We've finally got round to part two of the "New Year" update, (to be honest its now a January update - Lee). So bare with us while we look back on the past month...
New Year's Eve First sober New Year for a long time, after getting back from New Norcia we stayed in till about 11:30 when we took a romantic walk down to the river and watched the fireworks over the Perth skyline. Got home, Lee fell straight asleep as I phoned the UK wishing them a happy New Year (a bit early - Lee).
New Year's Day Watched Master of Disguise with Tina, Thembi & Joel... not sure if we were "turtley enough" for it though! (Nooch! - Lee) Afterwards we celebrated the New Year with a meal and wine (Steady Eddie - Lee).
Thursday 2nd January Jobseeking was back on the agenda, I think we sent our CVs to every agency in Perth, well most of them. Lee's Malaysian sandels (only cost 9 pounds - Lee) finally fell off his feet, so it was time to buy a pair of Tevas (Spiders! - Lee). Okay so Lee managed to find the pair that I had been after in the UK, but they never had my size... Bummer! I had to spend the rest of the day with a gloting Lee.
Friday 3rd January Lee's hair was getting long again, so I told him to get it scalped... (skin'Ed - Lee) - this was my revenge for yesterday's "spider sandel jibes". We arranged to go to Cottesloe Beach with Tina & Thembi, but an hour before they came to pick us up we hear a S-H-A-R-K alert on the radio (we had to spell it out, otherwise Joel would have freaked - Lee). Thembi decided it was still safe to go, so we trusted his Aussie judgement. Of course we were safe, (but its a bugger typing with one hand - Lee). Our first experience of a WA beach was fantastic, lush blue waters, clean sandy beaches...
After the beach, we had a plesant evening back at their house. Thembi cooked a slap-up-meal for us, Chicken Fajitas! Whilst we watched Ice Age (its a dog's life - Lee). Overall great day!
Sunday 5th January We met Sian & Brian for coffee in Freo (ooo... Lucy is using the local lingo now - Lee). Later Brian was meeting some friends in local Working Man's Club - this sounded interesting so he invited us along for a couple of minis (a half-pint?! - Lee). Sian recommended a good place for us to eat called "Little Creatures", a local brewery with a resturant (and bar) in the middle of it. Afterwards we were typical Brits on holiday, sat on the beach, even though the wind was freezing (but the sun was out - Lee).
Monday 6th January Went to Perth Zoo with Tina & Joel. Saw all the normal zoo stuff, except there were Kangaroos freely roaming around, and at one point I even tried feed some of them. But little kids got there first and the kangas weren't hungry. The zoo had a new arrival the previous week, a baby Rhino... it was so tiny and kept hiding behind its mother. I was amazed at how still the Saltwater Crocodile was, it didn't even blink or appear to be breathing. Crickey. That was until Lee pointed out that it was just a full-size model of the croc. It seems that alterations were being made to the crocs enclosure and had to remove him from it. Doh!
Tuesday 7th January Our second WA beach visit was to Port Beach, slightly more exciting events this time around. American warship the USS Abraham Lincoln was anchored off shore, the size of this ship was incredible (it looked like it could carry over 20 fighter-jets on it - Lee). As I swam out from shore away from the others I noticed something large swimming and jumping out out of the water a short way out. Excitedly I swam back to the others to let them now I saw a dolphin when I suddenly thought it was possibly a shark. YIKES. Thankfully it was dolphin. We spent awhile watching the dolphin playing until Lee started screaming (as if - Lee) and running out of the water because he saw... ... ... a jelly fish - those scarey sea creatures of the deep. We managed to convince him that they weren't deadly and he slowly came back in the water. Not long after a jeep came down the beach with a coast guard blowing a horn and calling us out of the water. This time it was a real S-H-A-R-K alert. Tina told us she had noticed the plane circling above that is keeping a look-out for sharks. As we couldn't swim we went for food and later everyone had got back in the water so we joined them but I didn't feel safe - I didn't like going out deep.
I had to phone home and let people know about the excitement and whilst I was on the phone to my Big Sis, Lee shouted we had a flood so I hung up and went to sort out the FLOOD - which was a sink over flowing as my towel blocked the plug hole. I had forgotten the washing machine drains into the sink - Sorry Sarah.
Wednesday 8th January Mary invited us out for Fish and Chips down at Freo Harbour, along with Mair and the family, for her farwell meal. I hate to say this but the fish rivalled the ones back home, it tasted great! (sorry Nan - Lee) We said our farewells to Mary and headed home - "So Long and Thanks for the Fish" (did Lucy just make a quote? - Lee)
Thursday 9th January Having had no luck with the job hunting, we decided to give it a break and do some sight-seeing. We went into Freo, planning to do some of the touristy stuff, we started off at The Round-House - WA's first prison, (it could only hold eight men - Lee). Afterwards we stopped off for a Devonshire Tea at the cafe.
We then took a river boat cruise up to Perth city, along Swan River. It was a lovely day and we both caught the sun, (we stupidly forgot the suncream). Upon arriving in Perth, we went to the Swan Bell Tower. Which funnily enough is a tower with bells in (you culture vulture - Lee).
