Mar 29, 2010

Catch up... part two.. fluffy animals

So all fun done with in Melbourne it was back on another plane up to Newcastle (and no this is not home of the Toon army!) this is Newcastle, New South Wales, home of the most huge coal machinery, as witnessed on my drive from the airport to my hotel.. I’ve not seen anything like it!!!! I nearly crashed the car trung to take a picture… fortunately (and for one of the only times in my life) I used some sense and pulled over! How cool is this!

Looking out to sea here you see huge tankers, and we’re talking approximately 50, lined up ready to come in and be filled up with coal… it’s quite interesting really!!

I arrived at my hotel, interestingly named The Blackbutt Inn… yes I know, conjures up all sorts! I was early, so I had to either twiddle my thumbs (and stop myself getting blackbutt) or go and find something to do… I chose the latter and took myself off to the local reserve to see the birds and animals…I wasn’t expecting much, but found, for free, some wonderful birds and cute animals… enjoy…

After a 30 minute tour around the reserve I was back at my hotel and was pleasantly surprised that my room, although small, was well appointed and modern with a great bathroom… a little jewel The Blackbutt Inn, comes highly recommended from me!

There was a great guy working in reception who left me with quite a interesting tidbit about Koalas, although if you are eating then please leave this for later… Koalas, cute, fluffy....

feed their babies pooh.. yes you heard right! Koalas feed their babies poop to pass on gut microbes needed for digesting eucalyptus leaves, which are toxic to most species. Not so cute and fluffy now!

Mar 28, 2010

Catch up... part one!

Catch up!!

Where am I, who am I? I don’t know…my head is in a spin. I’ve been working so hard and my weekends have been filled with fun times, which makes being away from hubby and Gary a little more bearable.

I am a bad blogger because I’ve not posted since I was in Adelaide (snooze ville)…

So what have I been up to…

Well Adelaide work days over and I was on a late night flight to Melbourne..and it was nice to be met by my old boss from England, Andy, at the airport. We had 2 work days and then Andy had a fantastic surprise for me on the Saturday. He had told me to pack a nice dress and we were off to the Races.

The weather was stunning and neither of us was driving (the train service in Australia is great) and we arrived at Flemmington (where they hold the Melbourne Cup) around lunchtime…

...and then my next surprise.. we were booked in the Terrace restaurant (super POSH – incidentally do you know where the word posh came from? When the well-off English were travelling to Australia back in the day they would ask for the preferred cabins on the left, or port, side of the ship. The cabins on the right, or starboard, side were considered best for the trip back. It was to keep the sun off their side of the boat - I learnt that at the winery today :-) )

Ok back to Flemmington and our posh table over looking Melbourne CBD..
Check out the view!

We had a beautiful table for 2, with the above view, fantastic food, a mini flat screen to help with betting

and low and behold Andy ( who was only making small bets) had 6 winners and 7 places...

Andy's winnings already building up... you could count my winnings in dollars on one hand !
What a great day!... but it wasn't over yet... we were off to the NAB cup final which is the pre-season Australian Rules Football mini cup .... meeting Kelli (who works for us in Australia) and her husband Nathan.. We'd got our tickets so it was time to get a beer and a huge hot dog (thanks for the flattering pic Andy!)
That was one big dog!

Soon Kelli and Nathan arrived and we had a laugh barracking the opposition ( we were honorary Bulldogs fans for the night!)

Kelli and I

Andy, Kelli & I
the game..under the floods

A long day over, we nodded back to our station, walked back up the hill to our hotel and flopped into bed...exhausted, but what a great day, thanks Andy!

Mar 9, 2010

Adelaide, a flying visit!

At 6am this morning I woke up and did an exercise DVD.. yes I’ve officially gone mad since arriving ‘down-under’.

8am and my nice new clients picked me up from my hotel and so commenced an excellent days work.. day 2 tomorrow and fingers crossed it all goes as well.

Have I had time to see much of Adelaide…not really, but it is a very beautiful city with green spaces everywhere. These are the views from my hotel room.

What you also should know is that The Grand Chiefly Hotel on South Terrace has the best Caesar Salad and gatro pub fries that I’ve ever eaten… OMG look at this!

My glass of Australian red is helping me concentrate whilst I work (cough) and then I need to pack and move on.. Melbourne tomorrow night.. I’m all go me..

Yours fed up of plane journeys

Clare xx

Mar 8, 2010

I made it.... Sunny Perth, Australia.....

Welcome to Perth…

So after 33 hours travelling I arrived in Perth Australia. I’d slept most of the way …the New York – Dubai portion aided by narcotics and Dubai – Perth portion just because I’m lucky and it was the best way of ignoring the stinky man in the seat in front of me… covering myself in spray every time I woke up helped too…!

