Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Greetings devoted world readers!

Yes indeedy, good evening, good morning and good afternoon to my veritable army of global readers - I notice today that I've even had a viewing from southern India - who are you?! As ever, I'm excited to collect little red dots from around the world on my ClustrMap.

So, as someone of you might have noticed, I've been sadly absence from the old blogging for a while now. Well, for some reason my access here at eBay Towers was having all kinds of strange and mysterious error messages whenever I tried to access any blog pages. Well, it seems to have resolved itself for now, so I'll try to give you all an update.

Well, first and foremost, I'm still in Sydney, still living in Paddington and still working away doing Magellan/ Ligthhouse work for eBay (that will mean almost nothing to most of you, but trust me, its really not that interesting, but at least the money is good). I'll be working until the end of June, and then I'll have finally done my time and will be free to hit the big open road and explore Australia - and whilst I'm actually crapping myself at the thought of actually having to drive after, ooooh, about four years, I know it will be a fantastic experience.

Life in Sydney continues to pottle along, though I'm sad to say that most of my friends here have finally moved on to travel to pastures new and green (Funk House Crew, R.I.P.) But, as they say, such is the life of the traveller, and the challenges of the modern day nomad. I can't really complain anyway, there are still enough good people around to keep things interesting, and I'm determined to throw myself into my work for the remaining time to make sure its a well done job.

I've been trying to keep myself busy too. My music collection continues to grow ridiculously through a number of different free dj hosting sites I've found (do message me if your interested, I can put the links up) to the point that I've now got over 105gb of music on my external harddisk (thanks so much for bringing that over Dave, life saver). My love affair with my 80gb Ipod continues without end, and I can't quite get over how long I held out on getting one - I should have invested in it years ago! My head continues to overflow with a ridiculous number of blogs and podcasts on current affairs that I try to read and listen to at work, to the point of overload sometimes I must confess. Whilst I miss the UK, England, my friends and my family a lot, I'm fascinated by just how easy it is to keep a finger on the pulse of British life through various online things - the Newsnight pod cast being probably my single favourite flavour from home - Jeremy Paxman rules :)

I'm a bit down at the moment because my finger basically still isn't really improving at all, and despite all the exercises and therapy (and money) I keep throwing at the problem, there doesn't really seem to be any realistic prospect of improvement. So its a little depressing at times to think that I'm going to have this constant pain in my hand for, oh,, the remainder of my natural life (another 60 odd years?). I try to not let it get to me, but sometimes its really tough to control the frustration. As ridiculous as it sounds, I've started to read some texts on Buddhism, and I think there is a tremendous amount of truth and wisdom in it, which I'm finding very helpful in exploring this side of life, and crafting some meaning out of something that continues to weigh so heavily on my shoulders.

Anyway! That sounds kind of bit too down, so lets catch up on what I've been doing. Well, most recently and excitingly, I did a five day trip to Tasmania to check it out. Me and my house mate Florent, plus two additional Frenchies, Jean-Mi and Guillaume, flew into Hobart and hired a car to explore this very wild and rugged bit of Australia. I'll post a few pictures below for you to get a taste, but you can check the full collection of the trip in Facebook, here, here, and here. In many ways, the place reminded me of parts of Scotland, the Lake District, Ireland and New Zealand. Its a pretty remote place, and we stayed in some really very small and remote places - the main thing you do out here is go hiking and walking in the national parks, and we certainly got our fair share of that done - we did a minimum of 3-4 hours a day, and even managed an epic 6 hours of hiking on the final day in the amazing Cradle Mountain National Park (see the final pictures - it only gets 1 day of sunshine out of 10, so we were pretty pleased to get such great weather!). Besides all the walking (and driving) we got to eat a whole lot of very good fresh fish and sea food, which was obviously a great treat - and whilst I'm still not too keen on the whole oyster thing, the fish was excellent and I'm always game to try something, if only once. We also managed to find a great little whisky distillery, which me and Jean-Mi made good use of in trying a whole range of different spirits.

In all, it was a great trip, and I'd thoroughly recommend it - though maybe more in the summer time, when you might get some sunshine :) Still, I can't complain at all! Okay, well its 7.11pm, so I think I'll make a move and head on home now, but I'm thinking of you all, wish I could be with you for just a while, or you here to share some of the great things I love about Australia and this city, so get in touch, drop me a message, an email or a text and tell me what your up to!

p.s. Dave, sign up to Facebook. Don't argue about it, just do it. And no, its not Myspace for old people.

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