Archive for October, 2011

Dislikes and Likes – A Homecoming

October 20, 2011

Ten things that I am not looking forward too about coming home…

1.  Sport taking up 1/3 of the news.
If only so much press could be given over to culture – what a wonderful nation we would be!  In the UK sport is seen on sports channel, not rammed down my throat in every evening news bulletin.

The Globe

2.  Tax
The Aussie tax thresholds are way higher than the UK and in the Middle East there is almost no tax – the first pay slip will hurt.

3.   Cockroaches
I spent 6 years in the UK and NEVER saw a cockroach.  I could widen this and include snakes and spiders, but I go by the theory of you are ok outside, but come in the house and you are dead.

4.   Yob Factor
Slightly different to CHAV factor.  Waddo in his flannie and thongs drivin’ his ute and playing Barnsey.  Ewwwwww!  Shazza in her boob tube, white stilettos, marabou feathers and fascinator pissed on West Coast Cooler at the races.  Noice!

5.   Parochial Outlook
The belief that Australia is a big game player in the International community, I have news – we are not!  The only time you hear about Australia in foreign news is when a backpacker goes missing or someone is eaten by a shark.

Yokine Bowling Club

6.   Liberal Party.
I want Tony Abbott gone.  I pledge to join and become an active member of The Australian Greens as soon as I am settled – I’m still in mourning for Meg, Natasha and my beloved Democrats.

7.   Bank Charges
Evil, evil, evil.  I have not been charged for an ATM withdrawal (apart from when abroad) or an ‘Account Keeping Fee’ since leaving in 2004.

8.   Commercial tele
The thought of watching Seven or Nine makes me want to puke, Ten at a push.  Thanking the goddesses for ABC and SBS – you will be my sanity and long may Aunty reign (mitts off Mr Abbott).

9.   Cost of petrol.
I have been paying QR0.85 per litre, that’s 23cents folks!

10.   The Gay Marriage Issue
Why the ALP is against this breaks my heart.  The year is 2011, some people are gay – get over it and stop the discrimination.

However these are eclipsed by the 1000’s of things that I love.

To name a few…

  • Larrikin spirit
  • The bush
  • The sea
  • Rivers
  • Oceans

Wonderful Wild Ocean

  • Alternative culture
  • Bob Brown
  • Mardi Gras
  • ABC
  • SBS
  • Black cockatoos heralding the rain
  • Middle class egalitarianism
  • Clover Moore
  • Compulsory voting
  • Recycling
  • The Carbon Tax
  • Magda Szubanski
  • Rainforest

Never Never Creek

  • North Bondi
  • The ANZAC Dawn Service
  • Watching two-up on ANZAC Day
  • Lamington Drives
  • Tidy towns
  • ‘Not happy Jan’
  • Byron Bay lighthouse at sunset

Byron Bay Lighthouse

  • The CWA
  • All those lovely merino sheep
  • Bush doofs
  • Crab circles in the sand

Clarkes Beach - Sand that squeaks and crab circles.

  • Cold beer
  • Meat pies
  • Swimming under waterfalls
  • Vanessa Wagner
  • BYO restaurants
  • The Opera House & Sydney Harbour on a sunny day

Sydney Harbour from Dover Heights

  • Country Markets – Mullim and Byron & Bello
  • Marsupials – possums in my roof
  • George Negus
  • Kerry O’Brien
  • The Oxford
  • Bright plastic money
  • Citrus trees in the backyard
  • Bad Dog (Drayton & Gaspar)
  • Kangaroo Paw
  • ‘Cool banana’
  • Summer thunderstorms
  • Pink and grey galahs
  • Combi’s
  • Ruth Cracknell (RIP)
  • Calling chooks, chooks

Pot's Chooks (Bello)

  • SMH and Good Weekend
  • Meat tray prizes at pub raffles
  • Baz
  • Saturday brunches
  • The one finger driving nod

Stop/Go - Pacific H'way

  • Musk life savers
  • Tim Minchin
  • Solitary beaches with white sand that squeaks

White's Beach

  • Acknowledging original Aboriginal land owners
  • Calling thongs, thongs – what’s a fucking ‘flip-flop’?
  • Anti-discrimination laws
  • The Taree Bypass
  • BBQ’s
  • Eucalypts


