Sofas and stuff...

Finally, I have somewhere comfy to lounge around on in my living room whilst gazing at the view, or the TV. It arrived earlier this week along with a TV stand, which was flat pack and required a philips screwdriver to assemble, which, surprisingly, I didn't have. So a quick google to find a hardware store and a short trip up Pitt St got me a set of drivers and a few other bits and pieces. I'm getting to know what's on Pitt St and George St now, i've walked almost the full length of them a number of times. ("What? Walked?" I hear you cry, yes, walked, it's the way I get around these days, not having a car... and I'm not missing it the car too much either!)

So now the tv is on a stand, the PS3 on there with it, and the sofa is in. That pretty much sorts out my unit, for the essentials anyway. I can use my laptop on the breakfast bar, but I have a space set aside for a little table to put it on eventually. The only other thing I need is a spare bed, I have borrowed James & Nads blow up double height one at the moment for guests, but eventually I'll be getting one for that room too.

Well, it looks like it's gonna be another nice day for autumn, blue skies, sunshine, 22 degrees, it was quite nice yesterday too, I jumped on the ferry to Manly in the late afternoon and sat on the beach for a bit reading my book, and watching the surfers and volley ballers.

I promise I'll get my camera out again soon and start posting pictures, as soon as the broadband is connected (which is scheduled for a weeks time) I'll begin filling up my Flickr account!

Getting settled...

I've been in my unit for a week now and I'm feeling quite settled in, the home comforts have arrived (well, most of them have), so I have a bed to sleep on, a tv, a ps3 (of course :), washer/dryer, bar stools for the breakfast bar, and finally my new laptop arrived on Friday.

That has been a lot of hassle let me tell you. If you are considering buying a laptop from Rock, I'd suggest you reconsider! I ordered the laptop at the beginning of January (but changed the order to a newer model that became available on their web site in Feb, so lets say the start of Feb was the order date). I was told it would arrive in March, I told them I was leaving the country at the start of April and they still said it would arrive before then. March came and went, and I was told that they would ship it to Australia (for a fee of course), I arrived in Oz without a laptop.

After calling them, the sales guy told me that the machine was waiting for parts to arrive, the graphics cards as I recall. If I wanted to be updated on the status of the order I had to call them, they wouldn't call me to let me know what was happening. A couple of weeks after I arrived I started calling them regularly, the sales guy told me the parts had arrived from China where they had been stuck in customs, then he told me that the laptop was built but had failed testing, they couldn't find the right drivers! (This is a laptop built from stock parts essentially, plus it has been available on their website for purchase since February so you would assume that they had actually built one before this and tested it) This was a Friday night (well it was here) and so I asked him to email me with an update at the end of their day to tell me if the machine had been shipped. I got a pigeon english email from him which made no sense, other than I assumed that they hadn't shipped it. Oh, and he had kindly halved my shipping costs because of the delay... nice of them that!

So I was getting well pissed off by this point, and called them back on Monday, but the sales guy I normally spoke to was out of the office, and I spoke to someone else, who checked the status of my order and told me that there was no update, the machine wasn't built as they were waiting for the processors still. Surprisingly (or not) the sales guy was just feeding me bullshit to get me off his back. So the order was cancelled. I ordered a Dell XPS1730 the next day from Dell Australia, I was told that it could be up to 3 weeks due to a back order of a specific part (here we go again). However, within a week I had received the laptop, and I had numerous emails and calls from the order people giving me updates on my order. (Admittedly, a little confusing as some were telling me that it would be delivered before the end of May, and others saying the 2nd of May, but as it turned out, it was on the 2nd of May :)

Now I have a laptop which is a better spec, cheaper, and here! The blog posts should get more frequent, especially once I get the ADSL connected in a week or two. I'm using a free Wifi hotspot at the moment, but it kicks me every 30 mins and I have to log back on again to continue using it.