We arranged with Tina & Thembi to use their computer, as we'd decided that today would be the day that we'd start our mamouth "Christmas Posting" (well part one, at least - Lee). Whilst on the computer, Lee recieved an email about a potential job.
Friday 10th January Lee got a phone call at 9am from a company asking about contract work. They basically wanted him to start there and then, (well you know how it is, when you're as skilled as I am - Lee). Ego trip? So as Lee went off for an interview, I went off for another beach trip with Tina & Joel. Its a hard life. When I got back, Lee told me that he got the job, but we needed to sort out tax file numbers, so Tina dropped us off in town. Whilst in town we saw "a traditional english pub" - so we had to go in for a drink! They were right, it was an english pub, the prices were the same too; expensive!
Weekend 11th/12th January We spend most of the weekend chilling around the house. Watched Catch Me If You Can at the cinema on Saturday night. On Sunday we walked to Garden City (local shopping-mall, 20 mins walk - Lee), to find out about a job. But when we got there everything was closed! No Sunday trading? Well it seems not in WA... if a shop has more than 10 employees then they must close on Sundays (its the Law - Lee). Didn't we feel stupid!?
Week-ending 17th January Lee started work, playing on computers all day, having fun and all that jazz, in an air-conditioned house. Whilst I spent Monday and Tuesday job-hunting ending up with door-to-door collecting for a charity called Abilympics. Which I started Wednesday until Friday, when I quit as I got my first blister of the travels and didn't get home until 8:30pm on Friday. It didn't really make sense working evenings when Lee was free.
Saturday 18th January We had an early start today (you can say that again - Lee), as the taxi picked us up at 7:15am to take us into Perth city. We were off for a day's Kayaking! We started off in Rockingham, then kayak'ed across to Penguin Island and did some snorkeling. One of the people on the trip was a Korean guy who brought along some amazing Califorian Rolls (can't remember the Korean name for them), very tasty indeed.
We went for a walk around the island, there wasn't as many penguins there (it was the end of season for them), but the ones we did see were very cute. A beached Sealion was sleeping in the sun, at first we didn't know what it was, as it just looked like a brown lump. It was only when we got closer (not too close, they'll go for you! - Lee) to it that we could see its head. I didn't realise that sealions were furry, I thought they were silky like seals.
During lunch we saw some snake-lizard creature called a Skink. We were told that they were harmless, but they liked to nibble people's toes. When Lee wasn't paying much attention he felt something at his feet. (One of those little friggers had his mouth around my big toe - Lee). After lunch we headed back for Rockingham, our guide Belinda showed us excellent ways of splashing each other during a water fight. Good laughs!
We arranged to meet up with Tina & Thembi to go to an outdoor cinema. It was like a cafe with a big screen on the back wall, Lee was in his element, (beers at the cinema! - Lee). We watched Bowling for Columbine, a documentary about gun culture in the USA. We highly recommend it, a very eye-opening film.
Sunday 19th January A few days ago Mair phoned us with the news that the man who's house we were staying was going to return in a few days time. Leaving everything till the last minute, we packed our backs and headed for Mair's (as she kindly offered to put us up for the rest of our stay in Perth), its great news for Lee as its even closer to work now! (we're so unbelievabley lucky - Lee).
Week-ending 24th January Week 2 of work for Lee, nothing new to report there! On Monday I was back job-hunting, got an interview for Tuesday. At the interview found out is was door to door sales in the evenings so basically the same as what I had been doing. Decided to stay for the training session to see if it was worth it but decided at the end not to bother with it. On my way to find out about street pitching for the Wilderness Society (a conservation group like Green Peace) I saw people street pitching for Plan (a Charity like Oxfam). Got the details and arranged to meet the guy on Wednesday. So now I am standing in shopping malls trying to get people to donate monthly to Oxfam.
Weekend 25th/26th January Saturday was a quiet day spent lazing round the pool whilst Lee played GameBoy, [Does that sound familiar Mum? - Spain]
Sunday was Australia Day - similiar to America Independence Day. Where all Aussies are waving their flags high (even if it does have the Union Jack on it! - Lee) It seems to be a big excuse for a party. Thousands of people gathered on ever side of the Swan River whilst even more crowded the river in boats to watch water and air displays including 40 syncronised sky divers. The main event of the evening started with a tribute to the victims of the Bali bombing. I missed this as I was queuing for the Ladies. When I got back Tina, Thembi and Joel had found us and the Lotto Skyworks commenced. There was a firework display from nine barges on the river, several building on the skyline and a bridge plus a couple of speed boats. We were told that over AU$4,000,000 spent on fireworks and there was over 350,000 people there. I'm sure that most of them were walking the same way as us back to the car I don't think I have ever been in such a big crowd, not even Glastonbury or football matches.
Week-ending 31st January Because Australia Day was on Sunday, Monday was given as a bank holiday. We spent the day doing yet more chilling and lazing round the pool and reading books. Tuesday was back to work for both of us.
Wednesday evening we got a bit more culture as we went on a Candle Light tour of Fremantle Prison. It was meant to be spooky but the guide had to tame it down as we had young children in the group. It wasn't spooky yet it made me jump a couple of times. It was interesting to find out that the death penalty was only abolished in 1986-ish in WA, and the last execution in the prison was 1964.