These web pages are intended to keep friends and relatives up to date with my life here in Australia.
My Story So Far:
I arrived here in Melbourne in June 1992. My girlfriend told me that I had three months to find a job before she would kick me out. Needless to say, I wasn't trying too hard, until two-and-a-half months passed by, then I realised she was serious. I stepped up my efforts and landed a job (right on the three-month deadline). We split up in 2002.
Choose: The House - The Cats - The Cars - My Work - Weather
a topic : Snowboarding - Films
By pure luck I bought in 1995 when the prices were very good and then interest rates turned low. There's been a boom since
It is a fine example of an old Victorian home - high ceilings, cornices, fireplaces, tiled veranda, etc. Very homely (do visit) [photo1] [photo2].
My first cat came when I was still in a rented flat and was not supposed to have pets. I had a high balcony onto which Catania would easily jump up to enter the flat. She was a stray who very quickly trusted me and readily returned my affection. She would regularly take me out walks on her territory on balmy Summer nights. She died an old and beautiful cat August 2002. [photo].
Otto is one of a litter dumped on a vet friend of mine, so I've had the pleasure of watching him grow from a tiny ball of fluff to the mad, maniac, spazz cat he is today. I think he's half dog [photo].
Minou was probably dumped when the council introduced registration for cats. She's the most 'normal' of them all. She has the cutest looks to suck in the unwary, and the evilest of looks as soon as your back is turned (she even tries to walk like Spike from the Tom & Jerry cartoons!) [photo].
The Chrysler Valiant Charger was one of the first things I purchased after getting a wage. After all, when a cheap, roadworthy car ($2000) is either a Datsun 180Y or a huge, four-litre beast looking like a cross between the Dukes of Hazzard's 'General' and a '76 Celica liftback, ...well. This monster has only three-forward gears (being a '72 model, they'd just moved the gears from the steering column to the floor) and, although the brake pedal proudly proclaims disk brakes up front (new at the time), getting the damn thing to stop can be a bit of bother (on account of its sheer weight). The heater doesn't work, but it has good air conditioning, so it is the Summer car [photo].
The Datsun 260z was a car I'd loved the looks of since I was delivering newspapers. I was further impressed by finding it included in many books on classic cars. I spotted this one for a bargain $3000 (which I managed to knock down to $2750 despite my drooling) and put another $1000 into getting it roadworthy. It is a touch more fickle than the Charger, but then again, it is a sports car, and a 27-year old one at that. It has a good heater, but the air-cond doesn't work, so I use it most of the year apart from the hot months [photo].
I've been Technical Writing on contract since I landed here. A good combination of luck, right background, and hard work. From writing software release notes, to maintaining 15 volume manual sets, to creating four, new, hundred-page manuals in as many months. Oh, and the odd help file and online documentation thrown in for good luck.
The picture of the Aussie workplace with a fridge full of beer is true. When I went to get my last pay cheque after leaving one job, they commented that I actually owed them money on account of the cans of Guinness I had quaffed. It was a hot day on the day of the interview and I was actually offered a cold beer in reception. If it was a test, I'm still not sure what the correct response was.
One of my recent contracts was at Foster's, the brewery! They had a free bar every night after 5pm!! Talk about letting the cat amongst the pigeons.
The double-brick house is well-insulated. This means that if it is 40 degrees C for a few days (like it was one Christmas day), the house will heat up only 4 degrees a day. Most new houses will always be hotter than the outside temperature. The hot nights are the worst as it is almost impossible to get to sleep and people get to work really bitchy and grumpy.
I bought a small portable air conditioner. It helps to reduce the heat build up, but it is noisy so it's not easy to sleep with it on.
When that cool change comes (it can drop 10 degrees in minutes) it is sheer bliss. Open up those windows.
Yes, the ski resorts in the Victorian Alps get about the same level of snow as the ones in Scotland, i.e. not very good. Nevertheless, it is good for beginners (like me) and I love those runs through the trees.
Wakeboarding - snowboarding on water. I tried this up at Lake Eildon recently and bought a second-hand board. Just need a boat now...
I am an avid film watcher. Most years I have bought an unlimited pass for the Melbourne International Film Festival. I live a stone's throw from the magnificent Astor Theatre and usually watch a few videos or DVDs a week from ACMI. I don't watch TV.
These web pages were prepared under the influence of Blonde Black Russians and the music of The Human League (Dare).
Blonde Black Russian: 1 part Kahlua, 2 parts Vodka, double up with coke, top with cream. Sip thru cream. The ultimate progamming experience!