I'm quite pleased with my new unit, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large open plan kitchen and living area, on the 9th floor of a building on Circular Quay, so it's right in the middle of the city. A short walk from the main streets and right by the ferry wharves. It's also got a gym, pool, spa, sauna, and squash courts in the building, none of which I've used yet, of course ;) I'll post some pictures to my flickr page once I have proper net access as it seems not to like uploading stuff on this connection. Just need the sofa to be delivered (which is coming on Tuesday) so I can lounge around looking at the fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge.

The weather has been a lot better this week too, after only a couple of nice days the week I arrived most of the time it's been raining, not that anyone here is complaining too much as it's brought an end to the drought they have been having, but it's been the wettest April for ages and the coldest summer for ages too. Still, today has been a nice blue sky day, plenty of sunshine and about 20 degrees. Hopefully I'll be able to get used to the heat gradually as we're getting into autumn\winter now.

I'm getting used to it though, got up this morning and bought a paper and sat in a local restaurant for breakfast, then sat and had a coffee in a cafe on the Quay just outside my building whilst reading the paper, it doesn't get much better :)

Talking about the sunshine, I'll sign off now, stick my shades on and go and enjoy it a bit more!

I have a place to live!

My lease application was accepted for a 2 bedroom flat right on Circular Quay yesterday, which is about as in the city as you can get. Just a short walk to the Opera House and an amazing view of the Harbour Bridge. I'll post some pictures when I get moved in and my internet connection set up etc. but in the meantime, here's a link to where it is on the map:

View Larger Map

I get the keys on Thursday, as Friday is Anzac Day which is a public holiday.

So we're off this week looking for a bed, sofa, tv, washer/dryer etc. Ooh! Shopping! At last I can buy that nice flat screen tv I have been putting off because I knew I was coming out here...

First boags of my trip!

These blog posts might be short and out of order as i don't have my laptop yet and i'm posting from my phone still.

The first few days after i have arrived have been fantastic. James and Nads have been great, welcoming me into their home and showing me around, and offering advice on what I should be doing like getting a driving licence, tax code and medicare. They live in a very nice area in the northern beaches, but it's an hour away from the city so this has been my first trip there.

I'm currently sat on the harbour wall outside the opera bar in the sunshine with a great view of the bridge and opera house, with a nice cold James Boags beer. It doesn't get better than this and it has definitely made me think i'm doing the right thing! :-)

So now i'm off into the city to the bank and do some other stuff and then start looking for a place to rent.

Over half way there now!

I'm now sat in the gate waiting for the second leg of the journey to sydney. The picture is of the plane being spruced up ready for us to carry on.

The plane left heathrow about 3 or so hours late due to the bloomin snow, but this wasn't a bad thing cos it was mayhem in terminal 4.

it's 11am ish here in singapore but it feels like 4am which is what it really is for me :-) knackered!

My first footy game

Saturday was the first time i've been to a game of football, and which teams did i go to see? Derby vs Fulham.

Dave had suggested that we do something before i left for oz and we finally decided on this, then off into Derby for some food and more beer.

After telling more and more people i ended up booking Antibos restaurant for 20 people. It was great to see everyone and it was a great day, i even enjoyed the football match.

Thanks to Martyn for explaining to me that derby were in the white shirts and that after half time they had changed ends. Not sure i'd have enjoyed it as much if i hadn't had been told these things.

And so it begins...

Well, Friday was my last day at work, and it also ended up being the day my car was passed onto it's new owner.

Which means my journey to Oz is beginning really. I think this is where it'll start to sink in and I'll be getting nervous about going etc. At the moment I'm cool with everything, looking forward to it, but I think it will start to get a little weird not being at work anymore.

Friday morning started out as a morning after the night before morning... we all went out on Thursday night (about 20 of us from work) to have a curry and a few beers down Belper. Twas very nice and I even got a free ice cream from Harry of Maharajas as my leaving gift from him.

