Alice Springs

The first week has been pretty full really. Mostly, we have been trying to settle into out little cabin and make it home. Our house isn’t ready yet so we have to stay there for a month or so. At first I didn’t think it was going to work but it is and I actually quite like it, it is quite homely really. I love waking up every morning and listening to the birds and sitting on my front door step and looking up at the mountains on the blue skies. I love going to bed at night and it is so dark and there are so many stars.

I have also been trying to find a job. I have managed to update my resume and send it to a few places and so hopefully something will come up. For those of you to whom I winged and moaned to about this endlessly I also got a Cert IV. In the end they gave me full credit for my degree and experience. Still annoys me that I spent all that time making a portfoilio and had to pay $350 for something that they ended up saying you already know all this stuff but it certainly was much less time and money than if I had to actually do it. I hope I find a job soon. I am starting to feel a little lacking of purpose and meaning in my life. As nice as it is to not do much I get to the end of most days feeling a little nit toey.

I have also been trying to get involved in the different things and meet some people. On Friday we went adn heard some live music at the Laneway. It is the coolest venue. On the roof of a laneway cafe so you can listen to music and look up at teh stars. On Sunday I went to the Catholic church, still trying to work out if I’ll give it another go but that’s a whole other post. Also watched Martin play soccer with the other “soccer wives” (it wasn’t as bad as I have made it sound, it was actually fun). Last night I went to Campfire and tonight I have been invited to a woman’s group. Everyone is really welcoming really but it takes awhile for people to feel like friends so I am missing everyone heaps.

The boat that rocked

While Martin and I were Byron Bay we went and saw this movie. I didn’t like it all. It was made by the people who did “Love Actually” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” both of which I thought were quite funny, clever and human. This on the other hand was just filled with cheap jokes mostly crude and/or sexist by what I would call fairly cruel people.

My new life

Now that I have caught up on all the blogs I am ready to blog myself. I am sitting here on mum and Keith’s balcony sipping a glass of wine and eating some nibbles. The sun is setting over the 800 million year mountain range and it, like the whitegums, is glowing and the birds are making their last calls before retreating for the evening. It is all quite exquisite. I just wish all my friends were here as I missing you all heaps.

It’s been quite a busy time since arriving here on Wednesday night (I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog) lots to organise I tell you but before I get to that I want to blog the rest of our holiday after my last post in Caloundra.

Next stop after Caloundra was Gayndah with a stop off at Maroochydore for my last beach swim. It was a beautiful day on a beautiful beach and it was very hard for me to leave and begin the 3000km journey away from the coast. Thankfully, it wasn’t that hard for Martin who is really much more of an inland man so he pushed me on. My uncle Richard lives in Gaynadah and we were keen to visit him and check out his town. It was a great town and Richard was a marvelous host taking us around to see the sights. He works on an orchard so he gave us a bit of a tour and explained how the fruit gets from the trees to our shops. It was all very interesting really especially for Martin the agronomist.

From Gayndah we drove to a place called Carnarvon Gorge. I hadn’t heard of Carnarvon before mum recommended it to us but it was a bit of a highlight for me. Great camping and we did a walk in the Gorge the following day which was spectacular. We saw the biggest, clearest aboriginal rock paintings I had ever seen. The walk itself was great, crossing the river numerous time under the red gorges. After Carnarvon we were back on the road to Barcaldine. The town where the Labor Party started apparently. There we stayed at the oldest pub in town. Built in the 1880′s as far as I recall.

The next day was the much anticipated visit to Longreach and Winton. We loved the QANTAS museum at Longreach and the tour of the plane although we were unable to do the wing walk tour which was disappointing as they were full that day. It didn’t quite cure Martin’s fear of flying but it was certainly an interesting beginning, I juts have to try and actually remember it. We loved Winton too. It was so cute. And a very funny place for us. We had a milkshake in town but they were very big milkshakes and we were having trouble finishing them so I said to Martin let’s have a competition to see who can finish first. We started drinking them fast. I burped as I was feeling so sick which made us both laugh especially Martin who then vomited up half of his milkshake. This amused us even more but not the poor man sitting two table down from us who had come to enjoy a quiet coffee and brownie but instead had to put up with our disgustingness. Thankfully we were outside so were able to just throw water over it but it was quite embarrassing asking for it. We did do some touristy stuff there too. We visited the dinosaur museum. Apparently about 100km’s out of Winton there are some dinosaur footprints that represent the only recorded dinosaur stampede. It is these footprints that apparently Steven Spielberg used as inspiration for the stampede in Jurassic Park. We would have loved to have gone but we couldn’t due to time. The museum though was interesting enough. Made me realise how much of what I know about dinosaurs is based on the American dinosaurs rather than the Australian dinosaurs. That night we slept in Kynuna. Population 10 but more stars than you ever did see. Also the home of the Billabong where apparently Waltzing Matilda is set and that we visited the next day. Interesting but not exactly stunning. From the Billabong we drove to Cammoweal on the border of Queensland and the NT where we camped on a waterhole and enjoyed a beautiful sunset and even more stars. We drove through Mt Isa but I have written about that.

Finally, we entered in the NT the next day. It was exciting to be getting nearer to what will now be our home, not to mention we were tiring of being on the road, so we decided to just drive the 900km left to Alice. We did manage to stop off at Tennant Creek for lunch though and Devil’s Marble’s for a bit of a walk. Devil’s Marbles was extraordinary. Massive, round, red rocks formed by millions of years of slow erosion. I was struck as I had been many times along this trip of all that exists out there that I hadn’t heard of before.

So the sun has now gone and it is dark. A fire has been lit and Keith has just told me that this must be longest post in history so I think I will leave the Alice stuff for my next post.