1.30am and I’m picking up my car from Hertz (what a nice young man… gave me a 4 car upgrade for nothing ;-) ) and I was on the road up to North Perth, Scarborough to stay at the beach for a night and a half…

The hotel was probably very plush once, now looking a little worn, but as they say location is everything and you can’t beat being smack on the beach. I couldn’t see the sea when I arrived, but I could breathe the sea air and it was good….

With all that sleep only managed another few hours and I was up at 7.30 walking along the beach path. I thought the beach would be all mine so early, but there were loads of people and just confirms my opinion of Perthites being a fit bunch.. if they weren’t running or cycling they were taking an early morning surf (with the sharks! thanks!)… I did manage to get my feet wet, but that was about it.

My room on the 15th floor had great beach views and those of the pool, which is where I spent a few hours after breakfast… until I realized that I was catching too much sun and had to get back inside…didn’t want to lobsterfy myself on the 1st day… there were plenty of other English there doing that!

Watch out for snakes...

View one way

View other way!

More snake warnings (gulp!)

Surf school... I was tempeted for about 10 seconds...
Some young men running along beach...

View of the pool from my room

View down beach from my room

Some blonde bird who got into my room...

No jet lag yet…

It’s now 12.13 am and I’ve moved States to Adelaide… I only spent one working day in Perth and then hot footed it to the airport…

Adelaide so far…

Hmmm…Pro’s ….looks nice and clean, taxi driver was really friendly, airport was clean, hotel (Grand Cheifly) is wonderful inside, bed is super comfy and I’m loving my big flat screen… well worth the money..

Cons.. last flight in and they park the bloody plane at the farthest poor feet.. taxi queue was 40mins long, it’s cooler than Perth ..oh and it’s raining…

I have two days here…I’ll try and get some pictures tomorrow when it’s light!

Mar 4, 2010

Adieu ...and now I'm here!

No posts from me for a couple of days as I'm off down under.... Australia calls, along with 36 hours travelling... I'll report in from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Newcastle and Brisbane soon... in fact I'll give you a bit of whistle stop tour on the blog... mainly it will be the insides of airport lounges and car hire depots!

So sleeping tablets in hand I bid you adieu.. until I arrive in Perth... 1am Sunday morning..wish me luck and bon voyage!xx


I'm here, it's sunny and warm and I have a whole day off before I start work... lots of pictures already so blogging will commence this evening ;-)

Mar 3, 2010

An 'incident' and a trip to the vets...

Last Friday it was finally warm.. it's been freezing and when I stepped out into the bright sunshine and felt some heat I had to take a moment and let the sun warm me...but no time to dawdle, Gary has to go to the vet, and whilst there are probably perfectly good vets in Jacksonville, Gary's vet is in Clermont, 3 hours away.. so I packed an overnight bag as I was going to get to stay in my house which I miss soooooo much and Gary and piled into the car and sped off down the road.

When we go home we have a ritual... stop at Starbucks (2 mins from apartment), Clare gets a Caramel Machiato and Gary has his second pooh of the day (its an excitement thing)...we then stop at Chik-fil-a for a biscuit & hashbrowns (Gary's favourite) and then onwards down I95
Crispy naughty..but so nice!
We normally make the 1st services when my boy is whining to relieve himself again... so, we have now traveled at least 7 miles !
Friday I didn't mind stopping again.. the weather was gorgeous, and we had plenty of time. Gary ambled off looking for that special spot and I was emailing some people on my Blackberry. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a big truck had pulled up next to us, but went back to my mobile office.
Startling me the truck beeped its I looked up I felt something warm and wet on my flip flop covered foot...the truck driver had blown his horn to try and stop Gary peeing on me... and now was beside himself laughing ... did you know dog pee is warm?
Fortunately I was equipped with numerous extra napkins from breakfast and wiped my foot down... I'm sure Gary was laughing at me. I ushered him back in the car and we continued, uneventfully, home.

I thought, I'll show you...we're going to the vets!... does not work with him though as he loves all the smells he can't wait to get thorugh the door... he seems to forget that he gets violated once a year with a thermometer and has injections!
He sniffs the place up and down...
 Eyes the examination table dubiously (now its's coming back to him about the thermometer)

 Sits mornfully next to me on the human bench, awaiting his fate...
and finally is happy again after getting the all clear!
 What a good boy... and he'll have forgotten by tomorrow his traumatic 10 mins being manhandled!

Mar 2, 2010

Post-it Note Tuesday

So I've been reading a  few blogs today and they've been doing something called 'Post-it Note Tuesday'.. you can play along using this generator...I'm not saying that every Tuesday should be Post It Notes...but it obviously saves writing down some random drivel!

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