Leaving Sydney

Trip Start Sep 28, 2003
Trip End Sep 29, 2004

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Well I am now in Adelaide, but thought I would just add a quick final entry to my travelogue, for Drummoyne - home for the last six months.

First of all - I must say that the time here has gone quite quickly really and it does not seem long ago since James and Kelly were both busting moves in the living room, taking advantage of the newly polished floor on the day we moved in.

However, what have I done over the last month I hear you ask....

Well here is some of the more interesting stuff. We did a pub crawl around the pubs in an area of Sydney called "The Rocks" this is near the South end of the Harbour Bridge and is where some of the older drinking establishments in Sydney reside. With at least two of them claiming to be the oldest in Sydney. There is a Lowenbrau bar in The Rocks as well, which is great - they ever serve the beer in litre steins. Very expensive, but also highly enjoyable, especially with the themed staff dress and Oom Pah music.

I got to see my first AFL game (Aussie Rules football), it was different! Especially the fact that I counted about 42 people on the pitch including around 5 officials. It even took place at Sydney Cricket Ground. V Weird. The only thing about it that related to cricket (apart from the pitch) was the fact that the main official was called an umpire, oh and the pitch was oval. The officials even do the throw-ins backwards, involving a kind of Montry Python walk, in reverse. Very bizzare!

I am not sure if I have mentioned it yet, but since Matthew and Katrina were here, we have become frequent visitors to out local drinking establishment. It is an Irish Themed Pub, but it is done in a good kind of way, and I am sure that I have mentioned PJ Gallaghers great food ($5 dollar steaks) somewhere before. One of the weekly events we have started to attend - apart from happy hour night, $5 dollar steak day and free champagne night (yes really) is the quiz night, and with the help of some of Kelly and Neil's friends and Michael - one of Neil's workmates, we have been there straining the grey matter every week. Well it should be noted that after a long time of coming joint 7th and so on, that we did actually once achieve a 2nd place! We were very proud, and managed to buy about 5 beers (total, not each!) with our earnings.

For the last two and a half weeks in Sydney, I got some work in a large hospital (again in St Leonards). This wasn't the most interesting of jobs, but it did keep me busy, helped me earn some money and also gave me experience of working in a hospital. I would mention about the time when I assisted in an operation here, but I don't think it would be legal - so I won't..... only kidding ;) Ermm I worked in several different areas of the hospital including wards, admin areas and laboratory areas.

Around the time of starting this job, I received an email from Elspith and Emily, some friends of Katrina and Matthew who were in Sydney for a week or so. They were possibly to stay with us in our spare room for a few days, but in the end they got free accomodation from a friend of a friend and sensibly decided to take that. Unfortunately we would have had to have charged for them to use the room in our house!

I arranged to meet up with them though, and was slightly puzzled when then suggested to meet me down near Circular Quay as they will be busking down there. I was a tad confused at first trying to work out if busking had an alternative meaning - like "hanging out", but then later when told to look for the two violin cases when meeting them, it all became apparent!

They were indeed busking and in the end managed to do fairly well from their playing. They even appeared at pubs in the rocks with a couple of bands, and played for a restaurant in Darling Harbour! I met up with them a few times, once struggling to find them in a bar when I discovered them guesting in the band on stage. They are intending to busk their way around Australia in six weeks, so I hope they are still having fun doing that!

Well I have just about got to my last complete weekend in Sydney before I left (I am now many more miles away from Sydney, in Perth as I type this). This weekend meant one thing to us in the house - Garage Sale! As we had indeed collected a wonderful collection of furniture and other things that we could not live without, we had to disperse said items also, in order to leave the house empty!

We staged a large publicity campaign, involving Kelly covertly printing off some posters at her work and then we taped the posters to trees and lamposts in the surrounding area. As is the trend when holding these kind of affairs!

Well some people came at 8.45am (we had said we opened at 9) and were dissappointed when the only antique offering we had was a particulary ancient ironing board. And no they were not interested in our three matching clothes rails from Woolworths. Then we had a trickle of people popping in throughout the morning. Interestingly enough, most people bought (or felt compelled to buy...) at least one item!

We did actually manage to shift a lot of smaller items (I actually sold some trainers that I never really wore- who would buy trainers at a garage sale?). When I put them out, it was more out of desparation than actually believing I might flog them. Unfortunately I did not manage to sell my "Interview" shoes although they did come with a handy bottle of shoe polish!

The major things, that we did not sell, the two sofas and my bed, all of which we would have given away at bargain rates! Unfortunately the Garage Sale trawling public of Drummoyne were just not interested.

That night we had a cocktail evening in our living room, which had become more of a empty box with all of the furniture still at the bottom of the garden. However we brought some cushions in and an old mattress, so it was still quite cosy. Michael, had worked in a bar before so he was able to suggest some spirits to buy and help knock together a few cocktails, which we all enjoyed. It was nice to meet up again with Jim and George, who were now back in Australia having been home to go to a wedding, they were just in Sydney for 10 days or so.

The morning after the night before we all slept in, and then in the afternoon, we visited our local lawn bowls club, where we we enjoyed playing for a couple of hours before it started raining! This was great fun, and saw eight of us split into four teams, each play each other. I especially enjoyed it as I seemed to bowl much better than last time, maybe it was something to do with the lack of alcohol!

Our last weekend in the house soon ended and we were back to sorting out the house before we left. The next part of our cunning plan to get rid of all of our stuff, was to give it to a charity. Kelly arranged for a local charity to come and pick it all up, this seemed like the answer to our dreams and when we returned home that night, to find the bed and sofas still there we were not too impressed. It seems that they had taken all of the small items of furniture and even the ancient ironing board with a foot missing.... They had left a note to explain that the thought the final items were damaged or soiled!

My next plan for the bed, was to try and sell it back to the company I bought it off. Luckily Neil had taken a day off from work, to do some stuff in the house before we left and was able to let them in to have a look at it. The night before I was very worried as some of the corners of the bed werre looking a bit tatty (it had been dragged in and out of the house a couple of times in trying to get rid of it, while not leaving me without a bed when we still had it!), so I was up late with a nail brush using fairy liquid and water to try and get the marks out. In the end I could not believe it, they paid $60 dollars for something that a charity would not take for free! Wooohoo!

Unfortunately the sofa's we really could not getrid of as hard as we tried, so in the end, we unfortunately had to hire a Ute (Small flatbed van, with three seats in cab) to take the remaining rubbish, to the dump.

We did this on the morning that we left, after cleaning up the house. Unfortunately, I - as ever had not started my packing until the night before and was still packing two minutes before the taxi came to take me to the station.

I had not quite done my share of the cleaning up, so I must say a big Thank You to Neil and Kelly who stayed and finished off the bits that were left and ensured the house was OK to leave!

There are no photos attached to this one yet, as I am very short on time. I have just booked a coulpe of excursions and will be hiring a car myself to do the South West Corner of OZ. So I am really busy. However, as soon as I get a chance, I will try and put some up. Hope everyone is well.

Take Care
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