Archive for September, 2008

Published by Linda on 30 Sep 2008

Busted Ribs, Burnt Fingers…. Oh and Work, Work, Work

My Giant Man Hands are scarred for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay maybe not for life but just for now. This cooking business takes it’s toll on them. Sliced my thumb goodo and then burnt it along with all my fingers on a tray that someone said was cold (can’t trust anyone can you??) Also got some really horribly disgusting burns from the deep fat fryer – always hated those bloody things!! I think my hands will never be the same again after this cooking lark!!

Anyway I am now relieved of full time cooking obligations as the promised chef has finally arrived, which means I now get to do cleaner work at the front of the restaurant. Not really sure which is better really, I do love the buzz of cooking and the time flies by – probably because I’m enjoying it I guess. I won’t miss the coating of grease I have to scrub off myself every day after doing the fry-up in the mornings. Gross……… Still though I’ll get to cook a few days a week with the new chef from the Philippines and he seems nice and chillaxed. Last week, we also said farewell to our restaurant manager, Heath, who was good fun and dramatic and he joined us on a couple of nights out which will be remembered for a while.

All is going well really, just about coping with getting up at 4.30 in the morning – it’s a bit depressing though because there are still people going home from clubs at that stage. Not getting a whole lot of sleep as I just can’t bring myself to go to bed at 9 or 10 in the evening. The first week I averaged about 3 hours sleep a night but I’m getting more used to it now and I’m really determined to get more sleep now.

Myself and Kate also both have night jobs and we rarely get an evening off together so when we get our chance, we usually head out with Alex and Shane from our apartment…..

…………and boy, on this night, were we rotten!! I picked this photo because we look the least tired and soberish(!) in it

 

We had a great night though, myself and Kate were hyper and full of energy which was amazing after all the hours we’ve been doing. Anyhoo all was good but there was a load of water on the floor so it was really slidey (difficult when there is water on the floor and in your flip flops) and I turned around mid-boogie and Kate had slipped, hit her ribs on a counter and then hit the floor ending up completely winded. I was dreading that she had broken a couple but it transpired that they were badly bruised. It’s taken a bit out of her though but she’s on the mend and despite my protests went back to work the following week. Still though she was climbing the walls staying at home so maybe her mental health needs to take priority :-)

I got a job at night in an Italian restaurant called Chiantis, it’s all good. Tends to be very quiet or really busy. The owner is a guy called Tony (naturally even though he is Portuguese) and we get on pretty well. I probably don’t go in there with boundless energy after working 8 hours in the morning but he seems to be happy with me so we’ll see how it goes. He’s also keen for me to cook so that could be good too. The staff are quite fiery there though and have this kinda complicated shorthand system for ordering which my brain just won’t take in. Haven’t made mistakes yet but I’ve been told there’ll be hell to pay when it happens…… They are also pretty fussy about coffee as a lot of people tend to go there for coffee and cake. Boy if you don’t brew that espresso properly, it’s like you’ve murdered a family member :-)

Anyway that’s basically the scoop. Working a lot of hours, aiming for 60 a week and the legs and feet really feel it. It will all be worth it when we pack our bags in November and head on the trail again. I promise there will be a more interesting blog next week.

More photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157607054232357/

 

 

 

 

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Published by Linda on 13 Sep 2008

On Camping, Crocs & Kakadu National Park

We decided to book a trip to Kakadu National Park while we were still looking for permanent work, because who knows when we’d get the chance to go again. We were due to leave at 6am so when Kate’s phone rang and WOKE US around 6.05 there was a bit of panic!!!!! All was good though and the very cool tour guide hung on to collect us.

Now I know you’re thinking we were probably on the lash the night before, but we really, really weren’t. Our house mates were up drinking late and we were chatting to them but we didn’t even have a drink, honestly, so we’d no good excuse.

Anyway we hit the road and our first stop was the Adelaide River to see some jumping crocodiles. Our guide basically held bits of buffalo meat on a line and the crocs jumped up to get it.

Now I have to say first off that I don’t really agree with this, just because I think it makes them associate people with eating even more (kinda like going to see sharks in a cage). However, it was amazing!! The eyes popped up over the water even before any meat was hung out. We saw maybe 8 crocs in the space of 15 minutes and they jump really far out of the water. Crocodiles have always fascinated me just because they’ve never evolved – as they’ve never had to!!! Can’t say that of many creatures – including ourselves :-) Anyhoo what I didn’t know about crocs was that they can’t swallow under the water and the sound the make with the valve in their throat is just horrifying – honestly there’s no other sound in the world like it, it’s like a kind of metallic clunk. Managed to get it on video with an informative explanation…. click on the link below and see, concentrate kids….

Crocs at Kakadu

Also saw these guys on the way, I think these are the freakiest photos, first this scariest freshwater croc…….

and then this turtle……..

…….check out the salt water croc lurking under the water!!!!!!!! Don’t worry the the turtle didn’t get eaten, these crocs can’t get their chops around the turtle shells because they have a narrow snout. Phew :-)

We went from there to the Mamukala Wetlands, had a swim in a croc-free billabong and set up our camp for the night.

We went to Yellow Water Wetlands for sunset and it was just spectacular.

