Settling in, meeting Meat and Neighbours

Trip Start Jul 22, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Well, it's been a whole week in the country now (give or take a few hours) and im starting to just about settle in.

Im still struggling a bit with jet lag; my sleeping pattern is relatively normal but relies somewhat too heavily on Nytol and coffee (not together for obvious reasons, that would be like strapping a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat and dropping it to see which side would hit the ground first)

So what have i been up to? I hear you ask. No really, i do...

I'll attempt at chronology again, but I'm pretty sure it wount work out exactly like that, please forgive any jumping from subject to subject as I remember snippets of information.

I've finally visited Melbourne City Centre, or CBD as they call it. Thinking back to GCSE Geography I can tell you that this stands for Central Business District - Mr Whitby (and Mr Hogarth) would be proud of me. It's pretty spectacular, similar to London in some ways in how it blends buildings hundreds of years old with huge and brand new sky scrapers, but the most impressive thing in my eyes is the amount of installation art everywhere you look; I hope to get some photos up soon. It's really amazing and has loads of marmite (love it or loathe it) contemporary designed buildings as well. Jen, you'l be pleased to know E & Y have one of the biggest skyscrapers - i got a photo of it which i'll upload at some point. You should look into a transfer!

The city is beautiful, especially at night, with everyone making the effort to light their buildings up, particularly those along the Yarra river, which flows, not unlike the Thames, through the middle of the city, and has, again like the Thames, a row of really plush bars down the Southbank.

I'd gone into the City to meet up with Tom and Katie, who, like me, are escapees from The Didsbury. They're coming to the end of their travels in Oz as im starting mine so it was great to get all the info from them, catch up, and hear a manc accent. Tom also managed to get himself into the statewide paper, with Casey, via a reporter standing on the riverbank desperately trying to make people stop and give their opinions on the phrase Ozzy ozzy ozzy...oy oy oy. Yes, it's pretty hard hitting stuff i know.

Whilst in the city I completed the setup of my bank account, this really isn't interesting i know, but I feel it worth mentioning because it was so unbelievably easy compared to the hoops you have to jump through in he UK. Id filled in a form online before I'd left, and then all i had to do was go into the branch with my passport and my ATM card was there waiting for me, all i had to do was show my passport to prove it was me picking it up.

Then it was home, as sleep was starting to hit me (at 4:30pm!?!), andi had to meet Casey's dad , and watch a netball match. I feel i should now explain myself, as I've not watched Netball since my schooldays of perving on the girls taking part in Mrs Housley's classes. Firstly, Casey's sister, Ash, is a netball player - and a jolly good one having made the Australia U21s squad; and secondly, it would seem netball is not the niche sport here that it is in the UK. I was watching the match on the TV for a start, and there were over 10,000 people at the stadium. I'm not going to give my opinion on its merits, as that has got me into trouble in the past, but it certainly wasnt the worst hour ive ever spent.

The day previously (i knew this would happen) I'd been to see the new Batman film. I'd definately recommend it and can say all the plaudits for Heath Ledger's performance are not, as i'd suspected, just because of the circumstances; he does do malevolent psychopath briliantly and Oscar calls are not unfounded.

Which brings me to yesterday, and what was promising to be the highlight of my trip, well, something i had to do whilst in Melbourne; the Neighbours tour!

My humble words i feel will not come close to the emotions i was feeling as i wandered around Ramsey Street,peering in through the Kennedy's window (not strictly speaking allowed) having my photo taken next to the House of Trouser, attempting to steal Paul Robinsons copy of *probably* Evil Doer's Daily. I also visited the exteriors of Carpenter's Mechanics, Grease Monkeys, Erinsborough High, saw the bus shelter Toadfish had been handcuffed naked to on his stag party. I was in awe, well, maybe not as much awe as the 13 year old on our bus who knew every episode and resident inside out, and who recognised the actor we saw getting into a trailer...Steve? But awe nonetheless. Here was, before my very eyes the cul-de-sac that potentially, along with Richard Whitely and Carol Vorderman, Fern and Phil and Paul o'Grady had cost me my First at University.

Obviously the afternoon was completed with my Star Visit. A cast member, past or present, was going to meet us on the bus. Oh my God, who was i going to have? Please let it be Susan Kennedy or Lou...please please, if not one of them at least someone i recognise...

No, i got Michelle Scully. Who? You remember, the Scully that wasnt Flic - 'Olly Valance or Steph..the other one.

Admittedly she was lovely to us, and has got hot since she's left and stopped being that chubby kid, and is set to appear in a new show called Rush, which may or may not make it to the Uk. Yes, it was a cheesy day, aimed at British backpackers - Casey was the only non-Brit on a coach of about 20, but yes, it was fun and im glad i did it.

Then later in the night we stumbled across a free beer tasting event in a bar on Federation Square. Free beer? 'Say yes to everything Tim!' Sadly it was American beer night, ho hum, cant win them all. An honerable mention here, though, to Australian beer; Fosters it aint!

I feel I've now written far to much, so i want to sign off. Before i do however, i want to acknowledge the existance of chicken salt. Why, why why do we not have this in the UK? Salt that tastes like chicken and can take the humble chip to a higher plain! mmm mm mmm! The wildlife also needs a mention, to coin a phrase - Flaming Galahs - everywhere. Big beasty parrots and cockatoos on every telegraph pole and tree, making so much bloody news. Yes its not 'roos or snakes, but i was excited by them!

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cadburymonster on

Argh I miss you so much!
Hi Timmy! I love getting your messages in the morning over my breakfast & coffee! You sound like you are having the best time and making the most of every day which is exactly what you were instructed to do!! Good job on EY spotting - maybe I should see if I can get seconded out there!

Things are much the same here, a few of us went to the pub quiz last night and came second - however there were some discrepencies with the quiz master who's grasp of American politics left me gaping at my answer sheet. This weekend is Cecillia's and Leon's joint birthday bash with drinks around castlefield and back to theirs - I will not be partaking in all day drinking after the last party at theirs!

No other major events to report - we too saw the Batman film on Sunday - you can imagine how excited I was! We also have tropical fish now - one is named Tim but I think 3 are really named Tim as they look pretty similar. Had a super curry at Pri's house with the girls and everyone was asking after you.

Like I saw - life just plodding along as per usual - just with a big gap in the form of you. I am glad you are having fun - come back soon please!! :-D xxx

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