So getting up the next day was a little difficult. But I made it over to Castle Donnington services on the M1 for 10:30am, as arranged, to deliver my car. Paul, the guy who bought it, was up at the track for a track day, and as he's from Basingstoke it was nearer and easier to meet him there. Dave from work followed me up so that I had a lift back to Belper. Typically, as Dave and I were counting the cash, sat in the back of the car, a police 4x4 kept circling us looking at what we were doing... eventually they stopped and came over to ask us what we were up to. We were counting money and Paul was completing the V5 document... all above board and then they seemed satisfied and left. Then it was a trip back to Belper and straight to the bank to pay in the money.

I was a bit sad to see it go, loved that car, but it's gone to a good home I think. And no, Paul didn't take it on the track that day :P

Well I thought I might get an easy day with it being my last one and all, but no, Drill Sargeant Sadler and Private Swallow had other plans. I ended up being busy helping n00b Andy solve some of his compilation problems and update my document and various other bits and pieces until it was time for my "send off" :)

The whole company got together and Dan said a few words, then Steve said some more. It was nice, I will miss the old place and everybody there, (but not enough to stay :P) and we'll definitely keep in touch. I suspect there will be a steady stream of visitors once I have a place. I've been told in no uncertain terms that I will need at least a 2 bedroomed place, if not more. :)

Then it was off to the pub!

I handed my keys over to Dave, and I have my P45, so I am now officially jobless, carless, homeless, and according to Dan, useless! Woohoo \o/

So I've got 3 weeks of getting packed and ready ahead, oh and the odd leaving event, all the weekends are booked up, and the days in the week are too, I'm off up to Edinburgh to see Jock on the 31st, and we're off to watch a Derby game on the 29th, and for a curry in Brum on the 22nd.

Busy busy busy.

A weekend away at Filey

Last weekend all the family had a weekend away at our old family holiday destination of Filey. We've been there many times to Butlins, and to a few other guest houses in Filey town itself. It was great to get everyone together and do some of the things we used to do. We made it out onto the Brigg and had crab sarnies for dinner one of the days.

I didn't sleep too well the first night so was up early enough to catch the sunrise...

Click on the piccy to see more pictures of us enjoying ourselves.

The weekend brought back a few memories, and we all enjoyed it I think, even if we didn't manage to get a waffle or fish and chips :)

Christy & Dave arrived with their car jam packed... you wouldn't have thought we were only there for a couple of days with the stuff they brought, heaps of games and things to do (we played travel Monopoly on Friday night which was funny with a miniscule board and money) and enough grub to feed the 5000... well it seemed like it at the start of the weekend, but there wasn't much left at the end really. Christy did a grand job of organising the weekend and looking after everything whilst we were there! Cheers Sis!

The weather was pretty good too for this time of year, quite bright and sunny for most of the weekend if a bit windy and cold.

On the Friday night everyone presented me with a cake with 2 airplanes on it and wishing me a well in my new life in Oz. Also Mum and Dad got me a hat with corks hanging from it, a book on Australia, and a bottle opener. Christy and Dave had also been busy with photos, they gave me a set of coasters which each had a photo of a member of the family, and also a book mark which was a laminated montage of photos of me and the family. So i'm definitely not gonna be forgetting any of them in a hurry!

I'll miss 'em all!


Just had a mail from Gav, who used to work for TBS but now lives in New Zealand, he's always sent us update mails to let us know what he's getting up to on his far reaching travels, and he's asked if I can do some promotion of his activity search website that he's building. It's pretty cool if you're into actually going outside and stuff :) You never know, I might get all active once I arrive in the land of warm weather

Click here to go to YouGoDo

Megadeth at Rock City

This monday I went to see Megadeth at Rock City with Dave and Jim. It was a great gig, we arrived in time to see the last support act and set about quaffing ales until Dave Mustaine and the rest of Megadeth appeared. (Well, Dave was quaffing shandies due to having to take anti-biotics or some such medication for a month, and due to this offered to drive as well! Nice chap.)

They played tracks off the new album and many old favourites, including Wake Up Dead, Holy Wars and Peace Sells.

Here's a clip from the night that Dave found on YouTube:

Being old buggers we were all talking about the last time we were there watching Megadeth, in 1988! 20 years ago, and Dave saw them again there in 1993, billed as Vic and the Rattleheads.