Sunday, 15 November 2009

Drive time...

Tom and I shocked ourselves this weekend – we voluntarily went to a garden centre. Humph. Tom had hoped that I would magically become and ‘outdoors’ girl by moving to the southern hemisphere, but he hadn’t accounted on me becoming middle aged! Fear not, we were just thinking about turning the soon-to-be-ours balcony into a miniature oasis, but now we realise how much a mini palm tree costs, we think we might have to settle for a cactus on the window sill!

And how did we get to the aforementioned garden centre? In our new car of course!! We collected our lovely titanium-grey Ford Focus Zetec from the garage on Tuesday evening, and have been enjoying having the smartest wheels in town (in our opinion!) ever since. I wanted to take a really swanky photo of our car by the beach with a Melbourne sunset in the background, but I haven’t managed that, so here is a photo from the garden centre car park instead:

This week hasn’t just been about cars however – it was also my first week at work. I was pleased to get going with the job that has brought us here in the first place, and the first week went by in a flash. I’m doing an identical role to my job in London, but in a smaller office – and as a result I will go from managing two clients, to eight! Cue brain overload. I have responded to this challenge in my usual way – by making a spreadsheet. I think I may need more than this however! After a week of being home alone, Tom will start work this week, and having us both at work will take us one step closer to normal life here in Melbourne.

Yesterday we took our car east along the coast to the suburb of Black Rock – which had lovely shops and cafes so we nicknamed it Hampsted-on-Sea. After a snoop around at the lovely Christmas decorations on sale we hit the beach to sit back and relax, although the weather was very overcast and quite cool compared to recent days. Our blissful peace was interrupted however by the 7 – 9 year old population of Black Rock having a surfing lesson and screaming at the number of jellyfish in the water! At the first sign of rain (which incidentally never arrived) we jumped back in the car and drove home, only to look in the mirror and discover that we were both burnt to a crisp. It was, and still is, very painful!

We had been invited to a BBQ at the home of one of my work colleagues on Saturday night, and this proved a great opportunity to meet a few more people. We looked liked sun dried tomatoes however, and playing “spot the newcomers to Australia” was pretty easy. Everyone here is very friendly and encouraging – we’ve mostly mixed with other ex-pats and they all seem to have made strong friendships since their arrival.

Our studio flat is looking ever-smaller as more and more belongings are unpacked from our four suitcases. I don’t know how I fitted everything into those bags when we flew over, because it’s never going to fit back in again! I’m still undecided about how long you have to live in one place before you fully unpack. We were in the hotel for 2 weeks and only scratched the surface of the cases, but after one week in our studio and the prospect of two more weeks before we can move, I have decided to get a bit more organised and actually put things on hangers and in drawers. We are both very excited about moving to our longer term home however!

Must get back to Australian Idol now.. the inferior substitute for X-Factor and Strictly...

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