Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The end of 2012

December 2012 was a blur of catching up with people before the end of the year! The silly season actually started in November with a reunion of ghosts of CMC Markets past and present. My friend Emma and I decided we were long over due a catch up with everyone and set up a Facebook event to try and get some old faces together. It turned out to be a great night with around 30 people turning up and catching up late into the night. Thanks everyone that made it, and for those that didn't, we will definitely do it again soon!

Sham's work Christmas party was at a lovely little Jazz Club on the river in Brisbane this year. As we had spent all of November living out of suitcases while Sham was working in Melbourne, we decided not to make a full weekend of being in Brisbane this year. We arrived at lunchtime on the day of the party and left the morning after. It was, as usual, a lovely evening and it was nice to see some old faces and meet some new ones!

The following Friday was my work Christmas Party. It was very different from most Christmas parties I have been to! We left the office at 10.30 in the morning to make our way to the lovely Clark Island. It is a little Island that's a 15 minute water taxi ride from the City.  Once we were there, we enjoyed a lovely relaxed day in the sunshine: eating, drinking cider, playing games and having a sing along (!)

Kev and  the laydeeez! 
The MOST relaxing Christmas party ever! 
The whole company (just missing two I think)

Our transport
By 5.30 we were back to the city. Some of us did kick on to a couple of the pubs at The Rocks, but after a whole day in the sun, I only lasted until 7.30. I got the bus home and was in bed by 9pm!

The weekend before Christmas was a busy one socially! We headed to Balmoral Beach - one of our favourite places in Sydney for Christmas carols. It was a lovely evening and we got to meet our friend Terry's parents who were visiting.

On Sunday we headed back to Balmoral (told you we love it!) for our annual Pre Christmas Gang Get together. In the past, we have done this in the pub and tried to have a roast dinner - its always been really hot! This year we decided to keep it casual and have a picnic / bbq. This is also starting to be the best thing to do with the gang as there are two toddlers and a baby in the group so we need room for them to to run/ crawl around!

We woke up on Christmas day to hear the rain! It has rained for each of the five (!) Christmas's we have had here, but this one was the worst! It rained the entire day and it was cold (well, it was cold for us!). You would think that the thought of not spending Christmas morning on the beach would make us sad, but it actually felt like we were having a Christmas day as it should be - cold and wet and miserable - PERFECT!
Christmas lunch was hosted by Mr and Mrs Watters again (despite Mrs Watters being nearly 8 months pregnant!) and it was a fun day of eating, drinking, Pictionary and Only Fools and Horses!

We woke up early on boxing day morning so that we could Skype the families... it was lovely to see everyone and to share the exciting news that we will see you all in 2013!

The last major social occasion for 2012 was a New Years Eve get together at our place. The weather was lovely so we had around 10 people over for a casual BBQ and then walked to a park near by to watch both sets of fireworks. We were too busy cooking and keeping the Pimms glasses filled so don't seem to have any pictures of the evening! The highlight (apart from the fireworks) was the quiz that Neal had spent a long time putting together for our entertainment! The girls won (obviously!) and the agility round was definitely the most controversial!

I was wise enough to book the time between Christmas and New Years off. In the past, I have always worked it because a) I never seem to have enough leave and b) I begrudge using up annual leave when no one at work is doing a full day's work! That was until last year! I finished up at CMC just before Christmas and didn't start my new job until the first week in January, so I had two weeks off and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I did have my aunty and uncle here to hang out with and that made it even more fun, but I had had a taste of having a summer holiday and I think I will probably never go back (until I realise I can't don't have enough annual leave again that is!). 

Hope you all had a fun Christmas and new year!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Thank you to everyone who has been checking in on us to make sure we are ok!
The answer is, yes, we are hot and flustered, but no, we aren't in any danger.

This week we are seeing the downside of the single biggest reason people move to Australia - the nice weather!

The crazy weather started with South Australia hitting mid 40s (Celsius) and has pretty much spread across the country during the week. It hit Sydney yesterday. I have just read a headline that says there were 1500 firefighters trying to get 140 fires under control in NSW alone yesterday.

We were lucky enough to be in air conditioned offices for most of the day, although it was still 31 degrees at 1am this morning!

Several areas around the country are still fighting bush and grass fires. It has been really sad to read about all the people who are losing their homes and some even their lives. It felt silly complaining about being hot when in the scheme of things, one bad night's sleep is not exactly the end of the world.

Today, the day after we hit 44 degrees, its a cool 21 in the city - we could be in a different part of the world!

It seems that we probably haven't seen the last of the heat this summer,  though...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Living in Aus - the good, the bad, the ugly and the infuriating!

Even though we have lived here for over 4 years (!!!), one of our favourite things to do is still chatting with people who are from the UK and discuss the things we love about living here, the things we miss from home, the things that are just so different and the things we will probably never get used to!

I will try and keep this post balanced, but there is a chance it will turn into a "whinging pom" post... so apologies to the Aussies that are reading this! 

My favourite things about our life.... I think I have to stop calling it our new life now we have been living it for so long!
  • I get to have my birthday in the summer!
  • We are only a 20 minute drive from work and a beach
  • We live in a lovely area with a friendly village feel
  • We eat better here - locally sourced food and generally healthily prepared
  • We have a great work/ life balance
  • We have made some great friends here
  • When we have visitors, we get to spend some real, quality time with them
  • On the whole, Aussies are friendly and laid back - they are welcoming and helpful. the area we live in, especially, has a lovely village feel where everyone smiles and says hello
  • BYO - you can take your own bottle of wine to most restaurants making a nice meal less expensive
  • Coffee! The Aussies know how to make a good coffee - even the crappiest coffee shop will have a decent offering

The things I miss most... please note, things! The list of friends and family would be too long and would end in me sobbing, unable to finish this post!
  • British shopping! From clothes to food, we pay more here for less choice. 
  • Milestones - weddings, birthdays, dinners and nights out. We miss individuals, but we really miss you all when you are all doing things together and we can't be there!
  • Holidays! Leaving this vast country is not only expensive, it is also time consuming as everything is so far! That's why we only had our first proper holiday this year! (Although the fact that we only live a 20 minute drive from the beach does mean that every weekend can be a holiday!)
  • Mum's cooking. But my mummy will arrive here in just over a month so I will get my fill then!

Things that are different here... and I do kind of mean worse!
  • TV! Australian TV is pretty average, so we tend to watch a lot of English and American TV
  • Drivers. Round abouts, lane merging and saying thank you are all alien concepts here and its amazingly frustrating!
  • Crisps and chocolates. I still haven't gotten used to Australian chocolate and would readily donate an organ for an unlimited supply of English junk food... ironic cos eating an unlimited supply would end in organs being lost! 
When I started writing this post, I thought that last list would be much longer actually!

Looking at it objectively, it does look like life is pretty good!

Bye for now 
Kunj x 

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