 

Ahhhhhhh (sorry Bryan, but there hasn’t been opportunity to take pictures of puddles, snow, storms damage, tornadoes, etc, etc!!)

Camping was kinda fun, bloody hot though so didn’t a great night’s sleep – again!! Could have done with it too because we had a 12km uphill trek to the top of Jim Jim Falls the following day! This was preceded by a proper off-road bumpy drive to get to our starting point. Myself and Kate listened to some music to get us psyched up – can you guess what song Dan Joe?? Yep “you’ve been thunderstruck”……. Works every time and you can’t beat a bit of ACDC at 7am :-) The hike was fine really except for a 20 minute section where there is literally no air. Now our guide had warned us about this beforehand and at one point during, I was thinking dear god how hard is this bit going to be? I can barely breathe right now!! So I asked him where the section with no air started and he told me you’re in it hon!! Thank god for that though because I was beginning to question myself. The rest of it was grand though, a lot of rock climbing and it was hot trekking across the top of the falls

 but worth it for a great view…..

 

We cooled off with a swim and had the best camp dinner ever afterwards. We all had a go at the didgeridoo and after a few attempts I managed to get one or two notes and hold them which I was satisfied with.

We ended the night with a stroll to see if we could see any crocs’ red eyes in the water, some spiders and even a snake. Pretty cool but also pretty scary wandering around in the dark. Unfortunately I had a run in with nature later that night and got bitten alive by mossies – gutted because I got away scot free the first night. Currently trying to resist scratching roughly 30 mossie bites AAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The following day we went to Nourlangie see some Aboriginal Art & Archeological sites and I should mention that our guide was half aboriginie so we got a real insight into what the drawings meant. There were ones for information (as in don’t eat any more turtles because there’s a shortage) laws illustrated through drawings (as in you’re not allowed talk to/make eye contact with your sister as soon as she’s reached puberty – harsh but true) and many others including humorous stories. It was great having an insider explain these as I overhead another guide explain a drawing “do you see the guy with the pineapply head?”

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Okay so maybe his head is quite pineapple-like but somehow me thinks that’s not the technical term…..

We ended our trip with another swim and canoe in a billabong and it was the perfect end to a great trip.

 

More photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157607050668848/

Published by Linda on 02 Sep 2008

Aboriginal Dancing & The BEST Bananas in the World

Have you noticed I’ve shortened my blogs??? Ya Donal reckoned I should and he’s so, so right, I can blabber on forever and it all pours out pretty quickly. Had a look at a blog I had ready to publish and it was 1600+ words – I remember myself and Maeve in college struggling to write 1500 word essays on matters much more interesting!!!!!! Anyway I’m splitting them up now because I definitely wouldn’t have the attention span to read it so I could I expect anyone else to?? By the way this is my diary for the year too so that’s why I’ve loadsa detail. (God Linda just shut up and get on with it…………………)

We’ve been working a lot, and when we haven’t been working, we’ve been working on getting work :-) The Darwin Festival is on at the moment so we did head to see an Aboriginal Dance Show. There was two groups and the one of the groups had pulled out so their replacements were really funny. I swear it was like they had been pulled in off the street ten minutes before. The second group were more like the real deal, painted up and the dancing was really good. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed take photographs so we were gutted about that. The events are held in various locations around Darwin and this was in the Botanical Gardens which was just lovely.

There’s a few more events we want to hit at the festival so I’ll be blogging on those in weeks to come.

Other than that it’s been all good, it’s a little weird being able to unpack and having a real washing machine :-) It’s a real luxury. I think I definitely could have done another few months living out of the bag but it’s nice to be able to relax somewhere too. I do, however, have this feeling of uneasiness or that’s something missing. I really like Darwin but I just don’t feel settled yet or maybe too settled like with work visas and bank accounts – almost feel like an adult again :-) Maybe it’s just my inability to concentrate on anything for more that five seconds (yep my alleged attention deficit disorder is most definitely back)

It’s funny too because the last three months have been all about meeting new people and saying lots of goodbyes (boo) but now we’ll probably have more of a real life here. Also a little disappointed that we didn’t go to Broome but hopefully we’ll get to see it if we go on a tour of the Kimberly (which I’m soooooo excited about)

Darwin also reminds me of home a little, it’s a small city and then there are large suburbs around it. Home away from home, eh? Although the weather is a whole lot better. Thirty degrees and sunny every day and you know what it’s still a novelty to wake up to that :-)

Have to mention the fruit and veg here…. it’s sooooo  feckin’ tasty and goooooooooooodddd which is great for a addict like me :-)  Always get my five a day if not 7 or 8!!! Myself and Kate are loving the bananas and tomatoes big time – they actually taste!! (okay I need to sign off because the random tangents and ADD are running away with themselves)

Anyway we’re off on a camping trip Kakadu National Park to hold some crocs & snakes, play didgeridoos & hopefully sing a few songs around the campfire……..

More photos as always on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157606801548216/

P.S. I got a day time job about 30 metres from our apartment!!!! Sweeeeeeeetttt. It’s in a hotel restaurant which opens for breakfast at 6am!! The Manager said he’ll let me cook for a month while they are getting a replacement chef – very excited about that!! The 5am starts are not so appealing though…… Oh dear :-(

Okay so it wasn’t that short but I’m working on it, I really am……….