  • Judith Lucy
  • JJJ
  • NSW National Parks
  • The 7.30 Report
  • Seeing The Southern Cross in the night sky
  • The dawn chorus heralding in the day
  • Non secular schooling
  • Gravel roads
  • Big stuff – prawn, bananas, pineapples, sheep…
  • Sarah Blasko
  • Sydney botanical gardens – ‘please walk on the grass’
  • Summer  Christmas  – the irony of cooking a turkey in 38deg heat
  • Jelly tips
  • ‘Rage’
  • Tim Winton
  • Sand dunes
  • Buying fruit from the side of the road
  • Camping with dingoes by the sea
  • Fields of sugar cane


  • Cicadas
  • Samboy BBQ chips
  • The Freo Doctor
  • Morton Bay figs
  • Peter Carey
Glenifer Church - 'Oscar & Lucinda' is based on this

Glenifer Church - 'Oscar & Lucinda' is based on this

  • Whale watching from the beach
  • Drive through bottle shops – a slab in the boot of the car
  • Twin-poles (red and orange ones)
  • The DNA lookout at Kings Park
  • Beer gardens – schooners, jugs and midi’s
  • Quokkas
  • ‘No wuckers’


and of course the sound of kookaburras at sunset.


No, Thank You.

October 11, 2011

No, thank you, I won’t answer the million dollar question; I’ll take the money and leave.

Sometimes it’s not about the money, for me this is the first time it’s ever been about the money and unless the money is good, and I mean really good, then not interested.

Santorini - Greece

I said no to a shitty offer because I am worth more, and I don’t really want to be here – in a town which Lonely Planet describes as ‘the dullest place on Earth’.  Because I am not boring and I do not deserve a boring life – nine months of observation and alienation are enough – halas!

Downtown Doha

In saying that I will leave behind some amazing people – friendships formed in haste but solid and beautiful nonetheless.   As I said to my knitting group, if only these Monday nights and your friendship was enough, but as much as I love you guys it’s not.  Those of you who have touched me know who you are and I send genuine love and gratitude and the offer of place to stay in the Byron hinterland once I finally stop.

Byron Bay - 30 mins from where I hope to settle.

Many years ago – when I first started this adventure I was given the advice – jump from the bridge – what’s the worst that can happen – advice about giving up security and trusting that the universe will provide.

In many ways she has.

Pantheon - Rome

Today I made another jump – a decision made about self worth and what kind of future I want and what I am prepared to sacrifice to get there.

It has never been about cash for me and I am currently displaced.

Perth Coast

So back to my family in Perth for a couple of months, hopefully some temp work whilst my registration to teach in NSW is processed and then rural NSW for start of academic year unless I can find something beforehand.

Ephesus - Turkey

I set off from Bellingen broken hearted seven years ago and have seen so many amazing places and met many many wonderful people.

Beauville - France

I will miss being able to ‘pop to France for summer’ and proms at The Royal Albert Hall but will relish the family, friends, churning wild ocean, the sound of kookaburras and the blue/green contrast that only the Australian bush and sky can provide.

Royal Albert Hall

It’s time to come home.


No News is No News

October 6, 2011

I have nothing to say…

Desert Sunrise

Or rather nothing I can say after weeks of debacle negotiating a new contract – culminating in the random sacking of our CEO and his wife – throwing all previous negotiation to the quagmire and unable to start afresh as no-one is authorized to sign or negotiate.
My contract is up in three weeks.
There are scenerios A, B, C, D and possibly E – none of which can be discussed on a public forum and I am tired.  Tired of thinking, tired of planning, tired of asking.

Doha by Night from The Pearl

At the very least my visa expires on Oct 29th and they are legally obliged to send me to my country of naturalization – so home in three weeks – then let’s see.
Suzanne – Leonard Cohen just came into my headphones – honey for my aching soul.

The expat community I have embedded myself in has been wonderful in a sea of indecision and planning – thanks to Angela, Rachel, Jackie and the knitting girls (especially the Kirsty’s) for listening and helping me in the decision making process and their assistance in the execution of plans A, B, C & D.


It hasn’t all been a head f*ck though – had a lovely evening camping in the desert – an amazing star fix and evening swims in the sea.   Been keeping up my tan at the beach club and have almost finished another knitting/spinning project.

Our camping spot by day

Hopefully I’ll have more to say soon …