We are still alive

We have been out of range for the last couple of days so there hasn’t been any internet and now I am paying through the roof for it so this isn’t going to a long one. Just wanted to say we are still here. Have manged to make it through most of Queensland now and we are in Mt Isa, pretty horrible place really but we had some good chinese believe it or not. We are having a marvelous time (laughing a lot) and visited some interesting places but I will write a longer post when we get to Alice. Not long now….

And now Caloundra

The weather cleared up the day after my last post so I was able to wake up the next morning in Byron and go for a swim at the beach. What a way to stast a morning. Then we drove to Caloundra. We stopped off at Surfer’s paradise as well and had lunch and a swim. I didn’t like Surfer’s at all. I knew I wouldn’t but seeing as I hadn’t been there I was curious about it. Caloundra though is lovely and we were finally able to camp. We are in a camping ground just by the sea so I was able to listen to the waves as I went to sleep again last night. It is a great beach too. We caught some awesome waves last.

Today after a morning run on the beach we went to Australia Zoo. You know the Steve Irwin one. It was a pretty good zoo, the crocodile shows are fairly awesome but my favourite were the tigers. I probably could have done without all the Irwin celebrity though. Tonight we had a lovely seafood platter for dinner. We are beginning to head inland tomorrow so I figure that was a good way to end our beach holiday and like beach and rain I won’t be having seafood for awhile I imagine.

From Byron

We are getting 30 minutes free internet which means I can write a post, how cool is that. As the title suggests we are in Byron Bay. Arrived lat night. Can I reccomend not arriving in Byron with the Bluesfest on and no accommodation. We learned the hard way that if you do that there is nothing left except the really posh places which cost a fortune. It was nice though I have to confess, a bit of a forced treat for us. I especially enjoyed my hot bath, listening to the waves crashing as I went to sleep and the biggest bed we have ever slept on. We also got to have dinner with Jess and her family. I was not expecting to see her again so soon so it was a wonderful treat. They were here for the Bluesfest but didn’t have tickets for the Sunday so we got to hang with them. We had a great meal at a place on Byron’s main drag. They also had to leave with still one night on their cabin so we are staying there tonight, a much needed free night after yesterday’s splurge. Thank you Browne’s. Today in Byron the weather hasn’t been great but we still did the two and a bit hour walk around the lighthouse and had some swims. Also managed a bit of a look in some hippy shops which I guess one has to do in Byron.

Apart from Byron we have been in Tamworth with the family. My father organised a BBQ at his place which was fun. He has a great place, I love it. From Tamworth we went to Myall Creek to spend some time at the memorial of the massacre that killed 30 indigenous people there. It is really well done I have to say. It was wet when we were there too but I think it kind of added to the mood. Then after a night in Inverell (there is nothing there it was just the first town after Myall Creek with somewhere to stay and we didn’t feel like going on in the dark and rain) we drove to Byron. It was a beautiful trip. It is all so green at the moment with all the rain and the leaves are beginning to turn orange. We had a fabulous lunch in a winery on the way looking over the rain coming down. I said to Martin that even though the rain isn’t what I would ask for I am trying to enjoy it as I won’t be seeing it much when I live in Alice.

Farewell Sydney

So Martin and John are just doing the finishing touches on the Hilux ie roping everything down so it doesn’t all fall off, and then we are off. How very sad I feel right now. I’ve being crying heaps although I am better today than last night. A special thanks to everyone that came to the BBQ I had a really good time. I know that the friendships will continue and I am going to see everyone fairly frequently but I will miss doing life with all the wonderful people here in Sydney. Probably everyone feels like this but I truly feel that I have the best friends/community in the world.

I am excited though, was looking over the map of Queensland that my grandparents gave us and the possibilities of adventure are endless. Also, feel very right about living in Alice Springs for this next phase and despite a little bit of anxiety (well a little right now but it fluctuates) I have total faith that God is with us and that all will be well. Do pray for us though if you are that way inclined.

Book Five: My Place by Sally Morgan

This book is a bit of a classis as far as I understand. First published in 1987 it was a very important story. Still is a very important story really but probably over the last 20 years has lost some of the impact it originally had. It is a book I have been trying to get to it for awhile but just hadn’t managed to. However with the move to Alice coming closer I thought it was time to get to it. I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it was the most brilliantly written book but I like reading people’s stories and I learned some things too.

Anniversaries

Two anniversaries have come and gone in the last fortnight that I failed to acknowledge.

The most important on Friday (April 2) Martin and I were married for four years. It was a bit of a disaster day I have to say. I had, had a very stressful day at work and was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my whole life. All I wanted to do was go to the beach for a picnic, to look out over the ocean and get things in perspective but alas it was raining so we decided to see a ovie instead (escapism) but when we got there I realised I had read the timetable wrong and the movie we wanted to see wasn’t on that night. Unable to make a decision and not really in the space to sit through crap we went back to Hornsby and had thai, then a coffee and cake. We were home by 9.30 and by 12.00 I had vomited all my dinner back up again as it had made me so sick. I think there muct be some profound learning in all that, some kind of analogy about marriage not always going to plan etc etc but I could have done without it. However the last four years with Martin I could not have done without. At the risk of sounding like I should be talking to Richard Mercer I want the world to know that I love Martin so much and am so grateful that he would take such a risk with me.

The other slightly less imporatant but none the less significant is that my blog had its fifth birthday on March 22 2009. Yay for 5 years of “She’s a Mil”.

I went for a swim in the rain this morning. I loved it. Watching the rain fall on the water as you swim along is an experience everyone should have I reckon. And one I should remember next time I try to get out of going for a swim because it is too wet.