Showing posts from July, 2011

Around Australia in 7 days

It's been a very busy couple of weeks of work travel. Last week a coworker and I made the 4-hour drive to Port Campbell to visit three sites (natural gas plants). It was the first time I've been to a functioning site, so it was quite an experience for me. I'm sure I was a sight to see in my overalls, high-vis vest, hardhat with ear muffs, and steel toed boots. Watching my coworker climb around running turbines was very intimidating to me - I was afraid to get too close and touch anything! It was interesting going through the safety rituals at each plant, one required an hour-long video with a test, and another a 5-minute power point presentation. After work one evening we took the 10-minute drive to see the 12 Apostles (though I think there are only 8 standing now). They are spectacularly beautiful and I can't wait to take Phil on a drive along the Great Ocean road and show him them. I started off this week with a flight to Alice Springs (right in the middle of t…

Reality has moved in

I had a big goofy grin on my face when the moving truck pulled up this morning. It has been a long wait - 11 weeks since they came in, packed everything up, and sent it on the slow boat to Australia. The good news is we seemed to have made it through quarantine and customs without incident. I even managed to smuggle in some cupcake sprinkles and a muddy dog leash undetected (unintentionally of course). It's hard living with other people, no matter how nice and helpful they are (and they have been awesome), and I knew I would be excited to finally get everything so I can really start to settle in. What I didn't expect to feel though was homesickness. When they opened the truck and I saw all of those boxes, it hit me that this is for good, there is no turning back now. As I started going through the boxes, I kept finding things that reminded me of home - the shot glasses from our friends' wedding, the wedding presents people gave us... it just reminded me how far away…

Australia is for the birds

I spent the weekend with a friend my mom met tole painting, Janice Timmins, in Traralgon (ter-al-gon) about two hours East of Melbourne. We had a great time exploring the area, and I got to see some fabulous birds. On Saturday we went to a rain forest area and stumbled upon a male and female lyre bird, which are apparently pretty rare for people to see. The female was busy scratching around in the dirt, and the male was trying to get her attention by showing off his feathers and running around. We sat still and watched them for quite awhile. On the drive over we also had a close call with a suicidal wallabee that we narrowly avoided hitting. This morning I got a fabulous bird show outside their kitchen window. They have two cockatoos and some really colorful birds that enjoy the bird seed. It was fascinating watching their interactions, some of the birds seemed to think they owned the place and would chase the other birds away. The cockatoos were happy to share the seed stash a…

Lost in translation

I made an interesting discovery while Phil was visiting. I was introducing him to all of the dogs we are staying with, specifically one named Molly. We were talking to her and petting her, and her owner looked at us and said, "Who's Molly?" We looked at the dog and looked at her and asked what the dog's name was. She said Molly. I said right, Molly. She said no, M-A-R-L-E-Y (except it still sounded exactly the same as Molly). So apparently I had been calling Marley Molly for three weeks because I couldn't understand the different through the accent. It was quite an amusing discovery.

Then Phil and I were watching tv and the announcer said, "up next, the movie Molly and Me." I asked Phil what movie that was because I'd never heard of it, until we both realized it was probably Marley and me. Bingo.

It's funny how different the pronounciations are here, when words end in A they add an R (like Suzanner), and words like NO have extra vowels i…

An open letter of apology to Murray the cat

Dear Murray,
Let us begin with a heartfelt “We are sorry” that we have invaded your house, and brought our dog and cat with us.

Our dog Maybe wants nothing but the best for you. She wishes that you could be best friends with her and spend the afternoons watching TLC and Animal Planet together. She has a hard time comprehending why you are so averse to this. When you stare at her from behind the gate she just wishes you would jump over so she can frolic with you and possibly chew on your ears or tail.

The cat, George, thinks he is prettier than you, so it's probably best just to ignore him and don't let him bother you.

Thank you for your patience. We realize this is a difficult situation that you have been thrust into without your prior knowledge or consent and we appreciate all of your efforts.

Warmest Regards,
The Richardsons

One month in

I've survived my first month of living in Australia. It's been an interesting ride so far trying to learn the language, the area, and try to adapt to everything being different. This morning I put Phil on a plane back to the US, where he will be for one more month until he can finally move over with the cat and dog. The good news is our container arrived last Friday, the bad news is that it sounds like I'll get everything around July 14th. That will mean I will have lived out of just the suitcases I brought on the plane with me for 10 weeks. I will definitely be ready to have some more socks and jackets. It's amazing how few socks I packed compared to shirts, where as Phil put his entire sock drawer in his suitcase. It was nice to have Phil here to show him what I've been describing to him. There are certain things that just don't translate through email, like the difference in language and the new discoveries I've been making on a daily basis. He ap…