Remember my attempt to be a more frequent blogger? That went well.
Its been so long I’ve almost forgotten how to blog. The last time I did was the 6th of May and Marcus Rashford was merely a glint in his mothers eye. I do apologise to anyone who missed me (Mum, Dad, … er). To the other 99%, welcome back! I’ll probably split the last 6 weeks up a bit into one post about the highlights and then another about our trip to the Hunter Valley. So you might actually get two posts to read in a row, you lucky lucky people. Here we go!
1. Smoke on the Water
Always good to wake up to the following weather type;
Yes, that does say smoke, with appropriately murky background too. I honestly thought that the iPhone had gone loopy. The only settings I see on this app at home are cloud and rain; or once a year, cloud with a little sun peeking out. I’d seen this in bed on a Saturday morning so, after another half an hour working up the mental strength to move any further, had a look out of the window. And bugger me the iPhone was right;
The picture on the left was my view that morning, while on the right is what it should have looked like. (I would have done this as one of those sliding comparison pictures where y0u can slide between both pictures but a crippling lack of budget and/or technological skills scuppered that idea.) We were pretty shocked but turns out this is just a totally normal occurrence which has now happened about 10 times since. Its from controlled burning int the countryside to stop bushfires, which means its incredibly important and lifesaving. Does make your clothes smell like you’ve just chained 20 Marlboro though; every silver lining has a cloud.
2. Living for the Weekend
That Saturday was, as a result, spent mostly indoors due to smokiness which in all seriousness did actually get in your lungs and make it not enjoyable to open the window.
So fast forward to the next weekend which was significantly more interesting. The next Saturday was sunnier and a little less ‘British pub pre smoking ban’, so we headed to the Opera House Bar and then the Royal Botanical Gardens which were both really nice. The Opera House Bar has a great view and surprisingly reasonably priced food and drink for such a nice spot. (This is the extent of my reviews of places; simple, effective, light on detail, conclusive.)
The Botanical Gardens were also lovely and have some great views of the harbour; and it provided a great backdrop to the wedding happening behind us, in the gardens themselves. It was an incredibly intimate and really nice wedding; just the bridge, groom, 30 or so close friends and family and 50 tourists taking photos of it all. What dreams are made of.
The Sunday afterwards there was a wine and food festival on about 5 minutes walk down the road from our flat, so we headed there to try a lot of wine and end up buying a fair old amount of chocolate and marshmallows. We did not buy any wine, which after 5 glasses showed what I believe was remarkable restraint on my part (for those who do not know, I really like wine). Afterwards our flatmates Anthony and Jihye took us to a dark alley and put us in a randomly placed lift. Luckily at the top of the lift was a great Korean restaurant (I bet you were worried then) which was our first introduction to Korean food. We had a barbecue on our table (what dreams are made of) where we could cook the meat and it came with around a thousand different sides and all sorts. I was glad Anthony and Jihye were with us because they knew what they were doing; Katie and I were clueless and just did as we were told. We’d never have found it and even if we had we’d probably have ordered squid or something equally weird. Anyway the food was amazing and its a little hidden gem that we really enjoyed. After lots of food, lots and lots of wine and some mysterious Korean spirit (alcohol, not ghosts) Monday turned out to be a bit of a struggle.
3. Give Pizza Chance
We made our own pizzas and they were bloody incredible.
In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
4. Mr Blue Sky
In any excuse to get a photo in, one day at work my lovely team (only because they’ll probably see this) and I went to a talk about entrepreneurship in what is effectively our new office from the 27th of June. I say effectively because its not but its also too boring to make the final cut. It was part of all the TED talks happening in Sydney at that point and took the format of 4 investors with startup businesses pitching to 3 ‘investors’ of sorts. It was very like Dragons Den in the UK, except the investors didn’t show off their large piles of cash and weren’t angry Scottish men. Plus the views were less ‘industrial warehouse perfect for kidnapping’ and more ‘ooh thats nice’.
It was a really interesting event to see new businesses and see the passion behind them, and one which we absolutely did not attend just because they promised free coffee and donuts. (I had two of each because I am nothing if not a rule breaker.)
5. Come Together
Here’s a picture of the Aboriginal flag near my work. It’s made out of hands (not real ones, which would be horrifying and very time consuming to prepare) and was called the ‘sea of hands’. It was all part of National Reconciliation Week in Australia, which was really interesting as someone who did history at university to see how Australian history is still very relevant and causing issues today. Its also the first time my history degree has been remotely useful in the real world. Anyway, if you would like to know more on whats a pretty interesting topic you can check that out here http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/ plus info on the sea of hands here https://antar.org.au/sea-hands
Unfortunately due to my small ‘not getting round to writing a blog’ issue the week itself is finished and the flag has gone but that ones on me, so go have a look at the website if that sort of thing is interesting (or work is really boring today).
6. We could be heroes (Just for one day)
There’s been a fair amount of sport the last few days which I have been so involved in that its driven Katie to binge watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. Firstly there was New Zealand v Wales and Australia v England in the rugby which was very exciting for an England fan such as myself (and I found myself wanting Wales to win which was a very odd sensation). England won, thank god. There’s not much as good as watching the Australian presenting team, dressed in matching electric blue suits and gold ties, dissecting getting battered at home by England. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Anyway, shouldn’t speak too soon as there’s two matches left and I’m pretty sure any vengeful Australians could work out where I live. In other sport, England played Russia which Ben and I watched and got very very disappointed at before taking our frustration out on randomers on FIFA 16 (I have very mature ways of dealing with my problems).
Then came England v Wales at Euro 2016.
I’ve had a bad experience with timezones here before; the last time I stayed up until an unreasonable hour to watch an England team it was the World Twenty20 final this year and we lost off the last over to four consecutive sixes. So it came to Thursday night. The game kicked off at 11pm and I was in work at 8.45am. Stu and Sue very kindly invited us over to watch it which meant I didn’t have to watch the grainy streamed version from Dubai or somewhere. Anyway, I spent 91 minutes of the game in a state of horrible nervousness and general fear and loathing;
Then, Daniel Sturridge scored a last minute winner. This doesn’t happen to England. But somehow it did and I couldn’t get to sleep until about 2.30am because I was so happy and excited. Unfortunately I had to get up at 6.30am but who cares because we won! I’ll hand over to John Robins, comedian and presenter of my favourite podcast ever made, which you should check out if you haven’t. to sum up;
Anyway, that’s a whirlwind tour of what I can remember from the last 6 weeks. Do keep an eye out for me shamelessly promoting my next blog soon (don’t worry, you won’t miss it). All that’s left to say from me is God Bless Daniel Sturridge and Owen Farrell. Sport is the worst and the best.
Alex Odlin will do anything for free coffee and donuts. Anything. At all. Just ask. Seriously. Anyway, you can check out more of his nonsense by reading this blog from the start; 1. The Masterplan. Or, you could read his unfinished masterpiece at whatnottodoatuni.wordpress.com. He’d thank you personally if you asked him.
Tweety pie https://twitter.com/AlexOdlinSUFC
Photos of things: https://www.instagram.com/alexanderjodlin/