbouring animals and crops, and its nice know this retreat of activities is so close. When I saw the yellow, triangular signs with Kangaroo’s and Koala’s on I thought we were bound to spot some, but no such luck on this outing. We did find this fabulous Maze and Lavender Gardens, where we had to hunt for gnomes and fairies in the trees much to Andre’s delight. Ha! Actually he quickly got fed up of finding these little friends but we still got a lolly for our efforts, yay! (I have to add that a lolly is just a little jelly sweet over here, a tiny bit disappointed to get a jellybaby after all the gnome hunting effort. Hey ho!)

So we are really getting stuck into Aussie life now, and we are even becoming quite partial to succulent kangaroo steak now and again – Luke, I have added a picture as evidence. Indeed, this gamey meat is very lean and good for you, and because Kanga’s eat less grass and excrete less methane they are better for the environment too! We are also catching up on the favourite childhood soup Neighbours, surprisingly some of the old chaps are still going strong – Lou is still behind the bar, Toady is still ugly, Susan and Carl are back together, and Jelly Belly is still a legend! Sad as it may be we are missing UK TV terribly, as the standard of broadcasting here, in our opinion, is a load of rubbish. The only programme I enjoy watching is Australian Masterchef, which is a far cry from the days of Lloyd, but it’s entertaining non-the-less. I am in fact getting into my food at the moment, trying to focus my thoughts on a possible vocation in the field, and although my course on ‘food writing’ got cancelled I have started a blog about increasing my fine food knowledge - which is being trialled by a great chum (Thanks Vivien!). So unless she tells me to stick to waitressing them I will send you a link if you are interested in following my food adventures.

Until next time, I hope you are all well...and we hope to get internet in our new flat soon so we can get back on skype.

Tara for now! XX

Posted by AndyGem 20:30 Archived in Australia Tagged living_abroad

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Beautifully cooked roo steak there cobber.

http://www.travellerspoint.com/photos/stream/photoID/480637/users/AndyGem/

by LukePup

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