March 30th, 2006

Holidays from work don’t typically last 45 days so it’s probably obvious now that I am no longer on holiday, but I am still in Australia! So here’s how that happened:

One day whilst on the beach with Marcus he talked about his agency offering him sponsorship. So I gave them a call, told them what I do, lined me up an interview and before the week was out had a contract job downtown and a visa to stay in Australia until 2010*! The job is cool, it is doing C# .net programming! I had ended my current contract in UK just as I left so the timing was perfect. Although sorry to everyone I did not really get to say goodbye to, I kind of went on holiday and didn’t come back which is a bit weird I suppose but when the moment comes you have to take it. If anyone wants to buy a red Audi A3 let me know!

I would have been too sad to say goodbye to Amy and she was going to move to Sydney anyway, so we have moved in together in a nice little flat in Manly. A bit of a nightmare finding somewhere to live which is furnished (very few and far between in Sydney). Thanks to Simone and Stu for letting us stay in their spare room for so long, we owe them big time.

Our block in Manly
We are on the 3rd floor (2nd if your English)

Here it is from the Wharf –

Where in the world...Ocean World
Closest I’ve lived to Sharks (Ocean World)

and again with a view from our balcony at night time (you can see the Manly ferry at the wharf)

View from the balcony!
Our balcony view!

Here’s the living room, the black wire is for the little speakers on the cabinet and is not a permanent fixture –

View of the living room
Living Room with Amy

So yes, now we live 5 minutes walk to one of my favourite beach breaks, rather than a 5 hour drive! Although one problem is that I have another month of physio before I can even go out in the water! Oh the irony! I also visited the surgeon who told me that there was an 80% chance of it happening again. Which isn’t good, as it’s possibly the most painful pain I’ve ever felt.

Journeys to Sydney are more like a bit of an adventure. The quickest way to work is on the ferry which always reminds me of trips to Calais, France from Dover in England without Duty Free. The other morning Amy had to go to the gym really early so we were some of the very few people on the Manly ferry that morning. I took my camera and took some pictures of the early morning light.

Manly Ferry Passing the Heads
The other Manly Ferry just before we pass the heads

sydney view 06h30 am
Sydney 06h30.. on the way to work

We celebrated Simone and Stu’s anniversary with a dinner at Milson’s Point just under the harbour bridge just by Luna Park. It was a nice night out and also a bit surreal eating right under the Opera House!

amy and me at milsons point
Amy and me @ Milson’s Point

So to wrap it all up with another final little comparison picture (my favourites) –

cold cold haersh english winter
The cold cold harsh English winter in Warwickshire, England – February 2006
going out with the fish
Going out with the green fish (pre injury days) Freshwater, Australia – March 2006

Looking at that last picture, I’ll never go out surfing when it’s like that again. “High tide the wave of your life, low tide the end of your life” says the Rip Curl tidal chart attached to the fridge which I’ll be paying a lot more attention from now on.

Peace out for the time being, I have to get back to my physio exercises and do loads of stuff getting everything sorted out. Then I will finally get time to sort out some videos, I have lots and lots of footage to make some cool stuff with.

Also our flat is only one bedroom but one of the sofas is a fold out bed so everyone is welcome to come and visit whenever they want!!! And Sydneyites, stay tuned for the house warming!!!

* I have to work to keep the visa.

March 28th, 2006

Sorry for the lack of updates, have not been anywhere where there’s an internet connection for the computer. But to update you on the surf (that I can’t go out in but wouldn’t anyway) it is BIG.

Cyclone Wati has been giving the coast a severe battering –

Just another day at Tamarama! 28th March Photo (C) SMH

We got on the Manly ferry two days ago and got soaked because the swell was so high it reached over the top of the boat!!

Good news is next update should have videos and lots and lots of pictures!

Take it easy!

March 19th, 2006

Marcus’ birthday was celebrated in true ‘stralian style with a BBQ on Shelly Beach in Manly. It is a beautiful location with a nature reserve and no waves for people with recovering dislocated shoulders to worry about. Unfortunately I left the battery for the camera at home charging, so could not take any photos of the glorious day and of Marcus and Nancy’s wonderful steak sandwiches. I got Marcus a rash vest for his birthday as his old one was cut in two at the hospital!!

So after a great day out with them we went back to Mosman a little bit drunk! The next morning we woke up to another beautiful sunny day and decided that after we did a little bit of grocery shopping we would head down to Chinamans Beach which is at the bottom of our street –

Amy on Chinamans Beach

It was a nice day and we even had a little dip in the sea to cool ourselves off. We are currently staying at Simone and Stu’s house here in Mosman and its absolutely beautiful! Here is a picture of us all having dinner at their house last week –

Simone, Amy, Stu and myself in Mosman at S&S’s house

Here is the picture perfect view from Simone and Stu’s house as your walk out of their front door –

View from Simone and Stu’s house

That is it for now more updates soon! Fizzer has added some updates to his new site.

March 15th, 2006

Amy and myself went down to Manly to meet Nancy and Marcus for some beach fun. The waves weren’t really coming in. In fact, they were so small it was almost not worth even going out. However we decided it would be a good day for mal riding with Amy and Nancy, so after sitting on the beach for a while I went off and hired a mal, it was really a mini-mal as its dimensions were 7’6.

I put on Marcus’ rash vest and thought I’d have a quick go whilst waiting for Marcus to get back from getting his fish board. I paddled out into the non-existent surf on the mal and waited for a wave. A technique used on my board is if a wave looks like it is going to break, lean into it and go head under. I normally appear out the other side still in sitting position on the board. I must have been out for about 60 seconds when I attempted something similar. However, the consequences went horribly wrong –

I became a burden on the Australian health system

The mal has a much bigger surface area than a shortboard and so the wave must have sucked me over. The whitey bubbly water just as the wave breaks is not the place you want to be. So, in a sitting position on the board I went over the falls. This is not the best of positions to go over in as I later worked out. I protected my face from getting hit by the board but instead it either hit me in the shoulder or my arm hit the sand as I went sideways over the edge of the wave. My arm definetly felt wrong and when I came to the surface it looked wrong as well. I stayed calm and let the waves push me back to shore, Amy took the board off me whilst I went to the life guards, they walked me to the tent at the end of the beach where I sat down and breathed oxygen as the pain was really getting intense. The lifeguards were really nice and helpful and one girl even held ice on my shoulder. An ambulance came and gave me 10mls of morphine, after that everything went a little weird!!

So I got into hospital and had more morphine and breathed oxygen and had xrays taken. I was then told I was going to have a drug similar to rohypnol (sp?) and that I would be consious but no really aware of anything. After getting that I was in a crazy dream world as Amy told me about some of the things I was saying whilst in la la land. I remember some of it but was sure it was a dream rather than reality!! The picture above was taken in a room I don’t remember being in!

So that was a very long day and now I have a sling which I have to wear for two weeks and no surfing for the foreseeable future!! Sucks!! More happier updates coming soon….

Fizzer has a blog now, which rules, it’s called Faiser Chief go check it out!

March 11th, 2006

A few days of hanging out in Sydney and I was up to Brisbane to see Amy and meet her family who were all very nice and very welcoming. It was my first time staying at an Australian families house, even in all the time I was staying here last year so I was really looking forward to it.

When we arrived we went for a quick drive to a viewpoint near The Gap to look over Brisbane. Here is Amy with Brisbane soft blurred behind –

Amy and Brisbane

The weather started out beautiful, however I was warned that it might be a bit rainy when we headed up the sunshine coast, it appeared a weather front the size of Europe was heading towards Queensland and was set to arrive just as we were at Noosa.

Before we headed off we went out for a little walk along the South Bank and a quick coffee at a nice little cafe down there –

Brisbane Downtown at Night

and the cafe we had coffee at –

Coffee on the Southbank

So the next morning we headed off to Noosa. I visited Noosa with Andrew last time I was in Australia and it was sun drenched with no waves (see that entry here). This trip was the polar opposite of that trip! Which was good and bad. Bad because we could not sit on the beach and Amy and me couldn’t hire longboards and surf down the nice little beach whilst catching some rays.

We had dinner the first night at an Italian restaurant on Hastings Street, which was very nice, we then had a few cocktails at a bar across the street which were also very nice! I finished it off on a milk based banana chocolate cocktail which I was nearly sick of. The next day we drove down to the headland to see the surfers. We could not walk as it was practically the wettest day I’ve ever seen, when we arrived I took as many pictures as I could without getting the camera wet. Ten News were even down there filming the surfers as it was apparently one of the few spots left on the Queensland coast where you could actually surf without the risk of getting killed! The QuikSilver Pro was even cancelled because the surf was dangerous! Later on the news it said the winds were as strong as that found in a category 2 cyclone!

Here are some pictures from Noosa Heads 4th March 2006 and Mooloolaba on the 5th –

Best Surf Picture I’ve Taken!

Getting in Deep

Water colour was horrible

This guy caught a huge wave in but then on the paddle back to shore got caught in the nasty throthy gunk that the ocean brought to the beaches –


Noosa beach was completely washed away which was sad but they can pump more sand back again apparently. There was also a lot of rescues taking place as a lot of people got into trouble whilst in the water.

As it was raining and was definitely not sitting on beach weather, we headed off to the Sunshine Mall in Maroochydore where we watched “Date Movie”, it was not very good but some bits were funny!

That night we went to a nice restaurant called Bistro C which was right next to the water which we could hear crashing down next to us but the food was really nice, we also had a few more cocktails, which is ok because we were on holiday!

So the next day we drove back to Brisbane and went out to celebrate Amy’s sisters engagement to Wado at a nice restaurant on the South Bank which was very nice. We then headed into “The Valley” to meet Tara and Paul –

Amy, Tara, Liam and Paul at “The Empire”, “The Valley”, Brisbane

We could not go sailing with Taryn and Wado because of the storm was still blowing, so we had a lovely BBQ at Sam and Elliot’s house where we met Buffy Summers the Doberman and Wink the Beagle (see in Anhdres brilliant picture).

We then got a taxi back to Amy’s parents house with the scariest taxi driver I’ve ever got in a taxi with!

March 6th, 2006

I’ve written a nice long entry to put on the website, with lots and lots of pictures and stuff like that.

However, due to no one in the internet cafe actually understanding how a computer and the internet work, I have not been able to log in with my computer and put any information up!

So it will be a little while still before any cool stuff gets posted!